• Combat
  • Camera
  • Online Co-op
  • Boss Battles

Ninja Gaiden 3 The rerelease of the rerelease, Rerelease Strikes Back. Team Ninja has had more opportunities to fix their past mistakes than most people get in a lifetime. Did they get it right this time?

In Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge  you reassume the role of everyones favorite ninja Ryu Hayabusa. There was a story somewhere in this game but it’s just there to drive you along from massacre to massacre. Something something evil organization, blah blah curse …??? Take over the world. After arriving in London for a mission and having a battle against a masked man, Ryu’s arm is cursed, and will kill him unless he uses the the only medication; the blood of his enemies, and gallons of it.

Telling a great story has never been Ninja Gaiden’s forte, it has always been it’s combat and Razors Edge for the most part lives up to that legacy.Ryu dances across the screen like a blood thirsty ballerina, stringing together devastating combos and leaving pools of blood in his wake. Razor’s Edge added a slew of new weapons to the game and each of them have a good sized combo list for you to play around with. My personal favorite being the Lunar Staff or Dual Katanas. The moves are animated well and it gives a good flow to the combat when you start chaining the those brutal Steel on Bone finishers together.Lunar Staff

One of the complaints about the original Ninja Gaiden 3 was it being too easy. Team Ninja responded by making Razor’s Edge unnecessarily difficult. I felt pretty badass coming off the heels of my revengeance playthrough of Metal Gear Rising. I thought I was prepared, my mind & reflexes sharp and my blade even sharper. That’s when the game slapped me, spit in my face and said “play on normal asshole.” Enemies with rocket launchers will be the bane of any ninja who chooses to play this game.  At higher difficulties there should be a disclaimer “May cause RAGE.”

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge adopted the Karma system, a points based unlock system. You get karma points for kills and combos  that you can then use to unlock a few new abilities,costumes, more powerful spells, upgrades and more combos. So you may end up playing some stages over and over just to grind up enough points to purchase what you want.

The most jarring problem with the combat is it’s annoying tendency to simply not read my button inputs. I can’t count the number of times I KNOW I should have dodged or counter attacked and instead my character just stood there and ignored me completely. I haven’t played a game with this much of an eating disorder since Yoshi’s Island. It was dropping more than AT&T.

The amount of disdain I hold for the boss fights in this game are near immeasurable. They are so poorly designed it’s pitiful. They only seem worse now that they’ve made the game harder. Instead of feeling like a badass ninja the boss fights reduce you to just running around slowly chipping away at their life praying to whatever deity you believe in that you don’t die long enough to get to the next QTE.

MomijiRazors Edge Does sport some cool new features. Story sections for Ryu are now broken up by small sections where you get to play as Ayane. Along with her we now have Kasumi and Momiji, all of them have their own unique weapons and offer a nice change of pace and erhrm …. visual appeal (If you like tits and blood) for a while. But the game suffers from that same repetitive gameplay formula, Kill everyone,do some QTEs, repeat. In Chapter Challenge you can replay missions from the main game with all of the characters available in the game, this is where I got most of my fun from, but those boss battles just feel like a chore with each subsequent play through.

Razor’s Edge also has an online mode where you can play a series of  co-op missions with your friends that can be pretty fun under the right circumstances or totally horrendous. Also, Ninja Clan battles where everyone plays as a Ryu clone, complete with Karma unlocks. I know what you’re thinking, “Ninja clan battles that’s fucking epic.” No. Remember those laggy inputs from the main game? They are back for the online portion. The clan battles are 8v8 death matches that eventually just turn into spamming matches and fall into complete chaos.

THE VERDICT

At the end of the day, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razors Edge is a pretty decent action game. Is it the definitive version of Ninja Gaiden 3? Probably not. Razors Edge did however manage to keep my interest with it’s combat, and it’s online features will be heaven for long time fans. The input lag is my major gripe with the game. They don’t make the game unplayable but it’s very frustrating. Especially in a game as fast paced as Ninja Gaiden.