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Release Date: February 21st, 2012 Movie Release Year: 2012

Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen

Overview -

'Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen' is a title developed by the folks at Acquire, who you may know from the 'Samurai Warrior' series or from the incredibly cool and underappreciated PSP game 'What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?' More likely though, you know them from the revolutionary stealth-action title 'Tenchu,' which was released back in 1998.

'Shinobido 2' is the sequel to an underwhelming PS2 game that was criticized for having a poor control system and a lack of gameplay variety. Sadly, this game is true to its predecessor.

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
PSN Price: $34.99
Video Resolution/Codec:
Audio Formats:
Release Date:
February 21st, 2012

Video Review


I received my 'Shinobido 2' review copy on the same day that I bought my Vita and it was the first game I played on the new system. Not long after starting the game, the buyer's remorse started to set in. I came to the conclusion that I had made a big mistake on the Vita and that the graphical improvements weren't all they were cracked up to be - that the actual fidelity wasn't much better than the PSP. Then I put in 'Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3' and all that remorse went away. As it turns out, 'Shinobido' is just a bad looking game.

It would be untrue to say that the game has PSP or PS2 level graphics and unfair to say that everything in the game is awful looking. The model for the main character is nice and detailed, but that's about where it ends. Not everything else is bad, but nothing else stands out as good.

This is the sort of thing that goes to show that adding extra polygons and a higher resolution doesn't actually improve the look of a game. Characters are bland and lack personality, levels are flat in terms of color and the whole design just comes off as boring. Of course, the constant repetition of the same locations and limited amount of places to explore helps ruin things too.

Audio Review


There really isn't much to say about the music in 'Shinobido.' It's not bad, nor is it good. It's just serviceable. There's one song that plays during every single mission and it sounds like it's picked from a "Best of Generic Samurai Music" CD. The lack of additional background tracks is frustrating, but thanks to the voice acting, it soon stops mattering.

There are some games that I play with the audio off simply because I don't need it to be on. When playing 'World of Warcraft' for example, I put on a podcast or audiobook because the sound isn't essential for the gameplay. When I play 'League of Legends' I kill the music and put on some Blind Guardian to get me ramped up. It doesn't mean the audio in these games is bad, just that I don't need it to be there.

With 'Shinobido' I opted for silence when I had no other options handy. The repetitive music is a bit irritating but the voice acting makes me cringe. It comes out of nowhere much of the time, and doesn't fit the action on screen. The written dialogue and performance of character taunts, deaths and the strange introspective self-narration just takes me out of the experience.

There's no getting around it, 'Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen' is a bad game. It fails in essentially every way a game can fail, leaving players to try and suffer through the subpar mess that Acquire managed to squeeze out in time for launch. If you want some ninja in your life, grab 'Ninja Gaiden' instead. You'll be glad you did.