Welcome to PS2 Review Week! Each day of this week I’ll be reviewing an old PS2 game I love and still play, focusing on the slightly lesser known or lesser played games and franchises (so no, even though I loved Final Fantasy, you won’t find reviews of it here).

For day 5 we have Shinobi! And for once it’s not set in feudal Japan.

“Once again taking the role of a sort of ninja, Shinobi follows Hotsuma as he makes his way through the Golden Palace, a mysterious place that appeared in Tokyo after suffered a massive earthquake, bringing with in a dangerous and evil sorcerer intent of bringing Hell to earth”

The game is quite hack and slash, making you go through eight levels of insanity with a horrible sense of urgency thanks to the sword your character wields: Akujiki, a demon sword that feeds off the souls of fallen enemies.

If you fail to keep the sword fed with enemy’s souls, then it will start feeding off your own. The real kicker? The gave has no real checkpoints. Good luck! You have a couple other weapons besides the sword as well, but that is your main one.

“Like any good ninja, Hotsuma is able to make amazing jumps and can run quite fast. The speed at which you move through the game makes it quite dizzying – in a good way”

You always feel like you’re making a lot of progress, even if you aren’t. Despite the hack-and-slash nature of the battle system, the rest is essentially a 3D platformer game. Trust me when I say you will be doing a lot of jumping, wall climbing, and general parkouring in between places, and that you will fail and fall more times than you’d like to.

“The graphics are quite interesting, the design of the ninja with his mask makes it quite creepy, and there’s something about his red scarf that I just love”

The music, traditional mixed with modern, upbeat themes, fits the whole sense of urgency the game has too.

While normally I don’t go for such games that make you repeat entire areas whenever you fail, the speed at which this game makes you move makes everything feel very fluid, and you will soon be at the point of your original fail in no time at all, even if re-slaying all those groups of enemies can turn quite annoying if you fail often.

Still, it’s a game I would greatly recommend even to more casual players.