After a near seven year hiatus, and a major delay, Shinobi 3 was finally released with incredible new features graphically and a really awesome follow-up soundtrack by Masayuki Nagao, Hirofumi Murasaki,and Morihiko Akiyama. Many believe that Koshiro had a hand in Shinobi 3, but sadly this was not the case, and I wanted to bring these other composers to light in order to not let them go unnoticed.
When asked about why he wasn't involved with Shinobi 3 he had this to say in a interview
"Sega-16: The soundtrack to Revenge of Shinobi is considered a fan favorite of the 16-bit era, and many people were disappointed when you weren't the composer for part three. What happened? Were you ever approached to do the music for Shinobi III?
Yuzo Koshiro: Thanks. But I think they had gone with some different concept than the previous Shinobi. If that was the case, it was better to take the other composer."
While Koshiro's soundtrack was a mixture of different themes, this soundtrack kept it close to the titlular character's mystical roots, and kept it fairly simple. That doesn't take away from the sheer awesomeness of the sountrack at all personally. The first track, Japonesque was incredibly upbeat and very awesome. I found myself replaying it constantly.
Storm Wind is a great stage introductory tune that really makes you feel that this is a darker venture than it's predecessor, while the Midboss and boss themes provide an action feel that pushes you to fight with everything you have. My personal favorite boss track is "My Dear D" which is just one of the best bossfights I've ever played on the genesis. The concept of fighting a 50 foot mutant in a bio waste facility is just awesome and the graphics were just superb for thier time.
Now that I think about it, it seems that the music here progresses from traditional japanese themes to more of a western theme as Joe Musashi travels from his homeland to the evil Zeed corporation headquarters. This is indicative in the later songs like Ninja Soul,Trap Boogie, shinobi Walk, Wirlwind, and Rush and Beat. Towards the end everything comes full circle with my personal favrotie track "Izayoi" which has an amazing timeless quality about it, and goes from there.
To any of the fans out there of this, Revenge and other Shinobi games, you should do yourself a favor and find a copy of "The Legend of Joe Musashi" It's a fantastic soundtrack arrangement of the Genesis, Arcade and game gear versions of these songs. The track listing and additional info can be found here