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We have collected 5 reviews of the Shinobido 2 : Revenge of Zen. Experts rate Shinobido 2 : Revenge of Zen 4.4/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Shinobido 2 : Revenge of Zen and PS Vita Games.
An enemy sentry stands guard in front of a keep. The night is cool and quiet, save for the footsteps he can hear approaching from the right. They seem to be getting closer, but as he stares straight ahead, he sees nothing and decides the coast is clear. The thump of feet landing on the bridge behind him? Probably that fat housecat he keeps seeing around. The boxes tumbling into him from behind? Likely just knocked over by the breeze. Only when he sees the knife protruding from his gut does he think, "Hey, maybe there's a ninja somewhere around here." Not every enemy in Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen is this oblivious, but many of them are. As you sneak, jog, sprint, and leap your way through this stealth action game, the rules governing the enemy AI quickly become obvious. They create the sense that you aren't sneaking up on a vigilant foe so much as you are exploiting a system of rules. This drains most encounters of excitement, and when you break into full-on combat, poorly tuned physics make for frustrating fights. Satisfaction from a well-stalked foe or a well-fought enemy rarely occurs, leaving Shinobido 2 with precious little to recommend it. The setting is feudal Japan, and you are a ninja.
It's been a while since we've seen a new game in the Tenchu series, which is kind of a shame. After all, this was the premiere series that literally put you in the shoes of a ninja, mastering everything about stealth and fancy weaponry while you executed some truly sick kills, all in the name of honor. Namco Bandai tries to fill this void with the release of Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen, a ninja simulation for the PlayStation Vita that attempts to copy Tenchu's formula for success, right down to the silent kills. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the fun got lost in the translation. First off, the original Shinobido never got released here in the United States, so why put a 2 behind this game? Calling it Shinobido: Revenge of Zen would've been suitable enough. But believe me, the name's the least of this game's worries. You play Zen, an assassin-for-hire who actually incorporates himself between numerous clans, who are stuck bickering with each other and have resulted to dirty tactics in an effort to try and take control of the land. You're really seeking out the murderer of your girlfriend, but in order to do this, you have to inexplicably move back and forth between clans, completing repetitive missions and sneaking up on guards who have the worst hearing known to man.
The small pocket of hardcore Shinbido fans will want my head for saying this, but the simple fact is that there are a lot of people out there who won't be able to get past the initial stages of Shinbido 2: Revenge of Zen. They'll simply lack the patience required to get used to the camera and controls. Good as the game is, it lacks that extra polish to sway regular gamers to its side. In a title where careful movements can be the difference between life and death, even the slightest, occasional lack of precision can and will be magnified. Those who manage to get past that inital hump and learn the system, however, will be met by a great stealth game found only on the Vita. Shinobido 2 is great as a portable, thanks to its mission structure. Players choose a mission from a list of possibilities, most of them being private contracts between Zen (as well as another playable character that comes along later) and a feudal lord. These usually take between two and ten minutes, and most often come with the goal of assassinating a special target or eliminating every enemy solider in a particular area. Other objectives may include kidnapping, prisoner rescue, protection, transport destruction, or delivery of a certain item, though these are less common than having Zen kill someone.
There's definitely something to be said for questing in a video game. You know, not getting wrapped up in a story and instead just taking quests to farm experience points and resources. But for that to be exciting, the gameplay has to be engaging and the rewards worthwhile. Neither of those things describe Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen, and that's why it fails. The sequel to a game that never came out in North America, Shinobido 2 casts us as Zen, a ninja with a sick Harry Potter-esque lightning bolt over his left eye. Zen's an assassin out for the truth about his girlfriend's death, but that story really isn't all that important. (Or at least I hope it isn't because it's poorly explained and terribly acted.) There are multiple clans in Shinobido 2, and they're all fighting one another. The way they do this is by hiring Zen to assassinate, kidnap, and steal from the other factions. Over and over. It's like you're the only ninja for hire in the area. You'll take a mission, kill a merchant who works for Ichijo's clan, and then Ichijo will hire you in the very next outing as if you didn't just screw him over. It's completely nonsensical, but your actions in each outing affect the relationships with each group, which is cool in concept but totally screwball when you think about it. All this plays out through some lackluster third-person stealth action.
Shinobido 2 is a sequel to a game that never actually released in America, but no real effort has been put forward to acclimate the player or catch them up on what they missed. You are Zen, a ninja who was left for dead by a girlfriend, or a sister, or a wife maybe? I'm not really sure, and ultimately, it's not that important. There is a personal story driving Zen to the end of the game, but there are also three warring daimyos (a Japanese warlord) that you can do odd jobs for. That part of the story is easier to grasp, and ends up being more interesting for a few reasons.You can do odd jobs for the three different daimyos, strengthening and weakening one against the other, or – and this is the best way to play the game – you can pick one daimyo and do jobs for them exclusively. This will garner the most rewards, and will create scenarios where the other warring daimyos will attempt to bribe or threaten you. To see this back and forth between the daimyos is the most interesting effect of your work, and gives you the feeling of creating tangible effects on the ongoing war.The actual work involves completing missions offered to you by the daimyos for experience and monetary rewards. The missions are all drawn from a series of templates. Wipe out all the soldiers here, find this item, kidnap this woman, etc.
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