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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 December 2012
A new Shinobi - dear god noooooo whisper my inner, magical, ninja, senses - YEEEAAAARGH!! Says my inner Megadrive pad wielding teenage self! So what's it gonna be Sega? Are you going to destroy one of the most majestic game franchises ever devised? Or are you gonna pull down that ninja hood and fling some firey shurikens at our eager, moist, young eye-peas? Wanna know how it turned out? Then read the following list and understand...

THE GOODNESS:
- First off the controls are as tight as a ducks butt underwater - controlling your Ninja is a simple matter of defining the controls, if needs be, then slipping around with the utmost of skill and ease, sword slashing, throwing star flinging and being an all around hard-ass.
- The graphics are fluid and in a rather cool style that may not sit well with fans of the old-school look but it'll grow on you and pretty soon you'll be digging it like a silky smooth mole.
- The 3D is okay - I mean I don't expect every game to push the gimmick but it works well enough here.
- The horse riding levels are back: ninja + shimmering sword + horseback = bad guys getting slashed to ribbons = splendiferous.
- The soundtrack is like a religious experience for your ear pipes. I mean some of these tracks will unscrew your dome and break-dance on your brain.
- The cut scenes are quite groovy.
- There's a pile of art and tunes and whatnot to unlock which we all know goes to making a lovely rounded experience.

THE BADNESS:
- It's not the longest game in history, but also on the plus side it doesn't outstay its welcome and there enough to keep the hardcore coming back.
- This game is tough as all heck - you play on anything but the lowest difficulty setting and you are going to be crying for the 5 billion save points and infinite lives you get with all your other mollycoddling FPS's and such like. Prepare to be taught a lesson in ninjitsu!
- Some of the levels are a little bit bland compared to others.

THE FINAL BLOW!:
This is the Shinobi game I've been waiting for since part III on the good old MD - It's as tough as an overdone t-bone but five times as tasty: so if you love your action filled with ninjas, violence and awesomeness then pick this up and believe!
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on 11 January 2012
This game surprised me when i got it, as a fan of the original Shinobi on the Sega Mega Drive i had to get this and i have to say it is excellent. Gamers who are too young to remember the Sega/NES years might not get this game straight away, but old skool gamers will love it, it deliberately uses the old skool pattern based recognition gameplay style, that on the MegaDrive/NES was because of the limitations of the hardwear, but here it is a clear design choice, what i mean by this is that unlike most modern games where a player can wing it through the game, here you have to start over at the beginning of the level,(and the levels are huge) and memorise where enenmies and traps are to progress, So you have to play like a Ninja to progress!Fans of the original Shinobi will be pleased to see the classic spin and throw and double jumps from the mega drive version updated here, and really, it is the up to date Shinobi reboot classically honoring the original while updating the game play to todays' standards. The music and sound is great and it has fantastic Anime cut scenes and is really a great game, but be warned it is hard, hard in the old skool video game way, which i found refreshing, cos usually after a few hours i have progressed quite far in a game, but here i had to approach it like the old NES/Megadrive/Arcade games before i made progress and in a age of games where one can wing it through a game, i found this very very refreshing, Young kids might find this frustrating and hard but seasoned gamers should enjoy the challenge!
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on 14 November 2012
I was rather curious to see a Shinobi game on the 3DS shelves with very little fanfare - I would have thought an entry in the Shinobi series would have made a splash on the 3DS forums. The price also seemed suspect. 9 quid? Shouldn't quality games retail in the region of 30 quid? My vapourware alarms started ringing a bit. But I decided to try it anyway. I mean, how bad can a Shinobi game be?

Turns out, this is a high quality, extremely immersive and well designed gaming experience of the highest order. The keywords here are action, skill and intensity. The story is solid, at least at providing a backdrop for why you are running around in feudal Japan one moment, and fighting laser gun blasters in space the next. And what is cooler than ninjas?

And its hard. Old school hard. I have only played the campaign on the Easy setting (I tried Normal at first, but after a few tries realized that I am going to cry like a little baby on the train if I continue in this folly). Every move must be done with precision and good timing.

Once you get over the learning curve, few things provide the satisfaction of a well-timed series of jumps, slashes, kanai's and a little magic here and there (beware - you lose points for using magic).

Truly, a masterpiece of a game, and an excellent investment of time (for almost no money at all!). Perfect for commuting play (at least on the Easy setting), as the save-points are frequent. The game is of a decent length, especially if, like me, it takes many tries and strategies to clear a level. There are plenty of secret locations to look for, and lots of power-ups and special effects that provide variation on the gameplay. And the boss fights are epic.
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on 17 September 2013
I like that there's a lot of old games that have been rebooted and redeveloped for modern gamers. It gives the kids a chance to play what we enjoyed. Some aren't as good (or successful) but this is one to enjoy.
It's not so much a reboot, but a reworking of all the old shinobi titles (before the sega Saturn) and a lot of the gameplay style comes from these (in particular, kunai blitz move, ninjutsu magic, the white costume...) and there's been things added too.
For those who want to play, it's essentially a platform, side-scrolling game with added elements of rhythm games. Explain? In terms of the rhythm, you do get used to it as you play, it's all part of the parry move (really useful) which allows you to block enemy attacks and boost your score (and make your attacks more powerful). It's not essential, but it does come in handy. Enemy attacks take a good chunk of your health bar (and items to recoup health are few in number and don't recoup as much). Enemy attacks follow a pattern too, worth keeping an eye out for as this can save you losing more of your health bar. More additions to the game play I noticed were the use of shuriken (throwing knives) and the sword being a more prominent weapon. Shuriken recoup after throwing five, but don't deal as much damage (or score) and the sword is more useful in building a higher score. The chain is also a useful too but it's not a weapon. Just helps you reach higher places (which comes in handy for looking for secret items). Enemy attacks when they hit you, take a good chunk of your score too. And there's some levels in which if a mistake is made, your score will be eradicated and you will have to start it again. Be warned.
Graphics are good but doesn't feel like an improvement (best shinobi graphics I think are from shinobi III, the subtlety of those graphics and the colouring were top notch considering it was a mega drive title). But graphics are good considering it is a 3ds title, and was made for 3d graphics (even though I keep my 3d slider off...)
In terms of gameplay again, it does feel like a short game to go through (7ish levels) but the content added is good plus there are 4 difficulty settings and there's even an achievement system. There's a dojo in which you can get used to the basics of your ninjas movement. There's even some bonus content which shows you artwork, history of series, music but some of these must be unlocked with achievements. Fans of the old series can also download the old levels through streetpass (but this isn't easy, it would have been better if you could download it straight away).
The price is also excellent. A 3DS game for less than £10 considering, and it plays quite well too. The only thing I could say is that's it not an easy game to replay once you've played through it and completed it but improving your score just might. But it still it detracts from replay value.
It's worth giving a go....
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on 29 April 2012
This is a great platform. The graphics are animé style and 2D. It is sideways scrolling.

Basically, you're a ninja who must fight a rebel tribe in all sorts of weird locations. As of yet, I have been to ancient forests and palaces, high-speed trains in the future, underwater research laboratories, cities of rebel gunmen, the list is long.

You have a sword and kunai (throwing star things) and a grappling hook thing for reaching high ceilings.

This game keeps you guessing. It is not difficult, in the sense that with patience you can do everything. However, the most hard to grasp feature is the 'block'. When an enemy throws a kunai or shoots or comes at you with a samurai sword, there is often no escape but to block their attack. This is difficult.

There are difficulty levels:
Beginner - unlimited retries
Easy - fewer retries
and so on...

The platform has you performing all kinds of finger-acrobatics to get your character to jump, flip, kick, grab, throw, slash, stab, parry, climb, duck, sneak... You can do just about anything a ninja can do :D

This will provide genuinely challenging gaming for days and days. The replay value is high and once complete I'm sure I'll just start again. You can freeplay levels you have already completed and access cheats such as infinite fire magic, auto-parry, cool new weapons... again, the list is long.

Well, well, worth the money.
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on 21 October 2013
If you played the older games in the series on the megadrive this will feel quite familiar, although there's greater emphasis on sword combos over shuriken throwing in this.

The gameplay is very hard and involves a lot of skill; there is a steep learning curve. Some parts, especially the platforming sections are extremely unforgiving and frustrating. It is satisfying to feel you are getting better at it, because there really is a genuine level of skill needed to play. For me, I don't have that much time to spend playing video games and I have found I have put this down in favour of less frustrating, more modern games.

However it cost me £5 and it is definitely worth that. It's pretty well polished with unlockable achievements, saving replays and so on.
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on 10 April 2013
I got this game along with a handful of others to go with my new 3ds XL that I got about 5 months ago.

Out of all the games I got I found myself coming back to this one the most, it is really gripping and fun to play, I did play it on easy and finished it in about 4 weeks while I was traveling to and from college.

Playing on anything apart from easy will mean if you die you start from the start of the mission not the stage you was on, I wanted this game to be a fun pick up and play so I did not want that.
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on 15 January 2012
Awesome game, the first couple of plays it's quite hardcore, really difficult as you don't really know what your character can do.

Once you learn your shinobi movements you'll realize that he can do whatever you ask him to do, it becomes second nature to react to enemies attacks and the difficulty people are talking about drops dramatically.

It there was a single game I had to buy for the 3DS this was my choice at time (Jan-2012) without a doubt. Give it a go, it's rewarding after a little while of practice when you can control the character as you wish:

e.g. of parrying and combos:
<...>
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on 18 January 2015
I wasn't really familiar with the shinobi franchise before I picked this up. I actually had a megadrive and this was one of the few big sega franchises I missed out on. I'm happy to say I am pleasantly surprised by the general quality of this title. The controls are very responsive and allow you to pull off really cool dodges and combos that make you actually feel like a ninja. I will say that the first level is not as good as the rest of the game, although this could just be because I wasn't used to the controls yet. The game is hard, very hard (even on normal) but for me because the game is so well made its not cheap in the way you die but you die because your ninja skills aren't up to scratch. However the game is not that long but there are many unlockables to keep you coming back. 9.0/10
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on 1 September 2013
"Prepare to feel the wrath of my gaming prowess you villainous ninja...! What?...I'm dead?!...but I've only just resumed playing!" Yes, this was a situation I faced more times than Kerry Katona has faced bankruptcy. You see I've been slashed by bad ninjas, shot by wayward soldiers, spanked by demon bosses, caught out by collapsing platforms, and been munched by a metal shark...and this is all on the Easy mode! Welcome to Shinobi on the 3DS.

In 1256 A.D the hero of this game, Jiro Musashi, is defending his home village from bad guy attack when he suddenly and mysteriously finds himself transported to the future. 2056 A.D to be a little more precise. Whilst here, he faces more bad guy onslaught with guns, blades, and anything else that has the potential to kill. Honestly the storyline in this game in thinner than the cheese supply of a mouse-infested pizzeria, so let's just crack on with the gameplay.

As implied earlier Shinobi is a very tough game. There's a whole host of enemies standing between you and game completion. There are all kinds of ninjas with some throwing kunai (knife like weapons) at you and some preferring to do a spin slash attack with their swords. You've got trigger happy menaces with machine guns, protective turrets and rocket launchers; and you've got large bosses who provide all sorts of painful attacks intended to inflict, uh...pain upon you. They all come at you thick and fast, not allowing you much in the way of breathing space, and when you add all the spiked ceilings and bottomless pits into the mix as well, you start to wonder if this could game be any more challenging if it forced you to wear a blindfold.

Fortunately there are plenty of features that give you the encouragement to play on and see the positive aspects of this sword slasher. For starters you've got some very useful moves. The Y button can be used for sword attacks, the A button allows you to throw kunai, while the B button is used for jumping. After playing around a bit with the numerous button combos you'll learn a vast series of moves that are extremely helpful for dealing with the obstacles that are placed in front of you. For example: a double jump (B button twice) followed by the Y button lets you pull off an impressive spin slash attack. Very useful for when you have to jump and are about to land on two or three enemies in the same area. With these moves you always feel like you've got options. It's these moves that give you confidence to continue pressing onward through a level, and that can only be a positive.

Another carrot dangler is the points system. You can score points by beating up bad guys, collecting coins and successfully blocking attacks. If you look in the top right hand corner of the screen you'll see a small combo meter. By attacking your foes you can fill this meter up to a x4 multiplier, as long as you avoid getting hit whilst you're trying to do it, and this will allow you to score more points as well as make your attacks stronger. These points provide a suitable arcade experience to your 3DS, and that arcade feel is further strengthened by the possible grades you can obtain at the end of each level, ranging from an average C up to a fantastic S. This is a good gameplay motivator. It constantly motivates you to find ways to shave time off your run; find more fluid hit combos without taking damage; and generally keep plugging away until you've successfully unlocked achievements at the end of the game.

Yes, achievements. By completing certain tasks in levels, you can obtain artwork to browse at your leisure; info on previous Shinobi games in the series; and different costumes and weapons to try out in Free Play. Some of the achievements are easy to obtain (like falling down a pit); others pretty hard (like gain an S ranking on at least a Normal mode level). This game tries to please the "special" players, in both senses of the term. But once again we have a good incentive on our hands to continue playing.

Other things in this game to check out include Free Play, which allows you to play any single level you want, as long as you've completed that level on a certain difficulty in the Story Mode beforehand. This is ideal if you have one level in mind that you want to improve your performance in. You can also save your efforts in levels and watch them again in the Theatre mode, ideal for any runs you're really proud of. And the Street Pass feature enables you to obtain shorter but much tougher levels for you to have a bash at. So, plenty going on here.

The game is pretty good in the graphics department. The effects of the attacks and explosions are nice; and while the levels mainly have a futuristic theme, they're nicely varied in background scenery. The music works well too with an interesting mixture of ancient oriental sounds and adrenaline pumping rock.

Shinobi has plenty of features and plenty of confidence boosters for your games playing abilities, but there's no denying the fact that this game is as tough as bullet proof vest-wearing nails. As you go up through the difficulty levels, the number of lives and continues become more and more limited. But it was one minor detail in particular that really got my goat...the recoil effect, your character being knocked backwards after taking a hit. While it's manageable in the Easy mode, from the Normal mode onwards the recoil effect is pretty much doubled. Certain jumps you could make beforehand now become even trickier and most times have to be remapped in your mind. When it comes to harder modes, I can live with more enemies and I can live with heavier restrictions on lives. But one thing I CANNOT tolerate is being sent flying backwards 100ft thanks to a mild smack to the chops! If you play the game for a while on at least Normal mode you'll know what the heck I'm babbling on about.

Whether or not you should buy Shinobi for the 3DS depends on what kind of player you are. If you're way beyond the borders of obsessive when it comes to unlocking absolutely everything a game has to offer, then I fear for the safety of the 3DS in your possession. However if you're just looking for some plain old sword-slashing fun and a fistful of points to bag along the way, then I would say "Yes" to buying this.

Final Score: 8/10
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