Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Review
It's harder and more varied than its original release, but Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge doesn't reach the greatness of its forebears.
- Bloody, dramatic swordplay is a blast to watch
- Certain battles and boss fights test your skill in entertaining ways
- Additional weapons and Ayane chapters provide variety.
- The controls can't always keep up with the action
- Frustrating fluctuations of difficulty levels
- Story falls flat.
Ninja Gaiden 3 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was met with a large chorus of disappointed cries. Clearly, developer Team Ninja heard and considered the negative feedback that players flung in its direction like the blades of a thousand and one katanas, and thus crafted a retooled, more difficult edition of its brutal action game. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge has more faith in you than did its original iteration, challenging you to prove your worth rather than mindlessly slice your way through hordes of foul-mouthed ninjas. There are other improvements and additions too, all of which sound good on paper. But making Razor's Edge substantially harder did not make it substantially better.
In many ways, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge resembles its blade-heavy forebears, with series hero Ryu Hayabusa eviscerating ninjas and dodging about at an alarming rate--and with alarming amounts of viscera--as accompaniment to your frantic button presses. With some assassinations comes a cinematic animation in which the camera swoops in close as Ryu slashes and chops, though they are fewer in number this time around, which keeps the pace flowing better. Every so often, you can hold a single button, and Ryu slices and dices through a number of foes, though you can't rely on this mechanic to do too much of the work for you: you have to earn your victories.
Indeed, Razor's Edge is quite hard at certain points. While you started the original release with a full repertoire of moves, here you begin with a scant list of attacks and purchase new combos and upgrades once you have earned enough karma through battle. You earn new weapons and magical ninpo attacks too, which is a great relief considering how the original Ninja Gaiden 3 limited you to a single blade and a single ninpo. Now, you can cut into bad guys with a giant scythe, voracious talons, or dual katanas, each of which subtly varies the tempo of combat in satisfying ways, and features its own gory animations.
The increased challenge also comes in more traditional ways: enemies do more damage and you do less, and certain new enemies, such as throngs of speedy demon-creatures, threaten to overwhelm you by sheer numbers. But while the challenge is welcome, Team Ninja didn't balance it out by tightening the controls--and all too often relies on the projectile-spewing enemies that plagued Ninja Gaiden II. It simply isn't fun to have rockets flying at you from multiple directions in a melee combat game, particularly when they interrupt animations and knock you down. More importantly, there are excruciating moments when Ryu simply doesn't want to perform the necessary action, even though the animation for his previous move is clearly finished. This was a noticeable foible before, but given how easy Ninja Gaiden 3 was, it was more a nuisance than a liability. Now, Razor's Edge requires precision, but doesn't give you the tools to be precise.
The Wii U control pad doesn't prove a great asset to Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge--nor does it present a great liability. Given the mashy nature of combat, the sticks and buttons allow you to keep pace as well as a traditional controller. As for the touchpad, the ability to select weapons from the screen rather than pull up a separate menu is a handy touch, though otherwise, any action you can perform on that screen (ninpo attacks, for instance, or ninja sense, which shows you where to head next) is more efficiently performed using buttons.
Along with standard encounters, the boss battles have been intensified, in some cases exponentially, though the original release's recurring boss still manages to be a tedious one. At least most of these battles test your wits in this iteration, with additional attacks and vast amounts of health lost when big baddies like a hulking metallic dinosaur get a swipe in. But while many of these encounters require more focus than before, the challenge was not evenly applied. The god prototype requires many minutes of patient slashing and dodging that you will likely repeat a number of times--yet you'll probably triumph in the larger-than-life Obaba battle in a single go. Your biggest enemy when it comes to bosses is not the battle itself, but rather your health bar: your maximum health diminishes over time as you take damage. There's a good chance you might enter a boss battle with your health bar a fraction of its full length--and there it shall remain even when you restart the battle.
Don't get it... What I see on the video is the opposite of that "It's not the fast paced and intense game you are waiting for".
It looks quite intense. The control must be pretty screwed up for GS to say that. Maybe they will touch it a bit on PS3 and 360.
I'd give it an 8.5. Why? Nintendo published an M rated game & I respect them for doing that. That and IGN gave it a 7.6 so chill out.
Definitely an improvement over the original release. Makes me wish they'd re-release it for the 360/PS3. NG3: Black or somesuch. Whatever the case may be, this at least looks like a return to the more hardcore, skill-based combat of the first two number titles in the series.
Now that's funny, because I feel this is a pretty good game overall, definitely deserves at least an 8 in my books. Much, much better than the original version from what I heard. Not even going to bother getting the original version to compare either, as I heard it was truly a broken game.
I find it a bit ludicrous how games released on the Wii u for the launch seem to be getting low scores. I wasn't expecting much looking at their launching titles, the only games that somewhat seemed to be good were Zombie and Mario. I'm still waiting for the Wii U to show me its potential to have GOOD games that are not for kids before I drop 500$ on this.
@xolivierx Well stuff like this generally happens with most consoles or updates. The first Kinect games for the xbox got mediocre or low scores. The first 3DS games got low scores, first playstation move games got mediocre scores. It's natural. But yeah the Wii U needs show some quality games that aren't ports.
6.0 is exactly what this port deserves. They can try to copy Itagaki's NG2 all they want, at the end of the day it's still NG3.1. Tecmo really screwed up by letting Itagaki leave, Hayashi can't take this series forward.
NG2 wasn't even that good though. It was a laggy cluster**** at times. NGS2 was better. With that said, I do miss Itagaki and don't have that much faith in Hayashi.
@istuffedsunny do you honestly believe this guy? it comes with more unlockables, boss fights, and FREE DLC! plus the framerate is better and you can upgrade weapons
@istuffedsunny Perfect Dark, FF, RE and now NG...it...breaks...my Heart ;(
I really like the game, I'd give it a 7.5 or 8.0. My only complaints would be the frame rate and the gamepad
All remember our childhood where ninja and zombie games were awesome? like Tenchu, onimusha, Resident evil.
1st of all why They ported this Ninja for wii u, it had Bad reputation and Crappy ninja will make it more bad. as for Ninja gaiden Really they need to fix things a lot :D
@Nexozable Download / get NG Black instead. You can thank me later.
@H4num4n I've already got Sigma on my PS3. And Sigma 2.
I think I'm good. :D
Sigma 1 is not any easier than black, it just has more save points and shops, so it is just more convenient for the player. The action is just as difficult. Also, on master ninja mode it is actually harder beacuse you start out the first chapter with only the dragon sword, and the second rachel mission is infuriating.
@Nexozable Good to know in case my next console isn't from MS:)
@H4num4n Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma is a lot easier but I'm not sure about Sigma 1, I keep getting my ass kicked. xD
I don't know why they thought they needed to "humanize" Ryu, it's not like he's ever been a bad guy. He's the good guy who kills bad guys, and he even generally ends up saving people who he's capable of saving (they usually have massive boobs too).
He's nothing like Kratos, who just murders everyone around him pointlessly.
They could've done so much more with the "possessed arm" concept than this stupid crap. Like make the main story be that Ryu's inner demon is attempting to take over his body, and has begun manifesting itself in his arm. Throughout the game, the arm sometimes temporarily handicaps you in various ways that require you to change your playstyle in order to survive. It'd also be really cool for Ryu to have to occasionally do this 1v1 fights (taking place inside his head) with his inner demon as it tries to take over his body or something.
I'm not even a creative writer and I just made up something more interesting for both story, and gameplay.
I personally thought NG3 showed a little bit more of Ryu's human side; like an actual person you could actually relate to(somewhat at least). It made him more likable to me personally.
How Ninja Gaiden III was received here reminds me of Greg Mueller's reception of True Crime: New York City.
Hmm little disappointed. Seem like Team Ninja is still trying to figure out several thing after Tomonobu Itagaki left. Never thought that perv had a big influence on the game that the team had created really.
@Rivboets7 To be fair Ninja Gaiden 3 was a bad game when it was released on the 360 and PS3 in the first place, but I agree, some of these reviews for the WII U titles haven't really been that great. The 3rd support at least.
@Rivboets7 Uh... NSMBU and Nintendo Land, much? There are still several other games that need to be reviewed.
@Rivboets7 lol this was a crap game long before it came to Wii U
@Rivboets7 Not at all! And this particular game, while not great, got a higher score on WiiU than on Xbox and PS3.
@alenth Might give it a go as it returns to most of it's roots with multiple weapons, so I won't be bored doing the same exact combo with the same lame sword for the 9000th time, which is what it felt like on 360. Used to the difficulty spikes as all NG games tend to go bonkers at the weirdest of moments, or you ran into a Boss that seemed to not want to be defeated no matter how hard you fought. Only thing that was ACE in NG3 was the ninpo, it actually did something useful like instantly killing any enemies it came into contact with...in the other games ninpo was just used to make yourself invincible so you could avoid an unblockable move or otherwise.
@SavageEvil Ninpo was perfectly balanced in the older games imo. Not to strong but still kiling standard enemys, invincibility for a short time for strategic use and even moderate damage on most bosses. Now it's just a smart bomb to obliterate everithing on screen? L.A.M.E.
@SavageEvil @H4num4n I dare you to say something bad about my awesome ninja magic moves. Without them evil spirit doku would still turn big breasted women into...well...big breasted demon women. Also there are a few spots in NG2 where i really needed it in certain boss fights. But yes, ninpo is cheap and if a few bosses weren't so cheap we really wouldn't need it at all. The shurikens are good for keeping combos up. To bad i will never see how that all turned out in NG3. It still baffles me to read something like: "The controls can't always keep up with the action" related to a NG game. Oh Team Ninja, how could you:(
@H4num4n That's the reason it's there, to take out those annoying flies when things get dire, like those save up that smart bomb and use it when things get really hairy. Doubt it will get much use in the Wii U version because of having multiple weapons that have greater range and deadlier attacks ahh, the fun of it all. In fact I rarely used ninpo in the other NG games, because it was that damn lame, flying swallow worked for most every character, just jump and attack then counter if you get blocked. WTF is the point of being a super ninja and having lame magic moves to back you up? It's just like his infinite shurikens, just annoyances to slow only the weakest of enemies, useless on stronger opponents. That ninpo doesn't really work on the bosses though, as they are usually too damn big does a nice bit of damage but still relegated to death avoidance. Still balanced I say, since it's only used sparingly. These new weapons will see the most use, especially that scythe oh yes. Hope the upgrade system is still in there, did Unlabored Flawlessness make the cut?
- Player Reviews: 9
- Game Universe:
- Ninja Gaiden (ARC, GG, LYNX, NES, SMS, TG16, GEN),
- Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES),
- Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (LYNX, NES),
- Ninja Gaiden 3 (PS3, X360),
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus (PS3, VITA),
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus (PS3, VITA),
- Ninja Gaiden II (X360),
- Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (DS),
- Ninja Gaiden Black (XBOX),
- Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (SNES)
- Number of Players: