Ninja Gaiden was one of those games that made a huge splash upon its return back in 2004 for the original Xbox. It’s been 7 years and we are taking a look at the third with a new direction and director at its helm. LVLONE got a chance to get hands on with the game at E3 2011 and we’re surprised to find out that some things have changed.
One of the biggest things to note about this is that it is not a sequel to Ninja Gaiden II, it is a new story with some new mechanics to boot. Now I’ve always been a fan of the franchise and could not wait to see what Team Ninja was going to come up with next but as a seasoned player it felt like diving into a new game of sorts? While we didn’t know much about what was going on, we do know that his energy and crazy moves come from the blood/curse that surrounds his right arm.
What the arm allowed us to do was these hard stab techniques that feel like they came out of anime films like Ninja Scroll. Massive amounts of blood spewing from these hard stab then slice moves. We’ve noticed that some of the moves we’ve grown to love are gone like the roll which has been replaced with a slide. The slide is not a big difference as it does nearly the same thing but can possibly be used as an intro to engage enemies with your moves. The other is the Flying Swallow which allowed you to engage multiple enemies, staggering them so they don’t overwhelm you. It took some time to get used to but it came together.
The game is looking good and while some might not like the fast to slow style from the new cut-through-enemies mechanic I actually thought they looked really slick. One thing I didn’t understand was the lack of dismemberment. Throughout the entire demo I was nearly cutting people in half but nothing was flying off, not even heads. While it would seem minor, it was one of the things that made Ninja Gaiden a bad ass.
The game seems to be coming along ok. There is some work and tweaks it can use but graphically has been bumped up a bit. Team Ninja has some time before the games release so promise is definitely something I see here, dismember in the final build? I certainly hope so.