Game: Ninja Gaiden 3
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Released: March 20th 2012
The most renowned ninja in the world is back in a story that felt like a blend of sporadic travel to save mankind from their own devices. The super ninja gets in touch with his human side while he does his level best to protect Mizuki and Kana throughout his journey. This journey takes a turn when his arm gets cursed with all the people that he killed including his forefathers actions of the Dragon Ninja clan. The L.O.A group is attempting to set a new world order by creating super beings using the ninja’s blood sample.
Ninja Gaiden 3 features many changes that are far from subtle. Weapons are no longer purchased but are given to you at different times on your journey. These weapons include the Scythe, Claws and other Katana blades. In previous titles you would be able to access the Muramasa shop to buy things but that isn’t available in this game. Ryu does have his shurikens and a prototype bow that possess unlimited ammo. Ryu can also climb now (Kunai Climb) and that involves him using the left and right triggers for his hands to get a closer experience to his actions.
Ryu’s slide technique allows him to escape from enemies and get through small gaps throughout the game. His Ultimate technique is fueled by his arm which gets activated after killing acertain amount of enemies. Once the move is available you can execute it by charging it up and Ryu will obliterate many enemies off your screen. Ryu’s Nimpo technique requires you to fill the bar under his healthbar and once activated he turns into a megadragon and destroys everyone on the screen refilling his health. To save your progress in Ninja Gaiden 3 you have to wait until you see the Falcon show up. This bird doesn’t show up when you need it but it is usually on time. I wish it was all the time though because there will be some boss battles where you wish the birdie was around soon than later.
When in game you’ll get a heads up when the enemies are coming because your HUD is only available when enemies are near. I like that feature because its keeps the full screen available to you most of the game. Triggering on your emotions enemies now talk quite a bit when you are fighting and seem to take longer to die. Some enemies drag across the floor if they are near death and you have to go finish them off.
The multiplayer allows you to battle with other ninjas in hack each other to death sessions. The pairing of teams is, as I have experienced it – an unbalanced experience. It is usually the hero or zero situations in the 3V3 matches that I have played. You get to upgrade your ninja, get different items and moves which is all great things. When you check it out just thing “Battle of the Ninjas” and you’ll know exactly how to approach the situation.
The score of the game is well done blending in music that fit well according the scenes of the game. Ninja Gaiden 3 is an emotional trigger and it does its level best to bring that across to the player and through the scenes.
Understanding that this title may have received some low grades I will say that the ratings where quite unfair. My only gripe if any was more weapon selections on top of the WEAPONS that I already had. I thoroughly enjoyed the title even and I welcomed the fact that it is the most streamlined Ninja Gaiden today. I do believe that give the player a choice to go or not go in a store to buy things requires more development time but I do enjoy a title that gives me infinite something to go through the game. Games that give points through campaigns for bonus unlocks are great and I believe things of that nature increase the value of the title hundredfold.
There is another thing that I was sort of upset about but I resolved it this way – whatever blade I have in my hand in any Ninja Gaiden game is a Dragon blade of sorts since I, the player am the Dragon Ninja.
Streamlining Ninja Gaiden 3 was a risk and for the cult following we will work with it. For the newcomers it will be fresh but the experience is incredible nonetheless.