Is Ninja Gaiden 3 Alienating Fans?

Based on the reports from one Patrick Klepek (http://www.giantbomb.com/news/the-confusing-quick-timey-world-of-ninja-gaiden-3/3362/), it appears that they're drastically changing the way the combat works. I haven't had any hands-on time with the title, but based on his impressions, they've kept the same fast-paced nature of the first two titles while throwing Quick Time Events into the mix. Sure enough, the word "automated" sticks out like a sore thumb when examining the change of pace this brings to the combat.

Now, I've only played the first few levels of the first game, and got through the demo for the second, so I may not be the most qualified to make remarks about these decisions. All I can say with some level of certainty is that the game Klepek describes sounds wildly different from what little Ninja Gaiden I've played. I didn't give up on Ninja Gaiden because it was a bad game; I gave up because my skills were no match for the challenge the game provided. But I recognized the qualities that made it a good game, and I had a great time getting my ass handed to me on a silver platter.

The Ninja Gaiden III described in the aforementioned preview sounds closer to another game I played up to the first few levels. However, unlike Ninja Gaiden, I stopped playing because it was a bad game. I'm talking about Ninja Blade.

While Ninja Blade had some classic, poorly-executed slashing action that did its best to replicate Ninja Gaiden's breakneck pace and absurd fights, it also forced you into Quick Time Events every chance it had. Now, Quick Time Events, done properly, can be wonderful tools to add player interaction into a scene where they'd typically set the controller on the coffee table and watch a lengthy scene play out. If you want to see QTE's done right, look for Capcom titles like Resident Evil 4 or Dead Rising. But when you shovel in QTE after QTE, they quickly lose their charm and frustrate the player. I hadn't even finished the first level of Ninja Blade before I was absolutely sick of the game's Quick Time Events.

If Ninja Gaiden 3 heads into QTE territory, they should tread lightly. A healthy balance of traditional action, with QTE's sparingly used, could easily give the classic fans what they know and love while possibly making things easier for those of us who could never muster the strength required to finish Ninja Gaiden. However, if it turns into another Ninja Blade, it will be hard to satisfy anyone. Nobody likes a Ninja Blade.

13 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by TheCheese33

Based on the reports from one Patrick Klepek (http://www.giantbomb.com/news/the-confusing-quick-timey-world-of-ninja-gaiden-3/3362/), it appears that they're drastically changing the way the combat works. I haven't had any hands-on time with the title, but based on his impressions, they've kept the same fast-paced nature of the first two titles while throwing Quick Time Events into the mix. Sure enough, the word "automated" sticks out like a sore thumb when examining the change of pace this brings to the combat.

Now, I've only played the first few levels of the first game, and got through the demo for the second, so I may not be the most qualified to make remarks about these decisions. All I can say with some level of certainty is that the game Klepek describes sounds wildly different from what little Ninja Gaiden I've played. I didn't give up on Ninja Gaiden because it was a bad game; I gave up because my skills were no match for the challenge the game provided. But I recognized the qualities that made it a good game, and I had a great time getting my ass handed to me on a silver platter.

The Ninja Gaiden III described in the aforementioned preview sounds closer to another game I played up to the first few levels. However, unlike Ninja Gaiden, I stopped playing because it was a bad game. I'm talking about Ninja Blade.

While Ninja Blade had some classic, poorly-executed slashing action that did its best to replicate Ninja Gaiden's breakneck pace and absurd fights, it also forced you into Quick Time Events every chance it had. Now, Quick Time Events, done properly, can be wonderful tools to add player interaction into a scene where they'd typically set the controller on the coffee table and watch a lengthy scene play out. If you want to see QTE's done right, look for Capcom titles like Resident Evil 4 or Dead Rising. But when you shovel in QTE after QTE, they quickly lose their charm and frustrate the player. I hadn't even finished the first level of Ninja Blade before I was absolutely sick of the game's Quick Time Events.

If Ninja Gaiden 3 heads into QTE territory, they should tread lightly. A healthy balance of traditional action, with QTE's sparingly used, could easily give the classic fans what they know and love while possibly making things easier for those of us who could never muster the strength required to finish Ninja Gaiden. However, if it turns into another Ninja Blade, it will be hard to satisfy anyone. Nobody likes a Ninja Blade.

Posted by Demoskinos

I gotta say being a hardcore ninja gaiden fan having finished all the Gaiden games on the hardest of difficulties and also posting numerous top 10 scores on the leaderboards I was extremely nervous about this game.    I did not like what Team Ninja did with Metroid Other M and was extremely paranoid that Hayashi would lose the vision of the game if he didn't have Itagaki's scraps to work off like he did with Sigma and Sigma 2. 
 
However, while the game his obviously not  a game Itagaki would make I'm still fine with it.  Every artist should have their distinctive calling cards to make their work their own.   It still seems to have the soul of a Ninja Gaiden game.   There seem to be some interesting systems at work in the game.    
 
The fact that it looks like you can effectively "store" the power in your arm and unleash a UT whenever you want sounds neat.  It also looks like (from what I saw of the demo) that  you power the arm with the blood of the enemies from doing the "Bone and steel" (A.K.A  QTE's) segments. This could lead to some interesting strategy when it comes to gameplay. 
 
 Most people on surface level wouldn't realize it but management of the glowing  "essence" orbs was a huge part of higher level play.   For instance if a blue (health)  essence popped out of a enemy and you still had multiple enemies you had two choices you could either consume the essence for a instant health boost potentially allowing you to survive longer.  However you could also absorb it with your weapon and instantly do a level 2 charged UT attack that could also potentially kill everyone if it  hit.   
 
These sort of on the fly  decisions  along with the fast paced  switching on a dime between defense/offense is what at least to me makes Ninja Gaiden great.     Ninja Gaiden 2 had some problems to be sure and it showed  Team Ninja was obviously under great stress and Itagaki leaving the company days after the release of NG2 was confirmation of that all. 
 
Hayashi smoothed some of the rough edges over with NGS2 but then created a few problems of his own.    Watching Hayashi create NG3 from scratch will be a very interesting thing to watch.  He can make a good action game  and he has with Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Sigma 2 but he hasn't reached the heights that Ninja Gaiden Black took the series. 
 
I'm at least willing to give him a chance and not instantly dismiss this.  There looks to be some interesting things going on.  I just hope the soul of what made NGB great isn't lost on him.

Posted by TheCheese33

@Demoskinos: That's a great point! It may turn out to be a great game after all.

Edited by AhmadMetallic

what ISN'T alienating fans at this point ? 
 
COD has gone rogue, Battlefield gone soft, Crysis 2 gone COD, Far Cry gone not-far-cry, Dragon Age gone UNorigins, Mass Effect gone Mass Shooter, Mafia gone on-rails, MOH gone shit, F.E.A.R gone .. something, Red Faction gone shoot-yellow-dudes-only, Wolfenstein gone MAGIC, Silent Hill gone combat-horror, Wii gone Fuck [wii] U etc.. etc..

Posted by kingzetta

There are Ninja Gaiden fans?

Posted by ryanwho

Itagaki hated Sigma, had nothing to do with it. So NG has already been diluted. Most people agree the things Sigma added to NG2 detracted from the game, and now the game is entirely being made by the people who added the Sigma content and oatmealface is nowhere to be seen. So it probably won't be very "hardcore". I was never big into the series but I appreciated what it was doing and who it was being made for. Seems like Tecmoie is throwing that out for "wider appeal" by making it Ninja Dynasty Warriors.

Posted by Toxin066

@Ahmad_Metallic said:

what ISN'T alienating fans at this point ? COD has gone rogue, Battlefield gone soft, Crysis 2 gone COD, Far Cry gone not-far-cry, Dragon Age gone UNorigins, Mass Effect gone Mass Shooter, Mafia gone on-rails, MOH gone shit, F.E.A.R gone .. something, Red Faction gone shoot-yellow-dudes-only, Wolfenstein gone MAGIC, Silent Hill gone combat-horror, Wii gone Fuck [wii] U etc.. etc..

This might be my favorite post ever.

Posted by phish09
@kingzetta said:
There are Ninja Gaiden fans?
Exactly.  I think their fanbase has basically diminished to a point where they can't base their next game around maybe losing those few thousand people still interested in the franchise.  They have to worry about getting new fans interested otherwise there won't end up being a Ninja Gaiden 4.
Posted by kingzetta
@phish09 said:
@kingzetta said:
There are Ninja Gaiden fans?
Exactly.  I think their fanbase has basically diminished to a point where they can't base their next game around maybe losing those few thousand people still interested in the franchise.  They have to worry about getting new fans interested otherwise there won't end up being a Ninja Gaiden 4.
Yeah I can't name a single person I've ever met that's like "Yeah ninja gaiden!!"
Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

@phish09 said:

@kingzetta said:
There are Ninja Gaiden fans?
Exactly. I think their fanbase has basically diminished to a point where they can't base their next game around maybe losing those few thousand people still interested in the franchise. They have to worry about getting new fans interested otherwise there won't end up being a Ninja Gaiden 4.

I'm no fan of NG (not my cup of tea), but if this is the actual reasoning behind changing the formula....

Why not make a new IP? The Ninja Gaiden name can't carry much weight.. Start a new franchise, instead of alienating fans and making something for other people that do not care.

Posted by kingzetta
@Rolyatkcinmai said:

@phish09 said:

@kingzetta said:
There are Ninja Gaiden fans?
Exactly. I think their fanbase has basically diminished to a point where they can't base their next game around maybe losing those few thousand people still interested in the franchise. They have to worry about getting new fans interested otherwise there won't end up being a Ninja Gaiden 4.

I'm no fan of NG (not my cup of tea), but if this is the actual reasoning behind changing the formula....

Why not make a new IP? The Ninja Gaiden name can't carry much weight.. Start a new franchise, instead of alienating fans and making something for other people that do not care.

Just call it Ninja. We know the Ninja Gaiden(side story), now tell us about the real story.
Posted by PenguinDust
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
what ISN'T alienating fans at this point ?  COD has gone rogue, Battlefield gone soft, Crysis 2 gone COD, Far Cry gone not-far-cry, Dragon Age gone UNorigins, Mass Effect gone Mass Shooter, Mafia gone on-rails, MOH gone shit, F.E.A.R gone .. something, Red Faction gone shoot-yellow-dudes-only, Wolfenstein gone MAGIC, Silent Hill gone combat-horror, Wii gone Fuck [wii] U etc.. etc..
This.  Everyone is quick to complain and search for fault in every experience.  I'm not above this myself, because I am looking for every game maker to create an title and platform that suits my needs, my tastes and my desires exclusively.  When those requirements aren't perceived to be being met, I vilify and curse the heavens.  When that's done I go online and share my disillusionment, questioning whether or not the games industry has abandoned me personally.  Yeah, that's an exaggeration but you get the point.  Everyone complains for the sake of complaining it seems.  Hell, this reply is a criticism of criticisms.  We're all a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons on the inside.
Posted by Pibo47
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
what ISN'T alienating fans at this point ?  COD has gone rogue, Battlefield gone soft, Crysis 2 gone COD, Far Cry gone not-far-cry, Dragon Age gone UNorigins, Mass Effect gone Mass Shooter, Mafia gone on-rails, MOH gone shit, F.E.A.R gone .. something, Red Faction gone shoot-yellow-dudes-only, Wolfenstein gone MAGIC, Silent Hill gone combat-horror, Wii gone Fuck [wii] U etc.. etc..
Post of the year.
Posted by Hashbrowns

I still hold the original Xbox Ninja Gaiden as the pinnacle of third-person melee action. Quick-time-events have never been a good idea in ANY game, and that includes God of War. Don't pretend that a cutscene is gameplay just by making me hit the right button to watch it.