jimbo_n's Ninja Blade (Xbox 360) review

Quick time Ninja go !

Ninja Blade makes a solid first impression with decent presentation, an over the top story and very cinematic quick time events. Then its downhill from there with repeating bosses, repeating levels, shallow combat, boring environments and more...

Ninja Blade puts you in the role of Ken, a modern day Ninja thats a part of an elite Ninja group called in to save Tokyo from a crisis concerning a type of parasite that´s slowly turning the whole city to horrible mutants. A couple of minutes into the story you are betrayed by your father and your friend and its onward from there to find out the truth about the betrayal and to stop Tokyo from becoming completely infected by this "Alpha Worms".
Theres really a suprising amount of story in Ninja Blade with plenty of cutscenes and dialogue but you quickly learn to stop caring.

The action itself feels like a midground between Ninja Gaiden 2 and Devil May Cry 4 but not nearly as polished as any of those. The action is constantly broken up by long quick time events that lets you do these extremely cinematic moves by putting in long button combinations. This is actually the best part of the game since they often look very cool and if you miss the cutscene rewinds a second or two and let you try that last button press again. They really want you to enjoy them and they throw in alot of them. In the end you are way more entertained by the QTE´s than you are by the actual combat.
There´s also sequences where you mount a gun turret..Yea.. I don´t need gun turrets in my Ninja games but thanks for trying to mix it up.
You can upgrade your Ninpo and your weapons but in the end you just press Y like a maniac and win.
Well, thats not entirely true. The game can sometimes be way too difficult for its own good and the pacing just breaks completely. Combine this with leveldesign that often copy+paste rooms into several levels and you will grow tired of this game quicker than you thought.

Another factor that plays in to this are the god awful music. Its the most generic soundtrack you´ll ever hear, taken direcly from Dev. Kit Music folder A. And whats up with the half Japanese / half English voicetrack. Characters can for no appearent reason talk randomly in both languages. Its funny at first but really, what is going on?!
Graphics are passable but quickly forgettable in this day and age and when it comes to monster designs they feel about as generic as the rest of the game does after some hours put into it.
The game also suffers from sluggish menus and an overall feel that this game was kinda patched together and sent to stores as quickly as possible.

Ninja Blade works for a while. You´ll be entertained by the cool QTE´s and the passable action for hours until you realize how much they are trying to stretch it. The game overstays it´s welcome big time and starts to drag and repeat itself. Deep down its OK but its waaay to generic on all levels to make any kind of lasting impression on anyone.
They try to mix up the formula with alot of story, turret sections and QTE´s but in the end you´ll forget about the game the second you stop playing.
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