March 24, 2012

Review – Ninja Gaiden 3

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 1:25 pm

Review Ninja Gaiden 3
Ryu Hayabusa’s latest outing opens on a briefly disorienting note that left me anticipating the worst.

Players begin as an unknown victim, looking up at Ryu before suddenly finding themselves able to control his movements – leaping from a balcony to slice into an enormous glowing deity with a series of obligatory quick-time prompts in tow. This quick sequence of events will make sense once players have come full circle, chasing a well financed doomsday cult across the globe, but it did little to ease the cynicism I admittedly brought to Team Ninja’s latest addition to the Ninja Gaiden franchise, and seemed to give merit to the scorn critics have been heaping on the title since its release.

However, the game shifts gears rather quickly, with Ryu responding to a terrorist group demanding his presence, and leaping into the streets of London to slice through the first of many soldiers offered two days of fast paced action I’ve gladly sunk my blade into.

This doesn’t entirely take away from complaints that the title is too straightforward and simplistic – because it definitely is – but rather that the truth of those accusations offers up an experience that is still inviting. Setting the game to normal difficulty presented some occasional bottlenecks, particularly during later stages, and aside from evading or blocking before slashing repeatedly, the nearly non-existent learning curve allowed me to keep the momentum of the story moving along quite nicely, which was appreciated since I actually enjoyed the story – no one is more shocked than I am about that.

There are plenty of legitimate complaints to lodge throughout the experience, and yet this straightforward affair finds a still pleasurable balance between ludicrous action sequences that feel empowering and overwhelming swarms of enemies that are often rather satisfying to slash a path through.

And insofar as others have no complaints about running around with Nathan Drake as he shoots countless mercenaries ad nausea whilst solving a few puzzles before wrapping up another adventure, I’ve still found a reasonable amount of entertainment on this trip with Ryu as he slices through helicopters, spider tanks and an obligatory dinosaur.


September 7, 2010

Review – Metroid: Other M

Metroid: Other M
In 2004, the original NES release of Metroid joined several titles deemed classic enough to represent that period of gaming through revisits on the GameBoy Advanced, and yet that same year also saw a much more thorough revisit on the handheld with the release of Metroid: Zero Mission. Aside from several tweaks within the game, the release returned to the source of the series to establish cannon at ground zero, setting the tone and direction for all subsequent releases.

The most significant element of that release was the newly added Zero Mission, a mission that showed Samus Aran stripped of her armor and evading space pirates in the instantly iconic zero suit. It was the emergence of a more vulnerable, but still capable Samus, and a defining moment that opened the floodgates for a greater discussion of the role gender plays within the Metroid series, executed with clever subtlety.


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