Shinobi returns for another slice of revenge on 3DS
By Daz Calvert - 14 Nov, 2011
If you're a fan of the Shinobi series, you might be interested to know that SEGA have brought back Shinobi for the Nintendo 3DS. There are lots of tributes to the Mega Drive classics Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III littered throughout the game. But it’s very much a reimagining, not a remake.
Here's some of what our pals at Nintendo Life had to saw in their recent Shinobi 3DS review:
Rather than playing as Joe Musashi, the ninja protagonist of the classic 1987 Shinobi arcade and its successors on the Mega Drive, this time you’ll step into the nimble shoes of his dad Jiro, who taught him everything he knows. Jiro’s adventure starts out in feudal Japan in 1256, as the leader of the honourable Oboro clan. It’s a typical day defending your burning village from the despicable Zeed clan, but before you know it you’ve been sucked into a vortex and propelled to 2056 where Zeed has amassed a futuristic army of soldiers and genetically modified fiends for you to overcome on your path to victory. Of course.
The 3DS incarnation has most in common with Shinobi III on the Mega Drive, which had a similar futuristic setting, but think of this as much more of a reimagining of Shinobi rather than a remake. In addition to the usual long range kunai attacks and melee katana slices for dispatching your enemies there's much more emphasis on parrying and combos: to parry you have to press the R button at just the right moment before an attack, then you can unleash your fury with some button-bashing sword slices mixed with some throwing knives for good measure. The timing has to be spot-on, so practice makes perfect. If you're playing for points you'll need to master these techniques, as taking even one hit will cancel out your bonus multiplier, but more on that later.
The double jump from The Revenge of Shinobi is present as well as the ability to spray your enemies with a shower of kunai from the air. You can also wall-jump, do a cheeky slide under obstacles and even use a grappling chain to pull yourself up to certain ceilings, or more satisfyingly take down an airborne bad guy. Perhaps the most fun addition is the ability to sneak up on certain unaware foes and do a stealth kill; this is what being a ninja is all about, after all. With all these moves at Jiro's disposal it's a wonder that Griptonite didn’t also manage to cram in the dog from Shadow Dancer for good measure.
Earlier levels are very enjoyable, with secret areas to find, lots of variety and chances to break out the grapple hook and wall bounce while taking out the bad guys. The levels are quite long too, taking around 15 minutes to complete. The game is littered with inspiration from other Shinobi games, such as the brains exploding out of test tubes full of a green solution as found in Shinobi III and the threat of being sucked out of open doors on a cargo plane a la The Revenge of Shinobi.
To read the rest of the review, please head over to Nintendo Life.
If you're in the UK you can pick up a copy of this for £24.99 from The Games Collection. These guys come highly recommended and accept PayPal too.