I know very little about the Shinobi series in general and this game does a good job of making that completely unimportant, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your expectations. I was expecting a 2D scroller that looked 3D and was happily surprised to find intricate controls, a solid platformer, and a real challenge mixed with very good looking visuals.
Don't be fooled, those who complain about the challenge have a point, but there is a beginner mode that allows you endless deaths and continues. This lets you learn the levels old school style (trial and error) as you navigate many types of enemies with ranged and melee attacks, platforming trials and trap navigation. It's a game that requires practice, memorization, and some decent skill at timing deflects or dodging enemy attacks all together. Boss fights are difficult, but have manageable patterns and since magic use is actually penalized at the end of missions against your score, there is always a way to win with the standard move set (although the action button is difficult to time considering its extremely brief window of opportunity). Normal begins to put restrictions on lives and continues, with steeper difficulties imposing greater restrictions but better rewards through unlocks of cheats, concept art and skins.
This game has a very old school feel to it reminding me of an earlier Shinobi I played and the early Ninja Gaiden games on the NES, but with an updated look and better movement/combat range. I really enjoy the newer 3D action sequences, but I feel the heart of the game could use more 3D crammed into the lengthy 2D side scrolling combat sections.
The story is restrained and requires interpretation and the animation, while good, should have been in 3D. Overall a flashy looking sidescroller with some decent 3D moments.
shinobi is very hard even on easy if you play on easy you get infinity of lives and I die a lot in this game the final level and boss increased my death count a lot with hard to do jumps and deadly knockbacks this game has a parry system but that only last for one second witch means if you don't time your parries the right time before you get hit you'll take damage the boss fight are hard expect the first one the final boss has 3 phases and if you die in one of the phases you have to start all over to the beginning of the fight I quiet there cause I never beaten him EVER!!!! this game I do recommend to hard core gamers but not causal gamers.
Okay so first off the game is beautiful! From its cutscenes and its actual gameplay. The only thing I hate from this series is the difficulty. This game is grueling. You have to memorize level layouts and enemies. If you like that sort of stuff you will love this game. I love my games to be a good difficulty but not to the point where i actually want to throw the 3DS on the floor. lol. It was a good game none the less!