Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge is one of many enhanced ports from HD consoles coming over to Nintendo’s dual-screen wonder with some added touch screen controls for the Gamepad and some new additions to the Ninja Gaiden gameplay to tweak what was, to be fair, a pretty average affair when it came out last year.
Unfortunately I’m playing this game off the back of the sublime Devil May Cry remake as well which doesn’t help matters, and things are further compounded due to a game breaking bug fairly early on in the game which halted my progress so I’ll give you my take on what little I got to play.
To recap the plot, Ryu Hayabusa has been cursed by the “Grip of Murder” and his trusty Dragon Sword has been fused into his arm, meaning all the souls of everybody he’s killed are now wreaking havoc with his mind and soul as well. You embark on an adventure to put a stop to the secret order that did this to you led by the Regent of the Mask – who also seems to be cloning dinosaurs and making monsters as well.
When it comes to gameplay you’ll be stringing together moves to kill all around you and this version features new sharp things to play with such as claws to eviscerate people with which you can unlock by collecting golden scarabs hidden round the levels, and extra magic and abilities which can be unlocked with points. You can use the touch screen on the GamePad to do this and also view a move list but I really recommend playing the game on the Pro Controller. Action games such as this are tricky to control when you’re holding something that feels like an Etch-a-Sketch!
You’ll also get to play a sub-story alongside Hayabusa’s as the pink-haired Ayane which mixes things up a bit but my problem comes with just how tame everything feels during normal combat. It’s quite fun when you string together a few finishes with limbs flying all over the place but wearing them down is a chore. The cockney commandos repeat the same phrases as they come at you (mainly telling you to F-off), the camera zooms into the action too much (especially when fighting big bosses) which creates confusion and everything feels just a little too serious, even when you’re being chased through a lab by a massive T-Rex. And that’s as far as I got with the game I’m afraid. I managed to kill the beast but then it simply vanished leaving me with an empty boss health bar, invisible walls and no way out. I even went back into the main menu and restarted to find the exact same thing happen to me again so it’s not even a one-off. The dinosaur is extinct and so, I’m afraid, is any more fun to be had with this game!
There are some enjoyable set pieces to be had and from what I’ve played, the game’s a definite improvement over the original – still I bet Wii U owners wish they could play ‘normal’ games on their console as well. Devil May Cry is definitely the best hack ‘n’ slash game to be released this month so Wii U owners will just have to wait for Bayonetta 2 to get their fill of mental demon-slaying action.
I’m going to assume I’m the only one to experience this game-breaking bug so I’ll be generous and give Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge 6 out of 10. If, however, this bug exists in more copies than just mine it actually deserves to get a 1.