Sega's Shinobi series has had a rocky recent past, despite a stellar run in the '80s and early '90s. The Rolling Thunder-inspired arcade original, the Genesis launch title Revenge of Shinobi, and the ninja/canine buddy cop drama Shadow Dancer were all great games, and 1993's Shinobi III was one of the best games of the 16-bit generation.

After that, it all went to hell. Shinobi Legions on the Saturn introduced digitized graphics and full-motion video cutscenes. A pair of sequels on the PlayStation 2 subscribed to Ninja Gaiden's design philosophy, and were frustratingly difficult. And the less said about the portable spinoffs (Cyber Shinobi, oh god), the better.

Reaching into its back catalog of classic franchises -- I imagine after briefly considering yet another Golden Axe reboot, and not even remembering that Streets of Rage exists -- Sega announced plans to publish a new Shinobi game for the Nintendo 3DS in September.

Foundation 9 subsidiary Griptonite Games (developer of the well-regarded Nintendo DS version of Spyro: The Eternal Night, among other things) is handling development duties, which seems like a good fit. Better still, the game appears to be a 2D platformer, and sticks to traditions established by Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III -- the eight-way shuriken somersault is in, and there's even autoscrolling surfing and horseback riding sequences. It's all quite promising!