The Revenge of Shinobi puts lots of emphasis on being awesome, but not quite enough emphasis on being fun.
. The graphics and sounds both do a great job contributing to this game's sense of style. The music is definitely a high-point of this game and of the Genesis in general. It is composed of very cool techno beats which fit with each level perfectly. Though these do repeat as you get to the later levels in the game, they don't get old because they are so good. The graphics are not quite as impressive, they don't look too impressive, but they still do have a high level of cohesive style running through each level and there are not any strange graphical glitches or slowdown in the game.
Unfortunately, though the style of this game is still impressive today, the gameplay is not. The first half of the game plays just fine. You will have a good time taking out some ninjas or soldiers with a barrage of knives and double jumping all over the place. When you get into the later levels, things fall apart. It is barely noticeable at first, you are forced to use a double jump (which is not as easy to do as it should be) to cross a fence and you get pushed ito a chasm by an enemy placed right where you needed to land. Soon, these sort of moments begin to pop up all the time, huge jumps that require exact timing just to get across them with a slight timing error meaning death and enemies placed in positions to knock you off the ledge to instant death. This is mind-numbingly frustrating and feels completely unfair. However, Revenge of Shinobi doesn't care: the game will keep putting you in these situations until you feel the complete and total urge to throw your Genesis through the television (I'm not exaggerating).
I can certainly see why people like this game. It has a very cool sense of sytle which really makes you feel that you are an awesome ninja (who doesn't love awesome ninjas) and it features cameo's by the Hulk and Spider-Man. However, for those of us who did not grow up with the Revenge of Shinobi, it is certainly worth one playthrough on easy just to see how it has influenced games like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry, but once you do that, you will probably wan't to play one of those much more fun games anyway.