ruffedgz's Ninja Blade (Xbox 360) review

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The game showed promise but had more bad moments

This game is no Ninja Gaiden that was release in 2004 for the XBOX but it should fill any void you might need until later this 2009 year.

The game takes you six years into the future, 2015, when a small village in Japan gets attacked by weird creators. Survivors of the attack were moved for research and the original site became known as the “Alpha-Site”. Researchers find that the creators infected the survivors as their skin starts to decay. Also, the survivors start to gain strength, resilient to human disease and losing their sanity. Those infected started to attack the people studying them which increases the infection count. The government that took over the site decided to sterilized the situation. The measures the government took did not stop the infection from spreading so the G.U.I.D.E. squad was formed to help clear the infected area. Your character, Ken Ogawa, is the protagonist and seems to be an outstanding G.U.I.D.E. member as he starts off jumping off a helicopter, flies by monster while killing them and finds time to break through a window to the building were the infected are. As you kill infected monsters, you are also being taught the basic of the game and mastering the ‘quick-time events’ before moving on with the rest of the story. At the end of the first level, you find out that the G.U.I.D.E. Master is your father and betrays the organization and sides with the infection. You are sent by G.U.I.D.E. to continue the killing of infected but also try and stop your father from what plot he has in store for the world.

The actual controls and gameplay of the game will remind you of a Ninja Gaiden mixed with the Resident Evil 4 ‘quick-time-events’. When you are fighting, you have 3 weapons to choose from and a magical ninja star to help with enemies/puzzles. Each weapon will help you with certain enemies and bosses. When playing, switching between weapons can be an important skill to learn to defeat enemies quickly. The over-sized ninja star is your ‘ninjutsu’ with elements attached to it. An example of this is you can use your ninja star to throw at people with ‘fire’ attached to it. The fighting will be done mostly on the foot but can and will move to the sky or on a turret attached to a car. When you are not attacking monsters with ninjutsu or your weapons, you are performing the ‘quick-time events’. These events can be at the beginning of a mission or when ending it. The action sequences are the climatic scenes for your character to perform. When pulling them off, this can be entertaining but at times, it can be to much as there seems to be to many to perform. If you mess up during the ‘quick-time event’, you might have to start over from the beginning which can take awhile to move past.

The game offers a lot after a mission to improve the weapons and your characters outfit to make him look the way you want him to. During the game, you will collect ‘blood crystals’ which can be used to improve either your weapons or ninjutsu. Improving either can help with defeating harder enemies down the road in the game. Along side that, you can improve how your character looks with pre-made outfits found in missions or you can make some of your own. This part is the more enjoyable part since it gives you a sense of ownership to the main character. You can make him as serious or as childish as you want. If you want to see what a ninja looks like with polka dots, this is your chance.

The other options you have before a mission is: see the move list, change to a previous mission, see your stats, or change the system options.

The only other part of this game is the XBL Leaderboard which is calculated after each mission. Your stats are then compared to others who also have played the game and give you an idea of how well you did when others played that mission as well.

The game does not provide anything else but missions, customization and leaderboards.

The game gives you a quick satisfaction when playing through the weak story line. The mixture of beating up enemies and quick-time events are nice but can get a bit boring after some time. The customization of the character can also only go so far. I would say the original Ninja Gaiden would be a better selection but if you don’t mind forking over some money to rent it, you will be entertained for the $8.00 you spend for that.

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