With the expense of making modern games it must be hard producing a sequel to a well-loved, but not bestselling series. ‘Ninja Gaiden’ is a cult favourite; its ultra-hard gameplay rewards those that invest the time and effort to develop their skills. However, many modern gamers just don’t like this; kill them a couple of times and they are as likely to switch off the game in frustration, never to return, as they are to relish the challenge. Namco Bandai, stuck between a rock and a hard place, decided to ignore the hard place and make ‘Ninja Gaiden 3’ the easiest and most ‘accessible’ in the series so far.
Ryu returns and this time he visits cities such as London to lop off the limbs of other ninjas and also mutant creatures. His arm is infected with a mutation that harms him, but also imbues him with incredible powers. The game is a third person action title that sees you control Ryu in what feels like a series of closed arenas as you clear them of the enemy. The game is grisly to the extreme, hardened gamers may not notice, but if your partner walks in they may just ask what on Earth you are playing. It deserves its 18 certificate and then some.
The ‘Ninja Gaiden’ games have always prided themselves on their combat and it is a shame then that this version is weaker than previous outings. The option to play the game in an easier mode is probably the cause as the game is designed to cater for a more casual player; therefore it is slightly more basic. I can forgive this as the combat is still fun, but basic level design I cannot. The levels look good, but are incredibly bland. You just walk from place to place and take out swarms of enemies and it soon grows a little tiresome. The series may have been extremely difficult at times in the past, but it felt like it had heart. By ‘Ninja Gaiden 3’ this heart has been ripped out in a Ryu-esque special move and leaves a dull experience.