gamers (100%) found this review helpful
Holy cow this game is hard. I play 3DS games to see the 3D effects and ideas, so after a night of trying to get past the first 20 minute level with only 5 guys, I said nerts to this and just played through it on easy. But even that gets pretty challenging.
This game does a lot of things right with the 3D - some levels are crazy fun (riding on a horse through dense woods) but for the most part it's a side scroller that feels like maybe the camera is too far away.
Overall this makes for a good weekend of 3DS fun, and if you're up for a typical challenging ninja game, this has plenty of those elements. But I'd personally rather be challenged on a bigger screen. For "pick up and play" this is not your game.
I loved the arcade original as a kid, and enjoyed the PS2 era reboot, but this version is borderline unplayable garbage. It plays like the oldskool 2D side scroller, but it is nigh on impossible to track what is going on onscreen. Avoid.
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.