Super Shinobi II
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Sega's Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master turns 30 today. Actually, it's technically 30 years and a day old, as the game launched in Europe on July 24th, 1993, but was released in Japan under the title The Super Shinobi II a day earlier. North American players had to wait until August of that year to get their hands on it.

The series started life in arcades as Shinobi, which was ported to the Master System and PC Engine, as well as other platforms. The Super Shinobi would arrive as an early Mega Drive / Genesis release, and is famous for its amazing Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack. When it was released in the West, it was retitled The Revenge of Shinobi.

Shinobi III, therefore, has a rather confusing title; it's technically the third game in the series, but the Japanese version instead treats it as the second entry in the Super Shinobi line.

While it perhaps wasn't as acclaimed as Revenge of Shinobi, Shinobi III is still regarded as one of the Mega Drive's best action platformers. The Shinobi series would see sequels on the Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo 3DS, but has been largely dormant for many years.

Let us know your memories of Shinobi III by posting a comment below.