A lot has changed since Ryu's last outing. The shop has gone, as have the talismans of rebirth and the various elixirs.
The Karma drops by enemies to power super attacks, refill heath or Magic, or supply much needed gold for upgrades and items are also sadly missing(though there is still an upgrade system, just a dull an uninspired one). This also means you can no longer chain super combos in the way you once could. All these things are sadly missed.
The combat itself lacks the precision of either of the first games. Ryu often hops all over the place dealing out death in what feels like an automatic cut scene, likewise many familiar moves are achieved by random button mashing rather than precise presses which really does lessen the experience.
There are many more QTE moments which result in instant death compensated for by many more check points and saves.
Overall this is a sad end to one of my favorite series of games, the newest cel shaded addition to the series is so awful its not worth considering as part of it. This makes me want to play through Ninja Gaiden 2 again rather than continue along this journey that is inferior in every way...