When I first got wind of the game I was just looking for ninja images on google and pictures of this game came up. Now I didn’t know at first. I thought they were just images such as you would see on Deviantart.com but then I realize that these images were of a game. I was curious and so I looked further into the game and found a trailer of sorts. This trailer was actually the prologue of the game.
Seeing this prologue had my attention even more so I went and got it. After playing the game further Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z’s hero, seemed more of an Antihero…lol. The game is a hack-and-slash game with an unlikable star (Well depening on you of course. I’m sure some people will like him.) that has, well, its own sense of humor. There are numerous reviews of the game that talk it down stating for the most part that it is crass, stupid and not really funny. The characters in the game, their speech is rather naive. The game id full of profanity and sexual humor which can be appealing (actually these type of games do sell more), and games like South Park: The Stick of Truth and MadWorld delight in their lewdness with great success. Ninja Gaiden Z’s profanity and licentious imagery wants you to laugh. I was playing the game and caught a little laugh at this part here:
Yaiba who is very rough around the edges is pursuing his revenge against Ninja Gaiden star Ryu Hayabusa. Miss Monday, whose primary character traits are her monumental breasts which the game makes sure you see, is Yaiba’s guide in the game. Alarico “Rico” del Gonzo is the eccentric leader of Forge Industries, the company that revived and rebuilt Yaiba. My memory fails me at time and there was something mentioned regarding Gonzo that I copied “After six years of holding our dicks in our hands, finally that Spanish knobhead Del Gonzo authorized some action,” and get this later makes mention of his “blood-boner.” I like the comic-book art style and the initial gore are enough to inspire a momentary blood-boner, but sadly, the lacking dialogue is not the game’s biggest problem.
The action itself at times is a problem and leads me to believe that maybe Comcept and Spark Unlimited released it too soon. You know, it’s seem unfinished such as a beta release of a game would be. As cyberninja Yaiba Kamikaze, you fight through cartoon zombies using your sword, your metal fist, your flail, and once in awhile weapons that killed enemies drop, like a rocket launcher or electrified nunchuks. The action is satisfying. It is a button mashing type of game where just about every button press you get blood splattering all over your screen. Pretty cool actually. I liked watching the executions.
The flail gives the combat a God of War feel, is useful for getting through large numbers of zombies at once. The flail doesn’t do a lot of damage but its appeal is its ability to allow you to make surrounding foes simultaneously vulnerable setting you up to make those gory executions that I like. You can make the executions one after another the push of a button when one execution pauses to move on to another. Watching the zombie heads fly into the air is and undead bodies being split in half at the torso are very cool and enjoyable. They make the game fun actually. As in any game they get sort of boring to watch but you can improve Yaiba as you go along in the game. Performing executions are also neccessary because doing them rewards you with red cubes that replenish your health.
The camera is a frequent problem, you are forced at times to move around and fight off unseen enemies without a good view of your surroundings. Jumping around across different thresholds while in combat gets annoying at times. It was really annoying fighting a mechanical boss that acts like a dog. The thing is huge and ends up blocking view of Yaiba, especially when you dash around behind it hidding you from view. I found myself dashing under it through its legs only to get slammed on cause I kept getting stuck under it. Unsure why at times, either the legs are in the way or something else that I just could not see. Dashing in the correct direction took some figuring especially when the thing turns around on you looking for you so you have to dash out in the right direction. That freaking thing shows up more often in the game which was annoying. This also moves me into my next point.
The level of difficulty, there are numerous foes some fling fire, some that sizzle with electricity, and some that puke bile in your direction but Ninja Gaiden Z takes the old school approach to adding difficulty to a game by throwing increasing numbers of these enemies into the arena and introducing old foes into the mix. The enemies too while fighting come off of with random cheap shots all the time that seem impossible to avoid I saying, blocking and countering certain attacks is possible, but it does not always work due to how quickly and randomly this mess plays out onscreen.
Ninja Gaiden Z’s has a chemistry thing going to it which can cause more frustration. The flames of a holy roaster and biological spew of a blister sister cause interactions. The chemistry is okay at times like when you use it to solve the game’s mild puzzles, but there is a part in the game where you use static electricity to help eliminate some foes (I guess….they seemed to die quicker once I figured that out.) from the lightning storms that ignite when fire and lightning meet are more hazardous than the threats they alleviate. I walked into one and found that out. My first though due to the game’s notification was to walk into them but then I thought oh he is a cyborg that may not be the best idea. Some website said “Death is a frustration and not a teaching tool” but it just matters on the player really. I will say this though, the game’s main method of healing (execution health drops) is unreliable. The prompts to execute enemies might appear do appear but are a bit hard to catch. Yaiba though moves so fast and this makes them hard to catch. I found myself spamming the execution button while fighting through the zombies so I can catch the opportunities to execute. While some reviews found this as part of the game’s flaws while I just see it as one of those things you see on all fast-pace games.
Ninja Gaiden Z almost impairs itself in a way. The executions are satisfying but each chained execution is visually distinct leaving no connection to the others. They are basically like watching a video clip than showing off those ninja skills of the player. Ninja Gaiden Z’s parkour sequences are diminished I would say compared to the actual Ninja Gaiden game. I remember playing Ninja Gaiden and jumping was also a skill you had to learn but instead in Ninja Gaiden Z they jumping requires timing and the hitting the right button. Some parts though remind me of Ninja Gaiden. The jumps requiring at times what to look for so you know the right button to hit while the camera angle messes you up at times causing more deaths.
Keeping that “blood-boner” up maybe hard (lol) to do with the game’s annoyances but overall it is still fun to play. I wish the game had been out of the beta stage before they released it but, hey, what can you do? Do a review. I got a kick out of Yaiba and his vulgar attitude and the game’s sutle jokes. I read several reviews on the game and I concur somewhat with all of them but I also think having Ninja Gaiden in the name places a standard on it that it was not meant to accomplish. It’s like a phone having Windows name attached to it. Due to the old Windows Mobile and how it performed it had a bad taste to it so the now new Windows Phones that come out have to overcome that stigma even though Windows Phone now is a good phone O.S.. I do wish though Ninja Gaiden Z’s style had been applied to a better foundation or at least just put more work into it then bring it out. The original price tag of $60 I think was a bit high but then again probably necessary having the Ninja Gaiden name to it, not to mention Ryu makes an appearance in game. (Extra bills to pay to the original makers of Ninja Gaiden series)