Review: Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge

Team NINJA has come under fire for Ninja Gaiden 3 on more than one occasion, with many complaining that the development team had been swayed far too greatly by the expanding audience and thus creating a sequel with far less impact than previous titles in the series. While it’s true that this third release has a more accessible opening than previous Ninja Gaiden experiences, it’s no shallower in its combat system which is arguably the greater asset. And after an update added a new difficulty setting there was surely very little to be disappointed with?

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Sadly, the videogames purchasing public didn’t see it that way and Ninja Gaiden 3 remained an underrated videogame. Then came the Wii U however, with its own take on Ninja Gaiden 3 known as Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Originally billed as a Wii U exclusive Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge has since arrived on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 bringing dozens of new additions and revised challenges with it, presenting the definitive version of the videogame. No longer would players have any reason to doubt Team NINJA.

The videogame is of course the same as Ninja Gaiden 3 in principle, but many of its renovations run so deep into its core that it’s obviously more than any simple downloadable content (DLC) could have brought. Ninja Gaiden 3 benefited from DLC than added a new difficulty setting, however Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge fundamentally changes the system. Enemies aren’t simply harder to kill, they are decidedly more intelligent. Waiting for their opening they will attack in groups and not merely their presence on-screen as with some titles, but actually simultaneously trying to achieve damaging blows.

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Of the new content additions that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge offers the first new weapon you receive is the Falcon’s Talons, a claw like adornment that literally rips your foes apart. Previously made available as premium DLC for Ninja Gaiden 3, this extra feature is a money saver as opposed to a renovation of any kind, which is the case for much if Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge besides the above mentioned artificial intelligence (AI) improvements and the inclusion of SmartGlass.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge uses SmartGlass to fantastic effect, easily one of the titles that has best made use of the advantages the software offers thus far. Not simply limited to Achievement lists and high score charts, players are given immediate access to tips videos and community forums.

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Also renovated in this new edition is the online gameplay. Players can customise their ninja in multiplayer modes to a far greater degree than ever before, once you have unlocked access to these components of course, but what’s more there are brand new gameplay assets incorporated. Clan Battle and basic deathmatch return, but additional maps and customisable settings are also included, allowing friends to create the exact level of competition they find appealing. All unlocked weapons and Ninpo are now available in Clan Battle and the Ninja Trails co-operative mode has also been expanded significantly.

Available at a wallet-friendly price point, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge doesn’t rewrite the Ninja Gaiden rulebook but rather bring the original Ninja Gaiden 3 more inline with it. It’s a renovation that’s designed to appeal to the core audience, taking into account all of their complaints about the original release of the title and improving on the weakpoints highlighted in the feedback. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, then, isn’t the epitome of the Ninja Gaiden series, but rather another compelling reason to become involved with it.

Score: 8