|System: PS Vita|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: February 22, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 544p||Blood, Violence|
Crafting, through alchemy, is an involved and intricate process. There are different jars you can buy that hold different numbers of ingredients (really, different effects, as two similar ingredients with different values still only take up one ingredient slot) and different overall volumes. Concoctions can be diluted to increase their volume and decrease potency or boiled for the opposite effect. Geckos (yes, the lizard) are able to transform or transmute, in different manners, the contents of a pot. Further, there are special combinations to be discovered, which add unexpected effects to your alchemical construct. Once satisfied with the ingredients in the pot, the player can extract them either as a smoke bomb, a potion, or sushi. There's a Near element here, as well, with a network jar that can use devices detected through Near to alter the contents of the jar.
Regarding story—well, it's there. The writing is not particularly engaging and the translation is, at times, unwieldy. However, it serves its purpose, and conveys the important events of the game reasonably well. The voice acting is passable and the sound is fairly satisfying. You'll cringe when Zen walks near an enemy, each footstep so loud it seems it could bring your foes around at any moment, and the piercing of sword through flesh is appropriately aurally brutal.
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen is initially an intimidating endeavor. There is a lot to learn beyond just sneaking around in the shadows and claiming enemies in the darkness, but the game does a great job of easing a player into its systems, from the basic controls up through the advanced techniques, even in the alchemy and shop. Whenever you do something for the first time, a quick text tutorial pops up, which you may peruse at your leisure. These, once closed, are always available to be viewed again for clarification. In this way, Shinobido 2 becomes the kind of game that is not only good, but which a player wants to become good at playing.
Date: February 27, 2012