Review: Ninja Blade

Assume the role of Ken Ogawa and strap on your three swords the “Oni-Slayer”, the “Stonerender”, and the “Twin Falcon” blades, and don’t forget your “Ninjutsu”, the elemental Shuriken. Ken’s mission is to head deep into the heart of Tokyo and go toe to toe with the highly infectious Alpha-Worms find their nest and exterminate it. Follow the teachings of your teacher, and father, Ken Ogawa who mentors your journey and teaches you the ninja basics.

The visuals in this game are exceptional with highly detailed skylines, burned out buildings and high flying sword fight sequences. Taking you from the roof tops of Tokyo to the street your going to spend a little time everywhere during your journey. You’ll even spend some time in a helicopter flying above the city and shooting at flying and strategic ground targets.

Boss battles while epic in proportions will take you to new levels of frustration, providing limited targets to attack, multiple different weapons will be needed (one for armour busting one for fast attacks) and support creatures to assist the boss when they start to feel the burn of your attacks and in some cases the shear size of the boss will be the obstacle itself.

Get to know your available weapons and the best places to use them. The “Oni-Slayer” your standard mid level balanced attack sword. Good for your standard attack with enough speed for most of the baddies your going to handle. The “Stonerender”, your heavy weapon, is slow and best used for the armoured enemy and as a utility to break walls and open new pathways and hidden items. Your last set of blades come as a set the “Twin Falcon” blades, used for high speed and light attacks and as a grapple hook to span gaps. For ranged attacks you will have the three elements of Fire, Air and Lightning at your beck and call. Bash, burn and electrify your way through the city with your trusty “Ninjutsu”.

While the voice acting and standard game play is excellent there are two major things holding this game back; 1 – the variation of the enemies is limited to less then a dozen regular grunts and 2 – the excessive use of timed sequences. Every boss minor and major as well as a number of the high flying fights take on the X,Y, UP, Left mentality that really slow down and drag this game down. Ninja gaming fans that can get passed the number of timed sequences your going to enjoy this game.

Pros:

– Visuals and attention to skyline details
– Level design and variety
– Voice acting is top notch

Cons:

– Enemy variation is limited to a handful of grunts
– Times sequences slow down game play and are to frequent

Feed Your Console gives Ninja Blade: 7 out of 10

Developer: From Software
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

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