If you mention "Shinobi" to someone and see a shudder run down their spine, there's a very good reason for that. Oh, the original games on the Master System and Genesis/Mega Drive were hard, there's no doubt about that, but it was the return to the series on PS2 that makes even the most hardened gamer cringe. You see, main character Hotsuma wielded a cursed sword that forced him to keep killing enemies, or the sword started draining his health. While this certainly kept the action fast and furious, it also made it a very perilous, razor's-edge kind of game where you were constantly one step away from death all the time.
Thankfully, Shinobi 3DS doesn't look as taxing, but instead brings classic, balanced challenge--lots of enemies, just one of you--new leading man Jiro Musashi, who I hope is actually connected original series hero Joe Musashi, and lots of precision platforming and autoscrolling stages to keep things moving.
At about 1:57, the trailer started showing Challenge Maps--basically VR training missions to help you get better at the game. That's probably my favorite part of games like this, because I'm seriously still working on a few of the Challenges for Contra 4. All I know is that I'm more than ready for this to arrive on November 15.
Who else is looking forward to this? Anybody notice that Jiro has practically the same head protector as Hotsuma?