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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2009
Ninja Blade is a ridiculously Over The Top action game that's about 7 or 8 hours of fun. While games like Ninja Gaiden are smooth, difficult, and epic, Ninja Blade feels more like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Godzilla.

Story: 4/10
Alpha Worms infest the human population, turning them into violent and deadly mutants. The Worms can also create giant Godzilla sized monsters for epic boss battles. You play an American Ninja who's father was Japanese, but was created in a lab, and there's some mention of your mother... Umm... you're basically a video game character designed to kill monsters! That's pretty much all you need to know. The story doesn't make much sense and the dialogue is more befitting of a surfer movie than an epic action film.

Gameplay: 8/10
There are 3 types of gameplay in Ninja Blade and all are fun.
1. Hack and Slash Sword Fighting and Ninja Magic vs. Zombies and Bosses
This is the core of the game. There are 3 weapon types (katana, massive heavy sword, and fast twin blades) and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. There are a fair amount of combos for each weapon and the combat is fluid and complete with finishing moves. You also get elemental Ninja Magic for fighting enemies and using the environment to your advantage. All of your weapons and magic can be upgraded by collecting orbs found in the environments or by killing enemies.

2. Quicktime Events
Reminiscent of Dragon's Lair, a crazy action scene plays and you press the right button at the right time to keep the sequence going. If you mess up, it's ok, the scene rewinds a few seconds and you can keep trying until you get it right. These action scenes are so over the top... It's like watching a Popeye cartoon if Popeye had 10 cans of Spinach... It's like a Jason Statham Movie x 100... We're talking Superman on meth! They're so ridiculous, you can't take them seriously; but they still manage to be fun. (Mostly because the game doesn't overpunish you by killing you if you make a mistake.) Also, if you have having trouble with these, you can adust the Quicktime Difficulty on the Options Menu!

3. Rail Shooter
There are some scenes in the game where you're on a helicopter or vehicle, firing a .50 cal machine gun or rocket launcher. These scenes are very exciting and pretty easy. Simply put... FUN.

The game mixes all 3 types of gameplay fairly often and it keeps the game from feeling stale. If you die, Checkpoints are fairly generous and you can continue at the last one. At the end of each of the 9 Missions, you get a score based on how well that you did. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THE GAME SAVES. Unfortunately, you can't save during a Mission. (Each Mission is about 60-30 minutes.)

Sound/Music: 6/10
The explosions and roars of the giant mosters are LOUD, and the sound contributes to the action, but the soundtrack is pretty weak. It's almost as if the team was finishing the game and somebody said, "Hey, we should put some music in here." The background music is just there. Some tracks are exciting and others are bad. One of them sounds like a guy with a saxophone is in an electric chair. (If you played the game, you know what I'm talking about.)

Art: 8/10
The art is pretty good overall. From the visual effects, to the character designs, to the Tokyo Skyline, the graphics and animations are all very good.

Overall: 7/10
The game is fun and it doesn't try to be anything else.

Ninja Blade is Rated M for Violence and Gore.

If you're looking for a fun action game that's not too hard, this is it. With a Shadow of the Colossus Soundtrack, a Real Story, and Less Silly Action Scenes, this could have been in the same league as God of War. Unfortunately, the game is more 'action cartoon comedy' than epic masterpiece. Because the game is fairly short, the hero is completely forgettable, and replay value is limited, this makes a great rental.

Avoid this one if you hate Quicktime Events, Ridiculously Unrealistic Fight Scenes, or Bad Dialogue.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2010
In the day and age of action games being overly exaggerated, many titles come to mind when recalling over the top action/adventure games. Titles such as Devil May Cry and God of War are two of the best action adventure titles that truly take the action and adrenaline rush to an extremely exaggerated level. Scenes where Kratos rips apart mythical creatures with his bare hands, and scenes where Dante jumps atop a moving missile and navigates it with his feet, are prime examples of why these games are non-stop action. Never did I think I would encounter a game with just as much gameplay exaggeration as these, but then I bought Ninja Blade.

Ninja Blade looks beautiful. Its crisp and sharp graphics are stunning to look at, and its in game animations are top notch. The scale of the levels and boss battles also take full advantage of the graphical powers the game is boasting. The action is fast paced and even though it resembles Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry, and God of War, Ninja Blade has an identity of its own.

The story focuses around a group of soldiers/ninja who are codenamed G.U.I.D.E. They are responsible for the elimination of threats that normal weapons and humans are not capable of defeating on their own. The player takes control of an American born ninja named Ken Ogawa, who happens to be the son of the leader of G.U.I.D.E. The team has been called to Japan to assist in containing a sudden outbreak that has occurred as a result of parasites referred to as "Alpha Worms". These worms are causing the citizens of Japan to mutate into horrible creatures who are under full control of the parasites. After being betrayed by both his father and his friend, Ken Ogawa is left to contain the outbreak on his own.

Fusing elements from the three games quite nicely, Ninja Blade is truly a lot fun to play. The game contains a wide range of weapons, from small and fast, to large and slow, Ken's arsenal is greatly diverse. Ken has access to various forms of Ninjutsu, each with different element properties such as fire, or wind. Portions of the game require the player to protect a vehicle while fighting off enemy hordes in "on rail shooter" type moments. These moments do not last very long, but are still quite interesting and unique to the overall feel of the game. Many of Ken's combos resemble Kratos' fighting style from God of War, utilizing lengthy combos chained together in various ways with sudden "kill commands" that require fast reflexes to initiate more in depth and over the top kills on each opponent. This brings up the next subject for Ninja Blade, the boss battles. The boss battles are epic, placing Ken at the top of buildings, forcing him to fight off enemies twice the size of the entire building. The fights always finish with "quick time events" that take the kills to even higher levels than what the game already depicts. Moments such as flinging motorcycles at oncoming bosses, or riding missiles (ala Devil May Cry) utilize the "quick time events" greatly. Using the quick time events, the player must control every aspect of Ken's decisions, even things such as landing and jumping are based on these, and all boss battles boil down to this formula as well.

Despite the fact that the game looks like Ninja Gaiden, plays like God of War, and acts like Devil May Cry, it still has enough of its identity to make it worthwhile. With over-the-top action scenes, quick time events, epic boss battles, and great combat systems, the game is a lot of fun to play and is definitely worth checking out if you own an Xbox 360
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2009
The game is without any doubt a very good game, period. It is pure adrenaline, it takes some aspects borrowed from other games (Resident Evil, God of War, Ninja Gaiden), but the game itself shines on it's own. It is a fast paced,challenging with some of the best epic boss fights that you have ever seen in any game. Easier than Ninja Gaiden 2 (which is almost impossible to beat), but challenging though. Epic ending

Good/Pros

Fast action paced
Great graphics
Fun gameplay
Awesome bosses
Easy to learn controls
Great combos
Length of the game is OK

Cons

Save system needs to get checkpoints in the middle of a mission (there are checkpoints), but if you turn off the console, you need to start that mission again. Need to finish the mission to get a real save game. Missions take a little bit more than an hour the first time you play (average)

No multiplayer, only uploads to Xbox Live to compare your stats to with others on the leaderboards

Even though these cons, this particular game is superb and awesome. For me it's a 5 star game and worths the money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2012
Many people are harsh to this game because they are expecting a Ninja Gaiden clone.

Well, sort of, but not really, its like a game made up of blending a few other games together.

Well to sum it up, this game is Ninja violence + Quick Time Events + some jumping/platforming.

Story : 6/10
The story appears to be a ripoff of a few themes: zombifie infection of a city, but not really (parasites!), ninjas wielding various weapons and powers but speak with an American accent, saving the city with over the top action and defeating giant bosses. And a really cheesy sensei.

Graphics : 7/10
Admittedly, not bad for an xbox 360 game. I liked the bird's eye views of Tokyo. Not fantastic but credible. Somewhere between an old xbox game and Gears of War 3, to put things in perspective.

Sound : 7/10
Not too bad, surround sound effects are okay. Lots of explosions.

Gameplay : 7/10
Lots of slashing, combos, violence like God of War and Ninja Gaiden. Quick Time Events play a large part and break up the game. If you hate QTEs then forget about this game. If you like them, they actually make the game a pretty exciting experience. The platforming and wallrunning will remind you of Ninja Gaiden. Collecting yellow orbs refill your health and red orbs allow for upgrades (reminds you of God of War or Dante's Inferno much??)

Overall : 7/10

For its price, its good exciting fun. Pick it up if you do not have other major titles to play. I would recommend it, UNLESS you hate QTE, or are bad at it (which I suspect is the reason why many gamers dislike this game).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2009
A funny thing happened when I was playing Ninja Blade: my opinion regarding Team Ninja's infuriating and way-too-difficult-past-the-point-of-fun Ninja Gaiden II started to change a bit. Granted its still beyond challenging still but the combat system is probably the funnest of all combat systems which to me best God of War or Devil May Cry. Ninja Blade however is one of those games that likes to borrow elements from everywhere and shine those up to such finesse you go "wow!" and hopefully you won't see the seams. The game is over-the-top and so ridiculous that it almost becomes like a dumb blockbuster, theres barely any substance or plot and the game has several issues but you're like "yeah but dude, I just drove a motorcycle on a bus and threw it at a giant worm...while it was in mid-air, even!"

Story: It's the future and Tokyo is being attacked by transformed citizens which they dub "carriers", thanks to the worm organism that infects a person and turns them incredibly hostile. Some of them grow even to the size of jets so in comes Ken Ogawa, talented ninja to take them on but it's not long before betrayal sets in and he's got more to do than just beat a couple of mutated people.

Graphics: The team that worked on the awesome Otogi series does bring a sense of style to the game though it's not flashly or awe-inducing but it is cool. Shades of the Matrix are a-plenty here with slo-mo, neon and skyscrapers lit at night give it a very stylish look. In-game it looks alright but it's nothing spectacular. I noticed some really harsh slowdown at one point which made me wonder whether it was the game showing off and looking cool or if it was actually being that slow. The QTE cutscenes are outlandish and crazy and if you can stomach the Simon Says button prompts, you'll be treated to some pretty nifty sequences.

Sound/Music: Rather forgettable on all counts. Music is there and I suppose it works but it never seems to call attention to itself, even during high octane parts the music never seems to elevate the game it just...sits there. Same for the voice acting which is pretty flat and not really emotive. But then again, we're here for the blood and killing demons with wrecking balls so take the seriousness of Metal Gear games away from this one.

Gameplay: The game can essentially be boiled down to 2 ways of progressing: quicktime events and Ninja Gaiden-inspired combat, right down to pressing D-pad to change weaponry, combos, small platforming parts and huge boss fights. The combat here isn't as button-heavy as other games though it's somewhat maddening. Hit detection can be off, aiming certain moves is tricky since you can actually miss rather than target the nearest enemy and some enemies even go through your moves and get a hit. There's even sections where they'll burst out of barrels or walls you break down and hit you and it always feels like a cheap shot since otherwise, how would you know they were even there? Or even knew when to block?

Critics have been lambasting the game for its over-excessive use of quicktime events, first shown with Shenmue but got even more attention thanks to Resident Evil 4 and God of War. And just like Devil May Cry, all the coolest maneuvers are reserved for the cutscenes but it looks cool anyway, but here's a tip: never put down your controller. You'll know when a sequence will pop up when there's a big close-up of Ken's eye (extreme closeup! waaaaaaaaahh!...sorry) and you'll be prompted to press a button, a direction or button mash with ratings based on each one. Thing is if you fail you don't die per se you just rewind Prince of Persia-style and try again. I actually found these sequences funner than actually fighting so go figure.

Weapons are the basics: the big beast of a sword for strong attacks, typical sword and a dual-blade which acts more like whips akin to Kratos' arms or that one sword from Heavenly Sword, which these are perfect for these annoying bats. Added in are ninpo...sorry, ninjitsu. While these are useful, enemies are so annoying and always attacking that using say the fire one will just cause you to get hit anyway. Though clearing out obstacles like fire or blowing up flammable barrels is always fun but since enemies I noticed where the armored variety, I always ended up just using the big beast anyway. You can activate ninja vision with LB which'll highlight enemies or things you couldnt see otherwise which helps quite a bit though because it's tied to your spells use, you'll probably just drain it anyway while you wait till it replenishes. Call if difficult all you want but Ninja Gaiden's combat was more refined than here which seems like it could be something good but just not perfected.

Would I recommend Ninja Blade? Well if you find Ninja Gaiden too hard then yeah but fair warning: if you hate quicktime events, then this'll be your least favorite game ever...probably.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2010
I would say 99.9% of reviewers in this column don't have the slightest clue what they are talking about. Ninja Blade is probably the best ninja game yet. This is a hack and slash game, simply as that, so going into it...what kinda game are you expecting? The cutscenes are bothersome I hear? Is two seconds not enough for you to press a button on your controller? I must have screwed up the cutscenes only once and thats because I needed to change batteries! The cutscenes really show the games graphical capabilities and really added to the variety of the gameplay experience. If your complaining about not being able to save in the middle of a mission then you shouldn't be playing video games anyway because you are so worried about your electrical bill. Maybe you should stick Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 on the recruit setting, at least that way you will be able to save after every checkpoint. If your a fan of the hack & slash genre ala DMC or Ninja Gaiden, then you will jump right into this game. Having played all these games, I found Ninja Blade the best. Sure the plot may not be nominated for an academy award but who downright cares?! It is quite simply a blast to play!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
many people complain about the repetitive actions scenes but i tell you forget them, this game is non stop action. you get awesome moves and attacks, i think its actually better than Ninja Gaiden where you always fight in some kinda forest or some thing this takes place in the city. i can guarentee you wont regret this purchase look on the bright side if you dont like it your kids will or your neighbor lol. Enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
God of War was a pretty good game, but the game made popular quick time events, which I absolutely despised.

When I saw Ninja Blade at a used media store I was taken back by how little it cost, for what seemed like a fairly enjoyable game, similar to Ninja Gaiden (note: Ninja Gaiden 2 for the Xbox 360 is kicking my butt, but I fully plan on finishing it, have picked up Sigma for the PlayStation 3, and am semi-interested in picking up others in the series).

When I popped it in I was impressed with the visuals, and then the quick time events started. And they never stop. If you're as poor at quick times events as I am, expect to have approximately half your time taken up by them. Of course, I kid, but only slightly.

However, after finishing Ninja Blade, I was actually rather happy with the game, and can absolutely see myself putting it in in the future to pick up some of the achievements (less than half) that I'm missing. Sure, the quick time events are harsh, but the ability to replay them with little ill-effect tones the frustration down.

I also rather liked the story, which reminded me of The Third Birthday and Drakengard (keeping in mind that I read an English translation of a Nier book).

With the exception of weapon switching, which is mostly due to the 360's inferior d-pad, the game was also rather fluid, suffering from only a bit of slowness at extremely 'intense' periods of activity.

If you like Ninja Gaiden's game play, and aren't afraid of fairly intense quick time events, definitely give Ninja Blade a try.

4 of 5 stars for a difficult, but rewarding, and replayable, game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
This is no ordinary game like those racing and adventure games. This is an extraordinary life experience. Grafics? off the chart. Is like you're the ninja. Simply fantastic. This is a must play for all you game freeks out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
If you are a Ninja Gaiden 2 fan... Then you are going to like this one. What I really love about this game (besides the game play) is that you can customize your character's costume. If you are into Ninja martial arts and other related subjects then I totally recommend this game.
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