Were you one of the many people disappointed by the release of the original Ninja Gaiden 3? Of course you were, everybody and their mother hated that game. So, will this re –release help save the name and honour of our friendly neighbourhood Demon-Killing Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa? Let us find out shall we?
Right off the bat you will notice that the Brightness/Contrast is completely off, but is easily fixed by changing the screen settings in the options menu. What isn’t fixable in the options menu, are the sub-par graphics this game utilises. The graphics seem very out-dated, with Ninja Gaiden 2 looking better at times. The other thing you will notice pretty soon is the fact that the blood and gore has returned in Razor’s Edge. Dismemberment isn’t just part of finishing moves any longer. Now almost every swing of your Katana will be loping off heads, arms and other blood filled body parts.
Not only does Razor’s Edge includes all of the skills and weapons from the original game and DLC. But it also comes with a plethora of new content, characters and weapons. Whether it be kicking it old school and decimating enemies with your Katana or going at it with the Falcon Claws and feeling like a Ninja Wolverine, with 6 weapons to choose from, you will never run out of enjoyment dismembering your enemies. All of Ryu’s Ninpo, Feats and weapons are upgradable using karma points, taking away from the monotony of the old pressing-the-same-button-20 million-times-killing-millions-of-enemies-the-exact-same-way-each-and-every-time play style.
“Enemies have now been fed steroids and will kill you relentlessly.”
Anyone who has played the original Ninja Gaiden 3 will agree that the enemy AI was derpy at best. Razor’s Edge went and fixed that. The enemies have now been fed steroids and will kill you relentlessly. Get used to being ganged up upon, because the enemies now do their best to surround you and kill you. As awesome as your array of weapons are, they as well be foam bats when you aren’t given the chance to use them. Suicidal enemies have also been implemented back into the game. 2-3 of these bad boys and that’s GG. The bosses have also been revamped, not only have they been fed bucket loads of steroids, they have also been taking copious amounts of Viagra. So get them hemorrhoid pads ready, because these bosses have not come to play. The bosses were pretty easy in Ninja Gaiden 3, but have since then been given better AI and mechanics to trouble you for a good 30-60mins per boss. One thing that they did not fix is the Camera movement, bad camera movement has become somewhat of a signature of the Ninja Gaiden series. So expect battles to be equal parts fighting the camera and part fighting the enemies. Oh and a helicopters missiles somehow only hurt you and not any of the enemies for some odd reason.
Having played other spectral fighters such as Metal Gear Rising, I did not expect a lot from the story of Ninja Gaiden 3. That being said, when the story of the last game in the series involves having your whole family killed, your arm being possessed as the basis of the story is very mediocre. Having great fighting mechanics will only get you so far, once in a while you need good story points to carry the game on. This is where Ayane saves the day. Sporting her own set of missions, although she doesn’t exactly fix the story, her different play style and move set really helps to keep your attention and gives you a break from Ryu. Kasumi and Momiji also make an appearance as playable characters to use in the games 100 Co-Op missions.
Outside of the main game and its co-op missions are the Clan battles. Clan battles lets you use a generic unnamed ninja and play some team death match with up to 8 people. But good luck finding a game as there is hardly ever anybody online.
Razor’s Edge is definitely the Ninja Gaiden 3 we all wanted. With its 3 difficulty modes requiring you to be more of a masochist with each progression, and an unlockable challenge mode for all of you sickos out there, it brings back all of the rage and frustration we know and love that comes with a Ninja Gaiden title.
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Release Date: April 4th 2013 (PS3 – Reviewed. Xbox 360 & Wii U)