| Blood, Gore and Violence
| The Good
Graphics are amazing
Cutscenes are good
Lots of replayability
| The Bad
Excruciating and unforgiving gameplay
Too much work to be done
to unlock the NES games
Weapons don't carry over to another save after
beating the game
Ninja Gaiden. Just saying the name makes happy, and sometimes not so
happy, childhood memories pour through my head. The original trilogy,
like this game, starred master ninja in training, Ryu Hayabusa. They were
cult classics and were all released on the NES and re-released on the
SNES. Very hard, but very fun and rewarding games. After around 10 plus
years, we finally get a sequel, and believe me, the wait was worth it.
I've played tons of beat'em ups, and believe me, this is the best.
There's no other competition. Easily one of my top 5 favorite games of all
time. Well, on to the review.
In the game, you play as Ryu Hayabusa. On a training trip to a steroid
pumped master ninja's fortress, Murai, your village is attacked and
burned to ashes by a samurai named Doku and his small army. The reason
they attacked is to get the mighty Dark Dragon Sword which the Hayabusa
Clan protects, or used to protect, at least. After seeing his people be
wiped out and the sword stolen, Ryu vows revenge. The Vigoor Empire must
The controls are perfect. You have 2 buttons to attack (X for one and Y
for a stronger attack), B to use projectiles, A to jump, B+Y to use
Ninpo which is a magic attack, R to center the camera, and L to block.
The camera's very good, I think. There has only been one instance so
far when I haven't been able to center the camera and still have a good
angle, and that was during one boss fight. Overall, the controls are
perfect and the camera is slightly above average.
Let's get to the best part of the game: the gameplay. The game plays
like Devil May Cry mixed with Onimusha, or so I hear (never played
Onimusha, and didn't like DMC). The game consists of lots of fighting with
platforming and puzzle-solving in between just to give your hands a rest.
The puzzles are fairly easy, and the platforming is easy, too. To
platform, you can do things like wall running at angles or straight up,
jumping from walls to walls and making your way up by doing that, swinging
on branch-like objects, and other things. The puzzles and platforms are
generally pretty fun, I guess.
The fighting is the real meat and potatoes of the game. You'll start
out with a limited moveset with just your True Dragon Sword, a katana,
and some shurikens. As you progress through the game, you'll be able to
upgrade your sword and even obtain new weapons, which will range from 2
different kinds of nunchucka, a huge sword, a battle axe-type thing,
and more. You'll also get new secondary weapons like incendiary
shurikens, bow and arrows, and a windmill shuriken which is like a boomerang but
a shuriken instead.
To upgrade weapons, you'll have to get currency in the game by killing
enemies. You'll get different amounts of currency from each enemy to the
next and the amount also depends on how you kill them. If you kill them
with a charged essence attack or with attacks that consist of
high-hitting combos, you'll get more currency. You can also use the currency to
buy potions, maps, and other nifty items. To get weapons, you'll have
to find them scattered throughout levels. They aren't too hard to find,
but aren't too easy either. They're well worth the effort though.
The actual fighting in the game is flawless. It's so fun to link combos
together with shurikens or wall run around a room full of enemies to
ultimately slice one's head off and repeating the process. There's tons
of variety in the fighting and it's a lot more fun if you can memorize all
of the combos. There's nothing like slicing up one guy, throwing a
shuriken at the next to stall, and Izuna Dropping him to finish off the
room. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! The fighting's flawless.
The enemies are all well-designed, and each level usually introduces
another enemy. They'll range from ninjas, samurais, and military
commandos to zombies, red dinosaurs who look like Satan himself possessed them,
and other various goblins. The bosses are also designed well. They'll
range from demon samurais on horseback to huge dragon skeletons that
have been given new life. All of them are really different. The fun thing
about them is that they don't really have set patterns so they are
The levels are designed amazingly. They're very fun to search through
and contain puzzles and things to collect. They'll range from ninja
fortresses, the Hayabusa Clan village, and an old city to an underwater
level, a huge underground cave/cavern deal, and a lot more. There are 16
total chapters. Overall, they are all designed really well and most will
take at least an hour to complete, and that doesn't even count all of
the restarts and such.
The replayability in the game is almost endless. There are 2 costumes
to unlock, a new difficulty, the original trilogy to unlock, and 2 new
weapons. There are 16 levels in the game and they are all VERY long and
VERY hard. This game is one of the harder games I'd ever played, and
then again, it's one of the most fun and rewarding. There will also
be the Master Ninja Tournament which will act as a scoreboard kind of
and there is also downloadable content which will be like new weapons and
levels and such. With all of this said of the gameplay, my only
complaint is the fact that weapons won't carry over after you beat the game
and start a new save. That kind of irritates me, but I can get past it.
The graphics, as you should know already, are utterly amazing.
Everything from the lighting effects to the water to the environments are
breathtaking. This is probably the most beautiful console game released so
far. The animations, framerate, and design is utterly flawless. Eye
candy was one of Itagaki's top priorities, and his goal to make it as
beautiful as possible has been achieved.
The music in the game is pretty good. You'll have music that fits the
level like an oriental-type melody in the ninja fortress and stuff like
that. There is also kind of techno beats when the gameplay really heats
up and fights start breaking out. The voice acting is also really well
done, as is the sound effects. Overall, great sound and graphics.
To buy or to rent, you ask? To be quite honest, I think you should rent
this first just so you can see if you can stand the difficulty. If you
think you can, by all means, buy it first. It's a great buy. The main
game is 20+ hours on your first time through along with tons of extras
and stuff. This title will keep you occupied for a while. One of my
favorite games of all time and easily my favorite game on Xbox.