Go ninja, go ninja, go!
Shinobi was a powerhouse on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and in arcades back in the day. The series was revitalized with hard-as-nails PlayStation 2 entry, followed up by a sequel called Nightshade. In 2011, developer Griptonite Games took control of the long-resting franchise to give Shinobi's fans another new adventure to enjoy. Simply titled, Shinobi, this Nintendo 3DS installment is worthy of SEGA's masterful ninja's name.
Shinobi's 3DS outing begins with Jiro Musashi's village has been attacked by a group called Zeed's ninjas. Protecting against the ninja forces successfully, somehow Musashi is sent 800 or so years into the future, where Zeed controls the world. What follows is a series of confusing 2D art displays that attempt to tell a story. However, this story simply comes off as one unintelligible scene after another with little apparent cohesiveness. Still, the scenes are presented in a cool 2D art style, so at least it's eye candy.
|Cool scenes, but what is going on!?|
|Your acrobatics know no limits, Jiro!|
|I hope you had insurance...|
Levels themselves have a decent amount of action and platforming to keep players on their toes. It's not too hard to argue that most of the levels are designed well, save for some blind jumps here and there. However, there are spots in the game that change the formula up poorly, such as a horse riding sequence in the middle of level one, as well as a sequence that requires you to use the 3DS's gyro sensor to tilt left and right in order to get Jiro to surf down a path of water safely.
|Hi, ho, Silver... go away!|
As Jiro slays foes with his blade, his multiplier meter goes up. As long as he doesn't take damage, Jiro can boost the amount of points he gets from defeated foes by up to four times. This is key in getting highly coveted "S" rankings on every level. However, each time Jiro takes a hit, he loses points from his level total, as does using one of four magic scrolls that give Jiro a strong boost. Additionally, death takes away a significant amount from his score.
|Magic helps out in a tight spot,|
but it also penalizes your ending score.
|What a frigid lady.|
Although it runs rather well on the Nintendo 3DS, the visuals of Shinobi fail to impress. While the stereoscopic 3D and 2-1/2D gameplay works well, it's pretty apparent that Shinobi was originally developed on the Nintendo DS before being moved over to the system's successor. The music of Shinobi serves the game world and its action well. It is nothing that will most likely get etched into your memory, but it's neither obnoxious or boring to listen to all the same.
|The visuals do less than impress,|
but they're serviceable at least.
[SPC Says: 7.5/10]