Thursday, May 17, 2012

A ninja by any other name

I will admit that after a third day of play Ninja Gaiden 3 has started to grow on me. In spite of a limited cast of goons to kill, boring environments, using the same weapons the same way from beginning to end and a terribly inconsistent difficulty curve, the last level or two have been fun. There are one or two very abusable moves (dodge and juggle into izuna drop) that will get me out of most situations. Death can still come quickly if poor Ryu Hayabusa gets surrounded, juggled, the abused in carnal ways by guys that appears out of nowhere, but I must have caught on at least a little bit to what the game is doing, because that doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to.

I stopped at what must be the penultimate save point last night because I know exactly how the final boss is going to go. There is going to some trick to not getting killed in one hit, a trick that will not become obvious until I have died a dozen or so times, and once that trick is discovered and that boss dealt with he will change forms and all hell will break loose. Ninja Gaiden 3 insists on taking itself seriously even when Ryu is plummeting through shadow dimensions or leaping from jet to jet in a clear violation of anything that makes sense. It would be a much better game if it let go of this pretense and embraced the fact that most of what is happening is not only bull shit but hilarious bull shit. 

Does anyone else remember Ninja Blade?

(I had to go through my full achievement list to come up with the name. Apparently 2009 was a million years ago. Also, no one played it.)

Ninja Blade is the exact opposite, theme wise, of Ninja Gaiden. It wasn't terribly difficult, certainly wasn't innovative, but god damn it was a good time. Ninja Gaiden 3 would be much less terrible if could pull its thumb out of its ass and put its tongue in its cheek instead.

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