We don our ninja cowls, and then we flying-bird-flip straight into the free, downloadable expansion to Ninja Gaiden, which makes the game different and even more challenging. The answers to all your questions are inside.
What's this about a new camera? How does it work?
The Hurricane Pack features a new manual camera option, which may be toggled on at any time by pressing in on the right analog stick. A momentary flash of light indicates that the camera-control toggle took effect. This camera option lets you freely rotate your perspective around Ryu by moving the analog stick left or right. You may also tilt the perspective up or down. As with the default camera option, the right trigger instantly snaps the camera to a convenient behind-the-back view. This new camera option will be greatly appreciated by those who took issue with the original game's limited camera controls (by default, the right stick switches to a first-person-perspective view and lets you both realign yourself and look about from that viewpoint).
It's useful for the adventure-style sequences in which you're trying to find a ledge or an item that's hidden in a nook or cranny. It's not very useful, though, during the game's near-constant, high-speed action sequences; there's no time to be messing with camera angles when you're fighting for your life. Frankly, we weren't frustrated by the game's camera in the first place, since the right trigger worked so well to keep us aligned and oriented. But the new camera option is nice to have, and we think some players will find it to be superior to the default camera.
Are there new levels? What's different about the existing levels?
There are no new levels in the Hurricane Pack. The course of the game is more or less exactly the same as before. The difference is that many items have been moved to different places; enemy placement and enemy behavior has changed to make the game more challenging; bosses have likewise been beefed up; and--as if to add insult to injury--many of the prices in Muramasa's shop have been jacked up. Again, the sum total of all of this is that the Hurricane Pack can be considered a harder, remixed version of the original Ninja Gaiden.
Seriously. How much harder is it? Is it really that hard?
Yes, it's that hard. It's significantly more difficult than the original Ninja Gaiden on "very hard" difficulty. Put it this way: If you fancy yourself a Ninja Gaiden pro (as we did, going into the Hurricane Pack) and can basically breeze through the game on normal mode, then the Hurricane Pack is going to make you feel a lot like when you first started playing the original game. We were actually very impressed at this effect, because the Hurricane Pack really does feel like a brand-new, even tougher challenge.
So, whereas the developers at Team Ninja clearly took the opportunity with the Hurricane Pack to make concessions to those who complained about Ninja Gaiden's camera, they most certainly did not use the Hurricane Pack to address criticisms that the original game was too hard. If you found the original game to be too difficult, then the Hurricane Pack is most certainly not for you. In other words, unless you've finished Ninja Gaiden at the default difficulty, we wouldn't recommend bothering with the Hurricane Pack (though we'd love to see the look on your face if you tried it).
What makes it so much harder? How have the old enemies changed?
Basically, in the Hurricane Pack, you encounter more enemies, many of whom are tougher (meaning both more damaging and harder to kill) and more aggressive (meaning they attack more frequently). You also encounter some of the game's tougher enemies earlier in the adventure, when you have less maximum health and fewer moves and weapons with which to fend them off. For example: In the very first level, the brown ninjas from the original game are completely gone. Instead, you'll fight the tougher white ninjas in their place. And in place of where the white ninjas used to be, you'll face the black-clad Spider Clan ninjas from later on in the adventure--the ones with the incendiary shurikens and the unblockable throat-slashing move. As another example, in the second level of the game, the teleporting, spellcasting ninjas you'll square off against now fire a volley of energy bolts at you instead of just one energy bolt at a time. It should be noted that not all of the enemies in the game have changed. The zombies you'll fight in the catacombs are basically the same as before, as are the wraithlike, scythe-wielding foes you'll face in the monastery. The fact that these enemies will seem so easy to kill demonstrates the relative changes that make most of the old enemies a lot stronger in the Hurricane Pack.
There are new enemies, right?
Right. Once you reach the airship level, you'll notice that the Vigoorian commandos now look differently. They have a more robotic appearance than in the original game. (Honestly, we prefer their old look.) But they're mostly just the same, old commandos. You'll meet a brand-new type of foe once you reach Tairon, after the airship level. These feline enemies are extremely fast, attack in groups of three or four, and can deal tons of damage in the blink of an eye. They can also easily avoid many of Ryu's attacks and will attempt to disorient you by literally running circles around you--often along nearby walls. These foes will kill you the first time you meet them. But in time, as with Ninja Gaiden's other opponents, you'll be able to find weaknesses in their seemingly impenetrable defenses. It's best to attack these kitties right as you roll out of the way of one of their pouncing attacks. And if you manage to knock one down, press the attack till she doesn't get back up. In final analysis, we really enjoy these challenging, new foes. And there's an even bigger, new foe waiting to be discovered...
Read on to learn further details about Hurricane Pack: Volume I and whether or not we think it makes Ninja Gaiden an even better game than it already is.
- Player Reviews: 529
- Game Universe:
- Ninja Gaiden (ARC, GG, LYNX, NES, SMS, TG16, GEN),
- Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES),
- Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (LYNX, NES),
- Ninja Gaiden 3 (PS3, X360),
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus (PS3, VITA),
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus (PS3, VITA),
- Ninja Gaiden II (X360),
- Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (DS),
- Ninja Gaiden Black (XBOX),
- Ninja Gaiden Trilogy (SNES)
- Number of Players: