Ninja Blade

2011-03-06 13:57:58

Ninja Blade, it's what you would get if you asked a 13 year old pocky addict to write the "most awesome Ninja Gaiden clone" they could think up. For what it is worth that proves to be both good and bad, but mostly good. Ninja Gaiden is a hardcore gamers nightmare, it is strict and punishing until you master it, and then it becomes satisfying and energetic. Ninja Blade does away with the hardcore punishment requirement, instead focusing on awesome weapons, awesome ninja moves, and lots of rails.

The basic premise of Ninja Blade is simple, there is this huge infestation of worm things that we took care of in the desert a long time ago with a nuke. All it actually did was piss off the worm things and drive them deeper. They suddenly show up in Tokyo and now it is up to your character and his father to put a stop to the infestation.

The game gives you 4 weapons of war, a standard blade, a boat-oar style armor breaking blade, a pair of wire whip blades and a ninja star that has elements chained to it for massive damage. as you level these up you gain new moves much like in Ninja Gaiden. the game itself is mostly about killing as many infected nasty things as possible, and eventually fighting off a boss.

The game does get repetitive, the standard order of the game being a rails shooter(fighting flying or following foes off of the vehicle that you are using at the time. some minor fight scene, then usually a leap from great height , then more fighting with normal monsters, then some kind of showdown with the big bad monster, until you get close to killing it, then it's cutscene centric for the finisher. 

The cutscenes I think really give this game its flavor. The big flashy killing boss cutscene is called a Todome, and basically consists of your Ninja doing something acrobatic and insane to kill off the boss forever. It is heavily QTE oriented, and while I normally hate QTE's, this is a system where the QTE's are forgivable as if you miss the event, it fails you but allows you to retry and it will only rewind slightly through the QTE chain to allow you to retry the badass move you were about to do. The outcome from it is entertaining which I think is what sets it apart from other QTE experiences. But don't just take my word for it, check out this video of one of the craziest todome's in action. That is what I'm talking about, cutscenes I'd expect to see out of a crazy Anime movie are present in this title, and are hilariously awesome. 

Reason Rank
Start 10
Ninja Gaiden Clone loses out on originality -3
More accesible than Ninja Gaiden +2
Very typical Anime save the world story -2
Entertaining cutscenes that make it all worth it +8
Predictable repetition in gameplay falls short of suprising us. -3
Final 12/10

This is a game that every Ninja fan should play through at least once. as much as it is clearly an Anime style storyline, and as much as it is repetitious in a lot of ways, it is accessible and the finales are really worth encountering, because just when you thought you saw the most awesome thing last boss, the next boss will die in a even more dramatic way.