Shinobi Returns on 3DS – Details and Impressions

Shinobi Returns on 3DS – Details and Impressions

Do you remember the ninja named Joe? Joe Musashi kept us entertained in the 80s and 90s as Shinobi. This September, Shinobi returns in the form of Joe’s father, Jiro, to the 3DS. We got a chance to sit down and play the new Shinobi at a press event last week, and it was fun. Difficult, but fun.

While playing, we took the time to ask a few questions about the game. A basic playthrough in its current state should be at least 5 hours, with a full playthrough unlocking all bonus content running at least 8-10 hours. Achievements in the game help unlock new content, such as behind the scenes information, new costumes, in-game cheats, and more.

The game is based on the classic Shinobi, but modernized to include new gameplay mechanics, such as juggling, multipliers, style points, and more. Four new magic spells are introduced, enhancing Shinobi’s abilities in various ways. Use of the magic spells should be held as a last resort, though, because your overall score is lowered. They are meant as a crutch to help you past difficult sections if you find yourself stuck, not as a gameplay element to be used willy-nilly (yes, I said willy-nilly, deal with it).

There are two gameplay point-of-views utilized in Shinobi 3DS. First, obviously, is the classic side-scrolling mechanic. Second is a from-behind 3D perspective. From what I understand, the from-behind will be used when Jiro needs to ride a horse, etc. There are also multiple game modes, from the standard campaign mode to a score/time-attack mode. The score/time-attack mode contains all of the maps from the campaign, plus a few additional maps for variety. There is also a revamped shuriken game, inspired by the classic, and a game level called Afterburn, scored with a remix of the original Afterburner theme song. Finally, a replay mode is included so that you can watch replays of your favorite score/time-attack attempts. Replays can be saved to SD.

The game is beautiful, using the color palette very well to indicate progression and environment. You start off with a fairly monochromatic palette that gradually develops as the game continues. The cinematics have a very anime style feel to them, which fits the game nicely.

Having played it, I feel absolutely comfortable in saying this is the kind of game I would buy a 3DS for. I can’t wait for September.

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