I haven’t played this on the 360 for some odd reason, but I decided to give this mildly enhanced port a try. So because of that, I can’t exactly tell the differences from the 360 version. So I’ll be talking about the experience itself instead of just the port. So let’s go at it!
I don’t really have much to complain about here. It displays in a nice 1080p resolution, the characters look really good with nicely detailed modeled with overall pretty good textures. The enemy design is kinda lame. Not that they look bad(other than the werewolves, they look pretty horrible), but they just look incredibly generic. Boring demons, boring dogs, boring ninjas with guns… I don’t know, the cast of enemies wasn’t interesting to look at. The environments look okay too, nicely detailed, but I found they were really bland. Overall though, the game looks really good.
The sound is okay. Normal sword slash sounds, normal shuriken sounds, normal explosion sounds. Nothing really special here. It sounds good, but not great. The voice acting is the low point of the sounds though. In cutscenes, the voice actors couldn’t sound and LESS involved with their characters. Their voices are bland and emotionless. It doesn’t help that the script sucks either. Can I be totally honest here? I have no idea what’s going on. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the text between chapters, but the cutscenes are a big jumble of nonsense and random. I know there’s something about an Archfiend coming back to the world because of some girl trying to summon him back or something, and Ryu going around beating up Greater Fiends and… That’s seriously all I can make of it. The dialogue is crappy, the writing is subpar and it just makes no sense. Nor is it trying to I think… The characters are boring as well, and the bad voice acting doesn’t help at all. I could really not get into the story here… if there is one…
The basic gameplay hasn’t changed since the first Ninja Gaiden (the new series). The fighting is the most important part in the game. You can do normal slashes, stronger slashes, throw shuriken, aim and shoot other long-range weapons, and, using a combination of normal and strong attacks, you can do different combos. For defensive measures, you can jump, block and do short dashes. Adding attacks to jumps while pressing different directions can do different attacks as well. Pressing Circle and Triangle at the same time will use 1 Ki and the currently equipped spell will launch. Some require you to target in front of you, others will attack all around you. There’s a bunch of different spells you can use, each with different effects, and there’s quite a few weapons you can use, which have different uses and combos, so you can play different styles using different weapons.
An interesting aspect is the upgrading. By visiting stores, sometimes you’ll be given to option of upgrading on weapon, and eventually you’ll be able to upgrade them a second time to master them. Upgrading them can make them more powerful, and sometimes gives you new combos. Magic also has an upgrading element. By finding certain jewels, you can level up any of your spells, up to level 3. Leveling them makes them stronger, but can also change the way they work.
The platforming is also pretty good. It’s simplistic, but it works nicely. The jump button can make you swing around poles, (of course) jump, wall run, jump from wall to wall to higher areas… It’s not the best 3D platforming ever, but it’s at least functionnal, and a BIT less linear than some other 3D platforming. The controls are a bit too loose sometimes, but overall they work well. I guess I could mention the 3 extra playable characters, but they play just like Ryu with different weapons and a unique spell each. They pretty much add nothing to the game play.
I have 1 complaint here: the overall difficulty of the game. Frankly, this is the easiest Ninja Gaiden game yet. Normal enemies are really weak except when they’re in a group. The stronger versions are a bit too tough for nothing, but the big problem is that killing enemies is really easy. Randomly slashing at groupds of enemies is the best way to go, since they can be dismembered. What does that do? Well, technically it makes them more annoying, but it gives you a chance to instantly kill them with one hit. Landing a strong attack on a dismembered enemy goes in a scripted kill animation. It always works and you’re invincible during that animation. That makes normal battles really easy.
There’s a huge abundance of healing weapons as well. You can just make sure to use items at the right time and you can pretty much never die. You can find tons of items in the stages, and using essence, which you get from killing enemies, you can buy more in stores. And this time there’s no need to buy ammo for weapons and such, so you can use all your money for healing items. You’ll never die, really. Maybe in the higher difficulty levels where the enemies will do more damage and have more health, but in normal mode you pretty much can’t die.
The enemies are another problem. Instead of being tough or challenging, they’re annoying. The only way they might kill you is if the game uses the crappy camera system to hide enemies with rocket launchers from you. That’s just stupid, of course, and impossible to avoid. And the game just throws horde after horde of enemies in hopes of defeating you. It replaces actual challenge with annoyance, which is never a good thing. And they’re relentless, but to the point where they’re not even fun to fight. They’re never hard though, just really annoying.
The bosses are also really disappointing. Knowing when to avoid their attacks is really easy, and of course the number of healing items you have at all times makes it near impossible to die. The fights I did like was against the really big enemies. They felt really epic and were actually quite fun. What annoyed me is that about 1 tenth of the life bar is fully used for the final hit you’ll inflict on the boss, which will go into an animation for the kill. It actually feels like they added a QTE at the end of each boss fight, but they forgot to actually add the button presses to those segments. It’s a pretty good game, but it’s really easy in comparison to any revious Ninja Gaiden game. The “one-hit kill” mechanic is just stupid, the abundance of healing items make you near impossible to kill, and the fact that you’re constantly getting healing in some way just makes it that much more impossible to die. Even bosses are a walk in the park with their super-easy patterns… or the fact that you can just button-mash and use healing items against most of them…
I don’t know exactly what the changes are, but I know a few. 3 new playable characters, each with a chapter in the story mode. This can give some value for people who have already played the first game. The other highly publicized feature was boob kiggling…. and it sucks a lot. It’s imprecise and… well… completely stupid. The overall gameplay is fun enough, the fighting system, while not one that REALLY interests me, is quite good and requires good skill to play properly. Not much more to say here. Great game, especially if you were a fan of the previous game (any of the million versions of it).
Many Thanks to our friends at thesaveppoints.com for this great review and especially to the author: Jobocan
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
Fighting system is great if you take the time to learn it properly, Overall fun gameplay, with some variety, It looks pretty good
Pretty easy, Bad camera, The platforming segments are a bit lame, Story in unsatisfactory, Jiggling boobs mechanic sucks, Frequent and very slow loading times
Not the best action game out there, but it’s definitely not bad.