The Ninja Gaiden series has been widely renowned for its insanely difficult gameplay from its first two installments. The hard difficulty gave fans a rewarding experience and made those games even more memorable. With the release of Ninja Gaiden 3, does the third game in the series have what it takes to impress fans one more time? Does it manage to retain the challenging gameplay everyone is fond of?
Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Ninja Gaiden 3.
Compared to the visuals of the past two Ninja Gaiden games, Ninja Gaiden 3 is quite impressive. From the character design of Ryu, to the enemies and environments that you will have to go through, the noticeable improvements serve up some delicious eye-candy. Spanning through nine stages, Ninja Gaiden 3 takes you to different parts of the world such as London, Antartica and Tokyo. These locations showcase the phenomenal job that Team Ninja has done on the environments. The textures are solid and the frame rate is stable, regardless of the situation. Unlike any other game out there, no screen tearing was found during my playthrough and everything in the visual department seemed almost perfect.
More into Story
Fans of the previous Ninja Gaiden games, complained about how shallow the stories were. If you haven’t played Ninja Gaiden 1 or 2, both contained stories that are almost nonexistent and extremely forgettable. In Ninja Gaiden 3, Team Ninja listened and actually made a well-developed story that is sure to engage fans from beginning to end. The game starts off with the Japanese Self-Defense Force in the Hayabusa Village. Here they inform Ryu that a terrorist organization, called the Lord of Alchemy, has demanded his assistance to survive. While attempting to comply with the terrorist group, the story becomes even more complicated when Ryu acquires the curse of the Dragon Blade in his arm. Much more on Ryu’s persona and the mystery of the Dragon Blade will, once again, be the theme of Ninja Gaiden 3, but a new twist has been added. New characters will be introduced, which shape and add to the satisfying story.
The perfect formula for crafting a storyline that fans will love is having phenomenal voice acting and a soundtrack that reflects the current mood. In those aspects, Ninja Gaiden 3 does well with both and each perfectly helps out in every aspect of action, drama, and suspense that the game has to offer.
Fast & Solid Gameplay
Ninja Gaiden 3 has gameplay unlike the previous titles. Everything in Ninja Gaiden 3 has been revamped, but the good thing is that the solid action and intense combos are still intact. You’re no longer required to unlock skills via scrolls. Every technique from the previous two Ninja Gaiden games are unlocked from the very beginning. Simply perform the techniques you’re familiar with and you can execute those deadly combos, which look eye-pleasing by the way.
While the old techniques are back, there are new ones as well like Steel-Bone. Following the successful execution of a combo, the technique will then shift to Steel-Bone. During Steel-Bone, the camera will focus on Ryu and the enemy as he performs a devastating attack which will splatter blood everywhere and instantly kill the enemy. While the hack and slash aspect of Ninja Gaiden 3 seems repetitive, it is overshadowed by how well the rhythm synchronizes with the swordplay of Ryu.
Co-Op or Solo Ninja Trials
The addictive Ninja Trials from the previous two games are back in Ninja Gaiden 3. To coincide with the newly introduced mutliplayer portion of the game, you can now play the Ninja Trials with a friend. The main focus of the Ninja Trails are the same: survive waves of enemies at a certain location and earn karma. Those who wish to play with a friend can jump right in and help them out. In each difficulty bracket, there are ten stages which are heavily inspired by the single-player campaign. It’s best to play the campaign before attempting the Ninja Trials as there are new enemies, and it will take some time to learn their moves.