Every once in a while a console exclusive comes along that makes me want to drop a hot wad of cash on the console in question. This year it may be Shinobi for Nintendo 3DS, a nifty little ninja side-scrolling action title that really impressed me when I got to katana-swinging and kunai-tossing. It's just as I remember Shinobi; fast, stylish, versatile, and difficult as fuck! The first stage was your typical Shinobi fare, classic ninja treading through the burning pagoda and fighting off scores of other ninja. You only have around 10 or so kunai, so you have to be conservative with your throws. Either that, or blow them all on the double-jumping, screen-clearing spread-kunai shot, a staple from the days of Shinobi III, one of my favorite games ever.
After clearing that first stage, I was treated to a section on horseback, where you have to avoid incoming obstacles as well as fend off ninja assailants. There's no sugar coating it, I died a lot during this segment. Maybe it was a weird mixture of the three-quarter behind view coupled with my lack of 3D viewing experience. Or maybe it was because I suck. The point is, no matter how many times I died, I wanted to keep going at it, and pass the damned challenge. When you continually die and persevere as opposed to slamming the control down in frustration, you most likely have a decent game on your hands.
The mix of nostalgia, slick brush-stroke inspired art, and the healthy challenge has me thinking that Shinobi will end up being a bit better than decent. Now I must ask, does anyone have a 3DS they'd like to let me borrow?