Distributed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Overworks
Platform: PlayStation 2
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
always a nerve-wracking wait when a classic 2D game makes the transformation
to a 3D one. What will be lost? What if it plays like a different
game? These are all valid questions and looking back at some of
the games that have gone from 2D to 3D it's not hard to think of
those games that simply lost their magic because the game wasn't
suited to the transition. Shinobi, which originally began life as
a side scrolling fighter in the arcades in the late 1980's, is the
latest title to be converted to a 3D world. Let's have a look and
see if it's transition has been a successful one.
game begins with Tokyo under attack from creatures known as Hellspawn.
These creatures are being sent out by a sorcerer who seems intent
on destroying the city, at least that's how it first appears. It
soon becomes obvious that he has launched this attack to lure you,
Hotsuma, to the city and that's exactly what happens as you take
is essentially a hack 'n' slash with a degree of platforming elements.
The nature of the game's world might have moved from 2D to 3D but
many of the series elements have remained intact. The game is all
about combat with what seems like attack after incessant attack.
Hotsuma can stealth dash, throw projectiles, sword slash and jump.
He can also lock on to targets too, but this is only really necessary
in boss fights. The combat is straightforward to learn but very
soon it becomes obvious that this is one of the most difficult games
in recent times. It would be fair to say that the difficulty level
has been pitched to that of the experienced gamer rather than the
Shinobi looks good it would be right to say that it doesn't come
anywhere near to pushing the PlayStation 2 to it's limits. The polygon
count would appear to be fairly conservative and whilst the pleasing
side effect of this is that the framerate is superb (a 60Hz mode
is available) there is obviously plenty of headroom for graphical
improvement without the framerate being troubled. There are some
nice graphical effects in the game though. The stealth dash moves
Hotsuma instantly forward about 15 yards and for a time you see
two Hotsumas connected by a pale blue blur, very impressive indeed.
The character animations are also impressive and when your character
is almost constantly fighting it's always a plus to be able to enjoy
the combat animations. The camera generally behaved itself but you
can control it by using the right analogue stick should you experience
any trouble with it.
can be enabled so there is no reason why deaf gamers can't enjoy
Shinobi, cutscenes and all. The text is suitably large and easy
to read. There isn't really anything in the game that would cause
any problems for a deaf gamer.
my opinion Shinobi has survived the transition to 3D quite successfully.
I think what some casual gamers might have trouble with though is
the repetitive nature of the game as it's almost constant combat.
It's not long before the game becomes very difficult too, which
will be a godsend to the hardcore gamer who finds most games too
easy but for the casual gamer it will be a hard lesson in how games
used to be. What goes in Shinobi's favour though is that it has
style in abundance and despite struggling like heck with it in places
I kept coming back for more and that's got to speak volumes for
Game Rating: 8.0/10
may have moved to the realm of 3D but Shinobi still manages to entertain.
The difficulty is definitely pitched at the hardcore gamer though.
No real problems for deaf gamers.