Review by sknmak
Ryu is back in a pretty decent game overall
Ninja Gaiden has came along way and has made it's way to a next-gen system. Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox is fun and intriguing to play. Players play as Ryu Hayabusa protecting the Dragon Sword (that he uses in the game), and trying to keep the Dark Dragon Blade out of the wrong hands. But something has gone wrong. Someone has attempted to get the Dark Dragon Blade and has destroyed villages and city's while in the process. Demons and Fiends are all over the place tring to kill Ryu Hayabusa. Ryu has a little help from a few friends though. When you first play Ninja Gaiden you might think overrated , well it is overrated in ways. But Ninja Gaiden is not a button smasher and is not easy to complete at all. The game is harder than Devil May Cry 1 (when you first played it). The controls are easy to get used to, and you can change any button on the controls for a better experience. You play the game using the Analog not the D-pad. Ryu has plenty of moves throughout the game. You have to defeat enemies in order to upgrade his weapons, and buy new weapons. Ryu also have techniques that let him use Ninpo. Ninpo's are basically elemental attacks, such as fire, ice and so on. You can also upgrade Ninpo techniques as well. Ryu has a very nice wall run too! The wall run technique can be finish with a devastating attack, as well as other attacks. The storyline could have been a little better, but I'll let you figure it out for yourself, who knows, you might like it. Another thing that's not your friend, other than the Demons, is the Camera angles. The camera angles can be your best friend (in any game) or your worst enemy. You will most likely find cool attacks and Ryu himself OFF screen for awhile. Team Ninja tried to correct this by adding a button (R-Trigger) that puts the camera behind Ryu instantly, but does little to help. Now the Boss camera angles are the best, you can see the boss and the surrounding area. Team Ninja, the developers, also added things you can download off of Xbox Live called Hurricane Pack I and II, that offer upgrades like better camera angles, more weapons, blah blah blah. But I'm reviewing the game as it is now without any Xbox Live upgrades. So the camera has serious problems. The camera only makes the game harder. The game is already as hard as hell. This game is for the people who wants to be a true ninja (so to speak). You'll have to practice and know how to use your moves effectively in order to compete with people across the globe on Xbox Live's Master Ninja Tournament. Oh yeah, this game has serious backtracking. But the backtracking is not the problem. Lets say you backtrack to a place that you know you've visited before and try to look at your map, the game will eventually say Ryu doesn't have a map for the place your at. Weird!?!? Anyways the game is fun to play a few times, unless your a hardcore fan (who plays it everyday). Ninja Gaiden is fun to play and has a few problems and gets an 8 out of 10.
The graphics in Ninja Gaiden are nice and well polished. Enemies look good as well as bosses. The surrounding area looks pretty neat too. Ryu doesn't have a reflection in the whole entire game (except when your in this one mirror). I guess Team Ninja wasn't focusing on the character reflection I guess. I thought Ryu was a ghost for a little while.(joking) Some bosses could have looked better. A few things reminded me of the Dreamcast graphics, which is not that good because the Xbox graphics are suppose to be the best. Suppose to be the best, they're not the best. Ryu in game character looks good as well. The graphics are well above average.
The controls are very good. You can assign a control to any button that you like. Ryu is very responsive to commands. You'll have to become a Master Ninja to look very cool while fighting enemies. So you can't blame it on the controller, you'll have to blame this on yourself. Practice makes perfect.
The game play is well above average too. The game runs smoothly throughout the game. But this game does suffer from a few "minor" to "major" slow down problems when there are a lot of enemies on screen. The boss battles never slows down. So the framerate is good, so are a few visual Team Ninja added.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Ninja Gaiden is fun to play, don't get me wrong, and the game has unlockables. You can unlock various things like the first 3 Niinja Gaiden games, that was released for the NES and the SNES. That's a cool bonus for purchasing the game. The storyline could have been a little better, though. At first the game takes forever to complete, but once you get very good at the game, it can be completed in no time. Some or most levels can be finished under 10 minutes. Ryu does look cool when he's slicing up demons and bad guys. The upgrades in the game are cool also. The enemies "will" kick your ass, no questions asked. All of this fast action pace fighting and jumping was slowed down thanks to slowdowns in the game! I could have looked passed a few slowdowns, but the camera was a big problem too. Like I said I'm reviewing the game as it is, not with any Xbox Live upgrades. But the upgrades might make the game better, I don't know personally. Other than those few "major" problems the game is fun. I suggest renting it first to determine if you should purchase it.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Ninja Gaiden (US, 03/02/04)
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