Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Box Art(http://namcobandaigames.com/console/shinobido-2)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.   The ninja life is one filled with stealth, many weapons, quick movements, and much violence. Such is your life in Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen on Playstation Vita. It’s a stealth based action game, which requires both a lot of patience, as well as a lot of interest in the story to fully enjoy it. The game takes place in ancient Samurai times in the faraway land of Utakata, and allows you to play as the main character, Zen. Zen is a ninja warrior who was left to die by his so-called friends. There are 3 main leaders fighting this war, and you have to bring peace by making sure none of them gains too much power. You do this by assassinating key generals and other important characters of theirs. Assassination is definitely the name of the game, here.

Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Box ArtShinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Logo(http://namcobandaigames.com/console/shinobido-2) Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  The ninja life is one filled with stealth, many weapons, quick movements, and much violence. Such is your life in Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen on Playstation Vita. It’s a stealth based action game, which requires both a lot of patience, as well as a lot of interest in the story to fully enjoy it. The game takes place in ancient Samurai times in the faraway land of Utakata, and allows you to play as the main character, Zen. Zen is a ninja warrior who was left to die by his so-called friends. There are 3 main leaders fighting this war, and you have to bring peace by making sure none of them gains too much power. You do this by assassinating key generals and other important characters of theirs. Assassination is definitely the name of the game, here.



Graphics:
Shinobido 2 features some realistic looking ancient Asian architecture and outfits to complete its immersive atmosphere. The graphics themselves aren’t too bad, and manage to look pretty good on the Vita. However, this game doesn’t boast the full potential of the Vita though, and could have used a little more work. One pesky problem with Shinobido 2 is its camera. The camera will move itself when you crouch, or after you assassinate someone, but won’t move when you change directions. It is possible to change the camera with the right analog stick, but it would be nice to not have to constantly adjust the camera during the game.

Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot

Sounds:
The game’s soundtrack is quite nice, and provides, alternately, a very sneaky or soothing atmosphere to the game. It also has many instruments that sound like they are from ancient samurai culture. The sword slicing is very on point as well, and sounds just like it does in many samurai action movies. Many of the characters do not feature voice acting; instead there is written dialogue to describe each mission and its objectives. I think this is a good addition, because it allows you to take your time to understand the mission.

Gameplay:
Shinobido’s controls for the game itself aren’t too complicated to pick up on, but the way your character controls work is quite tricky to pick up on. Zen isn’t exactly the smoothest ninja around when it comes to his controls. It’s hard to keep him still, and he’ll bump into all sorts of things when he shouldn’t. Also, his jumping mechanics are outright goofy. They don’t feel very precise, and are overly-exaggerated compared to the realism of the game.

Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot

Innovation:
Shinobido 2 Revenge of Zen doesn’t add much to the stealth action genre, since it borrows many mechanics from other stealth games you’ve probably played. It does, however, offer a very immersive atmosphere, and one that is very unique to this game. You can read letters from various people affiliated with the battles, which will provide you with updates on the war and letters asking for your help. It’s a cool addition, but not for the mainstream gamer.

Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot Shinobido 2: Tales of the Ninja (PS Vita) Screenshot

Longevity:
Overall, Shinobido 2 Revenge of Zen is not for the casual gamer. It’s for those who are enthusiastic about the stealth style of gameplay, but who must also be tolerant about being sidetracked by the gameplay to get immersed into the game’s atmosphere. Also, the camera does make this game a bit of a chore to play, but not enough to totally ruin your experience, if you are a true ninja enthusiast. Shinobido 2 is not a bad game, but it doesn’t excel in areas it should. If you’re a fan of the genre, it may be worth a shot, but if not, you might want to stealthily stay away.

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