This isn’t a generic Ninja Gaiden rip yes it has similarities bit it is a game within its own right.
You’ll find yourself in the ninja shoes of Ken and you are quickly thrust into the main storyline. The story is a little strange and hard to get into. A parasitic bug has invaded Tokyo and is turning people into mutant like creatures, so you ken must rid Tokyo of this plague. I must say the story really doesn’t get your attention, sitting through a story that’s hard to get into because it’s so strange can get you a bit irritated or in fact you just sit through it wanting to hack and slash everything in sight.
You will be thrown into the action on the first level, you also acquire all three swords here, there’s your Twin Falcon Knives they are the quickest weapon a bit like nun chucks actually, you can use these to grapple and swing over gaps also good for swarms of small foes. There’s your Stonerender sword that can smash through more heavily defended foes and bosses also if you keep an eye out for a A button prompt you can smash open cracked walls but only when you have that sword equipped. Also there’s you “main” sword the ninja blade looks like a samurai sword good for everything in between.
Accompanying your swords which Ken carries on his back is a disk shaped throwing weapon (again similarities here compared to Ninja Gaidens Musou attack) you can charge it with air, fire and electricity, these help you progress through levels and take on enemies by say shocking a line of them for you to attack while they are disabled.
You can upgrade all weapons and disk powers by collecting souls in the levels then you upgrade weapons to unlock combos and also to change the swords form/look, again similar exp system to Gaiden. It is easy to combine combos and moves together after you’ve unlocked them of course by keeping the left or right trigger down any of the attack buttons also the movement is quick and smooth with the ability to dash easily round your enemies and also jump combos are effective too. Also you can upgrade any weapon from the mission briefing screen or in level, which is very useful when you start as you can level up weapons to help progress you in the middle of a level not only after every level.
This game features QTE’s ( Quick Time Event’s) which I think actually is a nice touch instead of constant button bashing also these scenes and events (keep an eye out for a focus shot on Ken’s eye for a QTE) look and feel good and exciting jumping, slashing, swinging round and say finishing a boss with a Todome finisher, which is basically the finishing blow to a boss, it just looks good and feels even better.
Some bosses are a nightmare like the hydra boss, you have to time your attacks right to hit the objects back and there’s three hydra head, one which fires at another speed, you will find that some bosses are easy even later on in the game then you will hit something like this, just perceiver or use some heath and adrenaline pickups you can also find around the levels.
This isn’t for the fussy ninja types who want a really hard challenge and experience as ninja blades is light on game play in areas, running of a wall kill to kill some enemies to just do the same over and over isn’t good enough these days, there are lots of ways to challenge the gamers and to keep it enjoyable but I feel a bit cheated in places how it’s so exciting and then flat line dead but if you do love being a ninja this will pass the time in between those other favourites of yours.
In levels you will also find costumes and unique colour sets for Ken which is cool but what’s better is that you can customise every bit of Ken chosen costume yourself, which actually is original and it’s always nice to have customisation like this on main characters.
The levels sadly are quite linear, doesn’t mean there not enjoyable, just not many big fights occur with diverse or large amounts of enemies it’s always a few here a few there or a few more at a boss battle and not enough big spaces to jump round, which really is a big part of ninja games is the style, running, jumping of walls and pulling off impressive combos and looking good at the same time. Previous Levels can also become much shorter if you’ve levelled up already and are going through levels for souls which is a shame because it is still a fun game and could have had a longer life with a few more levels and bosses to keep you entertained.
I’m going to have to mention the glitches, they are some of the worst I’ve seen and I hope they get patched for when this is released to the UK because I can see a lot of people getting very angry and I don’t blame them.
I think for what this game is, its visually hitting above it weight I didn’t see many faults at all and the starting intro is nice and refreshing say from the normal boring tutorials, it looks and feels exciting playing a ninja jumping from a helicopter, slashing foes and free falling but sadly there isn’t enough unlockables or rewards for this to have a very long play life, as when you completed it once you have basically upgraded everything and found most items but say one costume which you just can’t be bothered to search for.
Yes with a name like Ninja Blades it’s going to get called a clone of Ninja Gaiden and of course being in the same niche there going to have similarities but Ninja Blades takes a nice different direction compared to the more serious Ninja Gaiden and has brought a bit of excitement and direction into this niche just not enough sadly for it to be anything more than a satisfactory game, so I wouldn’t rush out and buy this unless your itching for some new ninja antics or something to play simply because you have played everything.
Originally posted at www.xboxliveaddicts.co.uk