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Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Review

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Review

There's no beating around the bush; Ninja Gaiden 3's first debut was messy. When it arrived on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it was savagely ripped apart from both fans and critics alike. Gone were the aspects that made the series what it was, and why so many consider it the grandfather of modern hack-and-slash games. The combat was shallow and Ryu was largely unresponsive. The AI also was far too easy and very formulaic and the weapon variety severed to one single weapon for the entire game. To make matters worse it was riddled with quick-time events. This certainly wasn't the Ninja Gaiden game people were expecting, but that however, did not crush Team Ninja's ambition.

Taking all the feedback on board, their next task was to fix their errors, to right their wrongs. And what better place to do so than as one of a new console's launch title's under the guise of Ninja Gaiden: Razor's Edge. The question is, does this second bout deliver? Or is it simply just wasted effort in polishing a rusty sword?

This will be more of an unorthodox review. We've played the story in our original review and know what the game is about. This review seeks to answer the question of whether or not Team Ninja succeeded in recreating Ninja Gaiden 3 and ultimately, whether or not it's worth your time to play, or in some cases, return to.

Team Ninja certainly addressed many, but not all of the criticisms the first iteration received. One of the most significant changes made was the fact that Ryu was actually responsive; his recovery has been shortened allowing players to cancel into a dodge or block as the situation demands.

The AI has received a significant overhaul, making them more aggressive. They will also now perform new moves, which makes the whole game much more difficult. Now, normal seems like a challenge. For the masochists, it's good when a game tells them they aren't good enough yet.

Combat has been redesigned to have a more technical feel. Enemies now have more stagger animations and charge attacks have increased in speed, reducing the time for a charge. Ninpo is still earned throughout the game, however you can conserve your charge between encounters now. There are six weapons available to Ryu right from the get go. They've added a new ability called "Four Rings", which is a shuriken attack that has a 360 degree area of effect.

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