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Ninja Gaiden 3

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Ninja Gaiden 3

Ninja Gaiden III Hands-On Preview | Fixing What Ain't Broke

Jonathan Lester
Games previews, Gamescom 2011, Ninja Gaiden III, Team Ninja, Techmo Koei
Ninja Gaiden 3 | Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Ninja Gaiden III Hands-On Preview | Fixing What Ain't Broke

When the British Prime Minister is kidnapped as part of a coup d'etat, none other than legendary ninja Ryu Hyabusa is willing to take up arms against a sea of troubles - and by opposing, end them. And end them hard. The moody new London setting is a refreshingly dark and dank change of pace from the first two games, with familiar landmarks and tube stations providing a canvas to liberally splash with an inordinate amount of viscera. Though the voice acting is insultingly stereotypical ("looks like Jack the ripper is back again," quips a mockney soldier as he observes a fallen comrade), on the whole the new setting is by far the most pleasing part of the package. Team Ninja have to prove that they're capable of making a Ninja Gaiden game without Itagaki at the helm... but from what I experienced in the Gamescom demo level, Itagaki may have been more important than they'd like to admit.

Fighting against fellow humans was easily the most satisfying part of the first two games, and once again, you'll be thrown into arenas against waves of incoming forces. Like their predecessors, these mercenaries use a mix of ranged and melee attacks, with more powerful foes bringing shields or rocket launchers along to the party. Combat, therefore, revolves around blocking attacks, dashing behind foes and planning quick, decisive strikes from your Katana and throwing stars. The infamous Flying Swallow attack no longer decapitates opponents, instead, it triggers a cinematic takedown when it connects. Brawling is just as fun as you might remember, though frequent knockdown attacks still make an unwelcome appearance.

Ninja Gaiden III Hands-On Preview | Fixing What Ain't Broke

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