Ninja Gaiden 3 Review - The Verdict Review

Sections


And if all you want is a thrill ride, then Ninja Gaiden 3
does have its moments. Boss battles against a massive spider-tank, a flouncing,
mask-wielding weirdo, an attack chopper and a massive cyber-dinosaur are
well-staged and enjoyable, and it’s possible to forgive an over-reliance on
quick-time-events when the effects are so grisly or impressive on the screen. The
graphics have their bad points, with many characters suffering from a dated,
plastic look, but the rich scenery and scale of the spectacle more than make
up. As much as hardcore Ninja Gaiden fans don’t want to hear it, Ninja Gaiden 3
can be an entertaining game – as long as you’re prepared to enjoy it in small
doses.

Ninja Gaiden 3

You see, the problem is that there’s not an awful lot of
variety here. The lack of alternative weapons doesn’t help, and nor does the
fact that Ryu’s special attack count has been reduced down to two: one big
dragon attack that clears the area and heals, and one that sees you stringing
together some high-damage attacks for a limited time. There aren’t enough
different types of enemies requiring different types of strategy, and when more
difficult foes do turn up, like the creepy robed sorcerers and rampaging
mutants that turn up mid-way through the game, they’re more annoying than
actually challenging.

Ninja Gaiden 3

In the end, Ninja Gaiden 3 is a bit of a one-trick pony, and
the only sure way it knows to make things harder is to overwhelm you with
masses of enemies, some bearing ranged weapons, or up the toughness of those
enemies to give them more chance of wearing you down. The combat system is an
issue, but what really holds Ninja Gaiden 3 back is that, after God of War and
Bayonetta, it’s simply not inventive enough. Team Ninja should really have done
something about the vocal samples during combat, too. Once you’ve heard “Get
ready for the main course”, “Goddamn that Ninja” and other variations a few
thousand times, it really does begin to grate on your nerves.


The storyline, meanwhile, is the worst of any Ninja Gaiden
yet – a challenge when that of the second game was so incoherent that you ended
up just trying to ignore the plot. It’s obviously meant to explore the dark
side of the Ninja lifestyle and what it means to be the kind of guy who kills
20 people before breakfast, but it’s horrifically clumsy and unengaging, with numerous
dopey twists and cast members like a little, wordless waif that you’ll struggle
to care anything about.

Ninja Gaiden 3


If you like the game, you might get a little extra life out
of it through a serviceable co-op challenge mode, which balances some camera
issues with some gruesome ninja laughs. PS3 owners also get Move support,
though as it’s hard to setup and virtually unworkable in practice, it’s
questionable whether this is actually a benefit at all.


Verdict

In reaching out for a wider audience, Ninja Gaiden 3 does its level best to
alienate the series’s existing fans while proving too repetitive and
frustrating to acquire many new ones.  It
is more accessible and there’s enough hack-and-slash spectacle to entertain in
bite-sized chunks, but the latest Ninja Gaiden is a long way off the best.

Trusted Score


Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.