'Shinobi' Brand Extension Introduces Hibana, a Female Ninja Equipped with
Deadly Weapons and a Killer Body


SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced the release of "Nightshade™" exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The latest chapter in one of the longest running and most revered videogame franchises, "Nightshade" delivers more intense gameplay, bigger environments, and sharper visuals than its popular 2002 predecessor, "Shinobi". It also offers a more reasonable learning curve and a new 'Easy' mode, making the title more accessible for casual players.

Taking place one year after the events chronicled in "Shinobi", "Nightshade" casts gamers as the female ninja Hibana, who must save the civilians of Tokyo from the fallout of a new rift that has opened between earth and the demon realm. Tension mounts when she realizes that her former mentor is largely responsible for the chaos, and an emotionally charged battle for control of the legendary Akujiki blade ensues.

"'Nightshade' represents an innovative leap forward in action-game design, created to become progressively addictive as gamers master the combo-driven play mechanics of the 'Tate' fighting system," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of entertainment marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "The development team at Sega WOW has refined the core elements of the "Shinobi" franchise on PlayStation 2 to create an unbelievably tense and exciting follow-up adventure."

"Nightshade" features 13 massive levels, allowing players to fight atop moving fighter jets, trains, trucks, boats, and industrial cranes. Playing as Hibana, gamers have an all-new arsenal of ninja moves and weapons at their disposal, including a 'Chakra Gauge' which fills in relation to a player's gaming prowess. With full Chakra, gamers can unleash a powerful 'stealth attack' upon the many devious end-level bosses.

Key enhancements to this franchise include aerial combat and an expanded 'Tate' fighting system, which allows for unlimited combinations, giving hardcore players a challenge reminiscent of the game's predecessor. Also notable is the inclusion of a 'kick' button for shattering armor and the introduction of dual short swords, which allow for more stylized kills and increased combo opportunities.

The game is rated "M" for Mature and is available at retailers nationwide for an MSRP of $49.95.



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