Friday, April 4, 2014

Bad humor inbound

I have complained in the past about about how seriously Ninja Gaiden games take themselves. Being difficult is one thing, I never was able to finish the first two, but hard and dreadfully serious leads to boredom. Ryu Hayabusa has no personality, we get it, but when nothing happens of interest for hours at a time outside of getting killed in unfair ways it gets harder and harder to come back for more.

Ninja Gaiden Z tries to remedy this by replacing Ryu with Yaiba. Yaiba is evil, crass, sexist and hyper-violent. He also dies in the opening cutscene and other bad guys resurrect him to do their bidding. Yaiba agrees, but only because their bidding includes killing Ryu. That is the entire plot. Bad guy dies, comes back as badder guy, twist to follow.

I just played this game not too long ago and it was called Deadpool, with one difference: Deadpool was good.

Ninja Gaiden Z is still a Ninja Gaiden game. This means that you can be motoring along just fine and then be crushed by impossible spikes in difficulty or a boss that you spend more time dancing around than engaging. Yaiba at least tries to play some of this up for laughs. Occasionally it works, the enemy introductions are actually funny, but Yaiba himself is just as much of a bore as Ryu ever was.

Why am I talking about plot and characters in a Ninja Gaiden game? Because the action itself is not that interesting. I may complain about the difficulty of the first two games but I refuse to question their quality. They are very tight action games, they just required more dedication that I was willing to give. Ninja Gaiden Z feels sloppy. It is not always clear what hits and what doesn't, what can and cannot be blocked, or what the hell to do in any given situation.

Sloppy, funny for the wrong reasons, difficult to make progress, the game sounds like the average teenage boys love life.

And on that note...

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