The Score: "The Animation Is Razor Sharp"

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 3:00PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • Ninja Gaiden 3
  • Playstation 3, X-Box 360
  • March 20, 2011
Gamezone 8/10
IGN 3/10
Video Gamer 5/10
Metacritic 6/10

Players looking to add a little stealth and slice into their gaming experience look no further: Ninja Gaiden3 is now available for your favorite game console.

The popular series, which began over two decades ago, once again allows gamers to use their ninja skill and training against various evil-doers skilled in the martial arts.

The phrase 'dumbed down' is one you're likely to hear a lot in regards to Ninja Gaiden 3. And in a sense its detractors are right: this purposefully moves away from the outrageous gore and antagonistic difficulty that has left it a niche series appreciated only by a dedicated few. But being an ultra deadly ninja warrior should be an experience open to all, and that's the goal this new sequel sets itself.Like this week's Kid Icarus, the Ninja Gaiden franchise has its nostalgic roots buried deep within the late '80s golden age of NES gaming. Which is a polite way of saying that until the Xbox reboot in 2004 almost nobody in Europe had ever heard of it (small wonder given the series was originally known as Shadow Warriors in the UK).(Metro)

The series maintains its highly challenging level of combat, forcing players to step up there fighting skills.

As with previous Ninja Gaidens, the standard modes are rarely kind to the player and that's part of appeal - the pressure forcing players to hone their virtual ninja skills to perfection. But there's an olive branch to the less skilled this time round in the form of the Hero mode, where blocking happens automatically leaving you to concentrate on slicing and dicing the enemy like you're making sushi on MasterChef.(Stuff TV)

The game's visuals get a solid thumbs up, while critics report the camera work leaves much to be desired.

Graphically, Ninja Gaiden 3 may not have evolved much from the previous game, but parts of it still look quite fantastic. Both the indoor and outdoor environments look great (particularly the dusty deserts of Saudi Arabia), and the animation is razor sharp, right down to Ryu's cool little "ghosting" ability with some attacks. There are times the frame rate drops a bit when the combat gets somewhat heavy, but never to the point that it becomes lackluster. And the camera manages okay, though there are slight occasions it gets stuck behind a wall. No biggie.(Gamezone)

Unlike past installments, players cannot severe limbs, which had been a major selling point of previous Ninja Gaiden episodes.

We're puzzled by the removal of, well, limb removal. For a game built on the prospect of conveying what it feels like for a ninja to "cut someone down" through the aforementioned steel-on-bone QTE finishing moves, Ryu's inability to slice off arms, legs, and heads makes Ninja Gaiden 3 a lot less empowering than its gory predecessor. After finishing Ninja Gaiden 3, we went back and played Ninja Gaiden II to remind ourselves how it truly felt to cut people down.(Oxmon Online)

Critics were unkind to the new Gaiden. Although they say it provides a little fun early on, the game soon wears thin, making it an easily skippable entry into the action genre.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is a gash on the face of the franchise and one of the worst games the action genre has yet suffered. It has no consideration for its fans' wants or what a new audience may have enjoyed. It's a nightmare that's as easy as it is uninteresting, and it abandons what used to work for awful new ideas that don't work together. Under no circumstance should you ever waste your time on this self-indulgent and abysmal wreck.(IGN)
You can probably wring out a decent afternoon with Ninja Gaiden 3 providing you're not expecting it to be as good as its predecessors. There are the origins of a fast, exciting new combat system buried underneath all the mess, and the gorgeous animations and zippy takedowns provide an immediate buzz. Yet its problems vastly outweigh its positives, and it's hard to come away feeling anything other than disappointed. This was supposed to be a bold new beginning for the series, but ultimately Ninja Gaiden 3 feels like a false start.(Video Gamer)

Check out the game's trailer below:

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