The downside is, that the parry time needs to be rather accurate and quick. You can have so many things being thrown at you at the same time, and it's possible to parry them all, but you have to be thinking about parrying, jumping, throwing kunai and attacking all at the same time – it can be a bit demanding. There's nothing wrong with that though, and it's good that games are still being made that test the old reflexes, but modern gamers might find it a bit punishing unless you opt for the easier difficulty levels.
Aside from the core gameplay, there are also some platforming elements, which aren't so great and some on-rails sections which see you having to either move or arbitrarily block objects. They help to break up the action well, but they can become a bit cumbersome after a while, purely because they just go on for so long. It's a shame, but they do pay tribute to the older games, which had similar stages, but in a 2D format.
Ironically, these 3D side-stages are the ones that feel the most graphically inferior, yet they've clearly been designed to try and showcase the Nintendo 3DS. The 2D levels look great and suit the game, especially when there are a ton of different things going on. The stark contrast with the cutscenes may detract for some, but they do have a striking feel to them and they help to convey the tense scenes that are taking place.
In terms of the duration of the experience, there are plenty of levels and if you complete them all first time, they'll take you around 15-20 minutes each – but that's unlikely. Due to the whole time travel element, their style differs greatly as does the array of enemies you'll face. It's great to see and although it does get a bit wacky sometimes, it offers a nice amount of variety. We'll just forget about the annoying maze level that makes an unwelcome return.
Aside from the main story, the game has various accomplishments that you'll achieve as you play through the game and there are also some StreetPass challenges, which will test your ninja skills to the max.
Shinobi 3DS is a solid re-imagination for this franchise and it shows that older-styled games do still have a place on the big systems if developed correctly. Sure, there are still some annoyances thrown in there, like the unnecessarily long 3D on-rails levels, the annoying platforming elements and the return of the maze level. But there's plenty of good in there too. It's a challenging game, but in a good way and if you enjoyed the old Shinobi titles, you won't be disappointed.
|» Great to see the Shinobi franchise back.|
|» Does the franchise justice.|
|» Very strong core gameplay.|
|» 3D on-rails sections are rather boring.|
|» The maze level.|
|» Platforming can be a bit annoying.|