GAME: Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Developer: Tecmo koei
Release date: 5th April 2013
No spoilers Included in this review
Story: 8 /10
The City of London, dark and rainy.
Out of nowhere, a mysterious terrorist group appears and instigates an armed uprising.
After taking the Prime Minister, his family, and other high-ranking politicians hostage at the Prime Minister’s home, they issue a single demand.
“Bring Ryu Hayabusa.”
Ishigami and Mizuki, special officers in Japan’s Ministry of Defense, inform Ryu of these events, who then accompanies them to London.
After cutting a path through a relentless onslaught waged by the terrorists, Ryu finds himself face to face with their leader, the Regent of the Mask.
Following a ferocious battle, Ryu thought he had fatally wounded his opponent, only to find that his right arm had been cursed with the Grip of Murder: a seal powered by the grudges of all those Ryu has killed.
Left unchecked, the curse will eat away at Ryu’s arm, then continue until it has consumed his entire body and robbed him of his life.
With the curse weighing Ryu down and preventing him from fighting at his full strength, the Regent of the Mask declares war on the entire world.
Will Ryu die before he can stop the world from ending?
Feeling the weight of every life he has taken more heavily than ever, Ryu presses on to stop the terrorists’ evil plans.
Control feel: 7 /10
Previous Ninja Gaiden games have had focus on building up the combos and staying alive through careful moves. Razor’s edge changes this and sits more with the button bash hack and slash many believe it to be. Well now it is have they got it right? In a word no, with recent releases of DmC and Metal Gear we have had our fair share of hack and slash over the past few months and quite frankly this is no different. Quite disappointed really I was looking forward to some more “controlled” hack and slash but aside from end of level bosses it was actually better just to button bash.
Although the movement on screen was far superior to previous titles released this year, the screen is just about always where you want it and aside from the rockets being launched towards you from above enemies are within your field of vision.
Hayabusa also moves very freely within the screen alright sometimes too fast for my old eyes to keep up with but the blurred trail of his body helps me keep up somewhat. Overall in its genre this is the best so far this year
Graphics: 7 /10
I’m one for screen brightness so I can appreciate the world not have to squint in all the darkness but unfortunately the dark setting here lets it down. You can barely tell where Hayabusa is and as for detailed foe, yes they look great if you do get the chance to appreciate them strolling around and parading their uniforms, but as they are after your blood this is anything but common. Most of the time you don’t know who or what your slicing up and for the first couple of hours this is fine but as the foe diversifies and become more difficult knowing how to attack each enemy helps. Unfortunately even the surroundings are a let-down, in the heat of battle it’s nice but as you walk around the streets, buildings and scenery keep well clear of objects so as not to get disappointed by the pixelisation.
Cut scenes on the other hand look exactly as expected and on the whole do make up for some of the in game graphics.
Sound: 6 /10
Yeah sound, let me come back to this one after a few hours with the razors 5.1′s on because through the TV speakers its not even embedded on my memory, was I concentrating that hard whilst playing? Actually yeah I was but there really isn’t much of a track or effects to speak of things are happening so fast and the sound so frantic what there is cannot be appreciated. Overall okay but certainly nothing special.
Gameplay: 7 /10
After hours of gameplay I was more interested in seeing how many times I could hit the +100 combo rather than slicing up the enemy. To get the most out of the gameplay I suggest unlocking all your move sets as soon as possible and using then as early as possible otherwise you will just forget them and find it too late. Enemies do get progressively harder so your unlocks are vital to your progression, fancy pulling their head off, or firing your blades in a 360 degree circle then you had better get hacking now. This is just about the best part of the gameplay as most of the game is very much the same, certain enemies require a different approach but on the whole tap and slap that X button and occasionally Y and you will be left victorious.
Nice to see another game come with full compatibility for Smartglass and this is the first Xbox Players Smartglass review.
Ninja Gaiden’s Smartglass experience is actually very helpful, whilst during the heat of battle its little to no use due to the frantic nature of the game, after each stage you can check your stats and finds out how well you actually did. The stats are live and include your karma, max combo, max kill streak, steel on bone, obliteration technique, ultimate technique and ninpo kills. Great for checking back over your style.
Although more detail would be helpful such as the number of hits and hits taken, this would really improve your gameplay, but as a first effort it is certainly acceptable.
Another nice addition is live stats for your achievements, great to see how far from the 1000 kill achievements you are. Also holds your max combo until your reach the 100 and others.
This does really drive your achievements and makes you more involved with the game.
On the next page you can track your day status, find out how many attempts it has taken you, death rate as well as view some useful you tube videos (not sure why the first video has so many hits lol)
All in all whilst not vital it does support the game as Smartglass should and gives you some nice info you would otherwise have not known about.
In its genre this year Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge tops the rest but still lacks the edge Tecmo were trying to give it. Yes they have shown how consoles have come along and how faster moves and graphical textures can be done but gameplay is king and this lacks where it counts.
Nice features do help keep Ninja gaiden above the rest but I fear hardcore fans of the series will be much like the Metal gear fans and disappointed with the shift in direction. Whilst it looks nice and feels superior to its competition your local Game store will most likely be stocked with pre-owned soon.