I have written a review for Ninja Gaiden 3 already, but goodness I just need to rant more about this title. The game is just soo interesting, so different from the previous games in almost everyway. Ninja Gaiden 3 is know as a game that almost ruined the Ninja Gaiden franchise. You can even buy the enhanced remake bran new for less than $15.00 Canadian. For a game that is three years old on now and on last generation consoles and the WiiU can sound average. But the price drop on the game can at an incredible velocity. I can remember when I first bought the game at launch paying the full $59.99 plus tax pre ordering the title thinking of the how much I enjoyed the Ninja Gaiden series. Which brings me to the purpose of the rant. This Ninja Gaiden 3 really that bad that even three years later some people... Or at least me is still frustrated?
On a technical level the game is playable and has some really fun moment. But that's completely it. Ninja Gaiden 3 lacks any redeeming factors. From everything from the level design, to the combat system, and everything in between. Ninja Gaiden 3 does some of the bare minimum and at the time released it as a full price game.
Let's start maybe with something I find somewhat addictive and that is the combat. Trust me when I say this, the combat is great, but it is fun enough to have enjoyment until the games credits role. But that is simply it, unlike the other actions that Ninja Gaiden back on the original xbox defined, Ninja Gaiden 3 borrows more elements from Dynasty Warriors. There are waves and waves and waves of the same enemies and no creative ways to dispose them. This wouldn't bother me if Ninja Gaiden 3 had more weapons, characters, large detailed maps or anything like that... But Ninja Gaiden 3 does none of that. The level design has no hidden goodies, no sense of exploration, no puzzles. Just Ryu moving to different areas and killing enemies. These aspects just left me confused. Why is there only one spell, why is there only a sword, why are the levels so barren and empty?
The question on the design of Ninja Gaiden 3 are confusing. Even on a short segment when Ryu ventures back to his home village could have been a moment to encourage world building or help personify Ryu as a character. As Ryu walks through the small village, guards are in the streets and people are devoting themselves to the art. This section is one of the most interesting because plays get a little view on how the village structures. Beyond this moment, everything else is the same combat.
Ninja Gaiden 3 also features a full online mode which I have yet to find any enjoyment with it, not to say I don't think anyone is playing it today. Not to say of you bought the game used, you need an online pass. As if the game wasn't already a cash grab. Why was any effort at all put into the multiplayer and at its core, Ninja Gaiden games are a single player experience? That is the most frustrating thing about Ninja Gaiden 3. Why wasn't the multiplayer cut in hopes to have a stronger single player experience?
Also why was there such a huge focus on the story if you aren't going to have any impact or weight. Don't get me wrong, part of the story makes sense and the action aspect and the setting is so exciting. But it is when the game tries to feel emotional where it is so terrible. When you hire an NES writer to do a current generation game, that's what you get. Ninja Gaiden 3 does have some good production values. I found the graphics really good and the voice acting to be really good as well. I love Troy Baker and Alli Hillis as voice actors.
Truth be told I still play Ninja Gaiden 3. Like I said I do find it has some fun moments. But even though I can play this game way more than I should and complain about it three years later, there is just something about it that feels addictive. Maybe it is it short length for speed runs. I guess it just goes down as my favourite bad game ever.