Shinobi Review
Shinobi Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Griptonite Games
Release: November 15, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Blood, Violence

For an even bigger test, you must make use of either the Play Coins or StreetPass feature of the 3DS. Passing other Shinobi vets in the streets or forking over your daily constitutional gained currency will unlock up to thirteen challenge maps that epitomize the word "frustration." While Jiro is blessed with several hit points during his campaign, a single hit will do him in on these challenge maps, and the slightest error will send you crying back to the start

There is also an in-game achievement list, most of which involve tracking down Bonus and Mastery Coins, which themselves unlock extra challenges. The achievements mainly grant access to supplementary content, such as video and music clips and concept art, but there are also alternate costumes and even cheats to apply.

Shinobi Screenshot

The graphics style has a sharp edge, but pairs well with the action comic book design. The colors are muted, mimicking the mood and intensity of Jiro's burden, but they tend to make the game's overall look feel faded and bland. The 3D effects add some depth to the backgrounds, giving stronger sense of the magnitude of the global struggle, but don't add much to the gameplay. Ultimately, they're better left turned off should you be trying for a high score, as losing that "sweet spot," even for just a second, can result in catastrophe.

The music starts off promising, especially the catchy title screen score, with a strong Asian theme accompanied by some techno beats. But the poles reverse as the game progresses, with the hard beats saturating the vibe after you've travelled to the future. It still fits wherever the story is trying to go, but just doesn't resonate when trying to feel for Jiro and his arduous task.


Shinobi is not a game for everyone, and it's definitely too much of a burden for Nintendo's regular audience. However, 3DS games requiring complete mastery of button skills and timing are few and far between, and will probably remain that way throughout the handheld's lifetime. This puts games like Shinobi in the small but respected pool which caters to the diehard fans and hardcore gamers. If this select audience can look past the shortcomings of the story and technical aspects, the gameplay challenge is one where dedication and persistence are rewarded with insanely high scores, worthy of true boasting rights.

By Sean Engemann
CCC Contributing Writer

The style is distinct and fits the series, but that doesn't mean it always looks good.
The controls are extremely tight, and they need to be considering the challenge level. The only levels that suffer are the non-platforming ones, where the controls feel a bit "heavy."
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
It's starts off good, but quickly becomes overbearing. The sound effects are okay, but nothing spectacular.
Play Value
If you like extreme challenges, this one is for you. All the extra content doesn't hurt the value either.
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Re-experience the classic gameplay of the original Shinobi titles, with a modern twist. Pattern-based enemies, twitch gameplay, and side-scrolling action all come together with an updated and unique visual 3D style, deeper combat, and all-new challenges.
  • Defeat enemies with skill and style as you switch between ranged, melee, and acrobatic attacks on the fly. And rely on your Ninja magic to get you out of tight spots and give you advantage during intense fights.
  • With a brand new combo system to master, a host of achievements to unlock, and challenge maps to complete, you will want to return again and again to better your score and ranking. Watch recorded replays to help find your weaknesses and perfect your Ninja skills.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge Shinobi Screenshot - click to enlarge

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