Revenge of Shinobi (aka The Super Shinobi) is the game that absolutely defines the Sega Genesis to me. I had a friend who was an early adopter of the Genesis, and that first wave of games such as Altered Beast, Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts, and Golden Axe were enough to thoroughly impress those of us who had grown up on Atari and Nintendo. But to me, Revenge of Shinobi was at the top of the heap.
The graphics were amazing, the weird ripped-off bosses (Spider-Man, Batman, Hulk, Terminator, albino Godzilla) were crazy…and the sound. My friend had his TV hooked up to his stereo, and the music and sound effects were unlike anything I’d ever heard, booming out of those big speakers. It all stuck with me long after I’d left my buddy’s house after experiencing it for the first time.
I didn’t get a Genesis of my own until the price had dropped way down to like $89 or something for the core system. By that time, RoS had been re-released with some of those “controversial” bosses altered, but I made sure to track down a copy of the original release, which were still available new if you got lucky enough to locate one.
Anyway, when Data Discs — the vinyl-only videogame soundtrack label which thus far only puts out Sega music — first started releasing their projects a year or so ago, naturally I was hoping that Yuzo Koshiro’s music for Revenge of Shinobi would be somewhere on their release schedule. Well, my hopes were positively answered as RoS turned out to be their 9th release, and I just received my pre-ordered copy this afternoon.
I opted for the limited edition colorway (which I always do when ordering from DD — I have two of their other releases, Shenmue and OutRun, although I kinda wish I wouldn’t have slept on Super Hang-On, which is now sold out). It’s a gorgeous, 180-gram “bone and black” splatter pressing. RoS features 19 tracks, although at a high-quality 45 rpm speed it doesn’t make for a particularly lengthy listening experience. The sound, however, is sublime, with Data Discs always putting meticulous care into getting the absolute best sound straight from the Mega Drive and onto the record.
Data Discs’ releases always include an obi, heavy jackets and inner sleeves, and sometimes an art print — which, in this case, is backed by a few notes from composer Yuzo Koshiro himself. 50 lucky purchasers had their insert autographed by Koshiro at random (mine was not, although my copy of OutRun is one of the limited signed versions).
I’m super happy with the Revenge of Shinobi soundtrack from Data Discs — their consistently luxurious quality is a treat for record collectors and videogame soundtrack afficionados alike. For more information on their releases, visit data-discs.com!