Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge

Having made its debut on Wii U earlier this year, the expectation that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will arrive on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in better form than that of its predecessor is a valid one. Ninja Gaiden 3 took a critical pounding […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageHaving made its debut on Wii U earlier this year, the expectation that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will arrive on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in better form than that of its predecessor is a valid one. Ninja Gaiden 3 took a critical pounding upon its original launch – some of which was fair, but most was unfounded – but Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’s Wii U release was spared from much of the harsh tongue lashing. Could a nip-n’-tuck really make that much of a difference?

Of course, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge isn’t the same Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge we saw on Wii U: the added months of development time have allowed Team NINJA to apply an even more sugary coating to the bones of Ninja Gaiden 3 in Electronic Theatre Imagean obvious attempt to entice fans to buy the videogame for a second time. Chances are it’s going to work. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is every bit the Ninja Gaiden experience fans are hoping for, and one that newcomers will quickly warm to.

Jumping straight in at the deep end, Kasumi is a thrill to play as. A brand new addition for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, her svelte movements between defensive stances and devastating blows is unmatched by any other character, bringing a brand new moveset to the world of Ninja Gaiden, and thus making an impact that will be felt by fans in a significant and meaningful way. It’s a shame then, that Team NINJA have chosen to hide her behind an unlock wallElectronic Theatre Image that demands such time heavy investment that many of the more casual players of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will never reach her.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is significantly more challenging than Ninja Gaiden 3. Even on it’s lowest difficulty setting Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will tax your ability to learn, plan and execute the huge variety of skill moves and combos the videogame provides. Playing as Ryu Hayabusa in the first instance, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge plays as a greatly refined Ninja Gaiden 3 as opposed to a true second edition 3; typically in these cases the developer will open up a lot of ten first releases’ hidden aspects and consider how those who may have already completed the videogame just want to get straight into the fresh meat. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge however, insists that you don’t, and that you play through the videogame in its entiretyElectronic Theatre Image again. Perhaps Team NINJA were so confident of this new build that they believed players would want such a learning curve forced upon them; if nothing else it results in greater experimentation with the new weapons.

Offered to Ninja Gaiden 3 as downloadable content (DLC), the inclusion as standard here does make the videogame feel a more rounded package. Ninja Gaiden 3 felt light on weaponry after both Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden II had a full compliment. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge however, has no such problems. Claws, staff, scythe, dual swords, katana and many more fill a deadly arsenal, and learning to engage with them is most certainly a great deal of the enjoyment to be had with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.

Less amazing are the other additional features. The Golden Scarabs, littered throughout the world, offer bonuses when collected which, in reality, could’ve been offered by any of a dozen alternative means. It’s simply window dressing, much likeElectronic Theatre Image the now returning dismemberment system which has a far less significant impact on the gameplay than one might be expecting. The SmartGlass functionality built into the Xbox 360 version of the videogame however, is perhaps one of the best additions to the Ninja Gaiden 3 framework for fans of the franchise, offering a direct link to other fans worldwide as well as allowing you to set your own targets for improvement.

Online Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is just as much of a muddle as its predecessor was. Totally enjoyable and yet utterly disposable, the competitive gameplay is not Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’s strongest point. The co-operative gameplay featured in the Ninja Trails is a worthwhile distraction, but it’s nothing less than an annoyance that no split-screen gameplay is offered.

From a technical standpoint Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is noticeably inferior to its bigger budget competition, notably the recently released Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and DmC: Devil May Cry, but is never less than comfortable in any respect. The facial animation is the weakest part of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’s visual design with the flexible andElectronic Theatre Image swift movement of the camera a highlight, despite appearing somewhat daunting at first. The voice acting is of a reasonable standard throughout and the soundtrack compliments the in-game action well, though neither is truly remarkable.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is undeniably an enjoyable action videogame experience, so much so in fact that many consider the Wii U version to be vastly superior to the original Ninja Gaiden 3. Here on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Team NINJA have repackaged the finest version of the existing product and added to it a significant amount of new content. This will certainly entice the fans back, and the budget price tag could well go far enough to bring newcomers into the fold. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is a title that should be experienced by any fans of a true challenge, just like its series bloodline predecessors, and surely that is the highest commendation it could ever hope to receive.

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