Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ninja Gaiden

Game: Ninja Gaiden Black

System: Xbox

Release: September 2005

Ninja Gaiden II is due out exclusively for the Xbox 360 in less then three days. This will soon provide me a new opportunity to pick up the various blades of Ryu Hyabusa and kick some major ass. Of course before there was a “II” there was a “I,” and this review will cover Ninja Gaiden: Black.

Ninja Gaiden is one of the premier Xbox original titles. The free downloadable content, gameplay, graphics, and sound created one of the most enthralling experiences in the action/adventure genre.

The vague and basic story revolves around Ryu Hyabusa. His clan is responsible for guarding the legendary Black Dragon Sword. Naturally this leads to someone stealing this plot device. The Great Fiend Doku raids Hyabusa’s village, and kills just about everyone in the process. Fortunately Ryu has an eagle companion that brings him back to life for a quest of revenge. Along the way he will run into well endowed females, monsters called fiends, and rival ninjas. Eventually he kills everyone in his path, says goodbye to the ladies, and goes off into the sunset.

Don’t let the story discourage you. The cut scenes are merely breaks to allow the application of ointments to soar joints. Players around the globe often complain about the difficulty of Ninja Gaiden. It is tough, hard, harsh, devastating, etc. Enemies swarm, attack, dodge, and counterattack your every move. Luckily the combat system is simplistic and deep. With the aide of nimpo magic, projectiles, and a handful of primary weapons players will kill there way through wave after wave of good times. Of course if you are unable to hang there is the Ninja Dog difficulty in Ninja Gaiden: Black.

NG:B has more features then the original NG. The game combines the original game, with the downloadable content released over the first two years of its release. There are also new villains, weapons, and missions. The missions are unlocked after defeating the game on Normal, and involve various challenges the range from reworked boss fights to vast swarms of particular enemies. These missions are also extremely difficult. Although I can beat the story mode on Hard, I have yet to unlock all of the missions after four years of owning the game.

Ninja Gaiden has only one major issue that is often vocalized immensely throughout the gaming community. This is the camera. The issue has been addressed, but I have to admit that at certain segments you will die because of the camera. Part of the game is learning how to anticipate attacks from off camera, and that doesn’t please the vast majority of critics. Despite this minor flaw, and a lack luster plot, NG:B gets a 5 out of 5.

Here is a video of someone who can actually beat those dam missions.

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