Shinobido: Way of the Ninja

Shinobido: Way of the Ninja

Shinobido: Way of the Ninja

Tenchu's slightly cleverer brother-in-law.

At first glance, Shinobido is to Tenchu what Saint's Row is to Grand Theft Auto. If you ask Volition, GTA is a genre, and Saint's Row is a game in it. If you ask me, that's nonsense - but you can understand why they'd want to make the argument. GTA is a wonderful template with room for improvement. Tenchu, you're expecting me to say, is not.

Well, there are two things wrong with all of that. First, Tenchu, which gets 7/10 on a good day even though it hasn't had any lately, is actually a lacklustre game with tons of room for improvement. Second, the team stepping in to try and make this point is Acquire, and since Acquire did the last decent Tenchu anyway (the current crop is in the inconsistent hands of fellow Japanese From Software), you can't really blame the team for making a game a lot like it.

Shinobido takes what Tenchu was doing and builds on it. It maintains the thrill of the hunt - the thing that's always carried Tenchu along in my affection - with plenty of room for skulking across rooftops, luring guards away from the herd with tasty treats and unexplained noises, and then slaughtering them out of sight. Stalking and misdirecting your way to perfect, invisible executions was always satisfying sport, and Shinobido gets this quite right.

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