What makes Ninja Gaiden a NG?

The game is finally unmasked at E3, fans were out joyed and amazed while others were fuming with outrage. This is the final page I'll make for my Ninja Gaiden 3 blog- wishlist and it will be dedicated to what makes Ninja Gay-den Ninja Gai-den. Or simply "what makes NG a Ninja Gaiden game?".

It is really amusing how gamers react or the ones who calls themselves Ninja Gaiden fan or Hardcore NG fan reacted when they saw NG3 finally unmasked. I never played the previous Classic Ninja Gaiden or aka Classic Ryukenden, as I started out with Xbox Ninja Gaiden Black (definitive NG, best NG and one of the best games on Xbox). However I did managed to try Classic Ninja Gaiden NES unlockable from NG Black.
People who were not impressed by Ninja Gaiden 3 are officially NOT NG fanboy. And I just found out that I am a true NG fan and I've seen many who are.

In fact I really don't need to make this article as someone else already wrote a piece how Ninja Gaiden remake still has Classic Ninja Gaiden bloodline and gameplay to it.

Also here is a piece I dissected how Ninja Gaiden 2 recycled 60% or many elements and items from Classic Ninja Gaiden 2 game.
Sorry the images cannot appear as Gamespy Classic gamepage for classic games is no longer available.

First I'll finish off this introduction.
Anyone who has followed this blog will notice how I pointed out fans reaction towards Mr Hayashi who is now the leader of Team NINJA. Fans have really be skeptical about him and how he directs the NG series. Ninja Gaiden 1 and Ninja Gaiden 2 were originally directed and designed by post Itagaki. Hayashi ported his games with problems fixed and extra goodies. Fans lately were uproaring and saying they want to see what Hayashi can do without using someone else's work, they want to see him make a new game without porting the original.

Basically this is a test, a test to prove that Itagaki is the only one who can make a Ninja Gaiden game. Finally that Ninja Gaiden 3 has been released that looks to go back to its roots (as Itagaki said so himself) many fans are going ballistic saying Hayashi has ruined the series.
The most funny part and annoying part about this is that, a lot of things that made Ninja Gaiden were in Ninja Gaiden 3 and thus the fans failed to acknowledge this but must hate this game.

So this article I will be dissecting Ninja Gaiden 3 and what makes it a Ninja Gaiden game.

Blood, Gore, Dismemberment

First I will start of with this section since this is the most controversial part in NG games.
In Ninja Gaiden 1 as I will finally start referring to Ninja Gaiden Black, there was blood in the game and dismemberment as you can cut off the enemies head. However the blood effects were not over exaggerated to make the game feel bloody, when you cut and enemy they will sprout out little blood that you wouldn't take notice off. NG was never a blood or violence game.

In fact violence in video game is a controversial and I wouldn't go in detail with that since Mortal Komabt helped spawn the ESRB rating board. However "blood" in video games is what was increasing since the start of 7th generation. Back then it wasn't because 'blood' was needed to project how violence the game was, however blood was there to make the game more bloodier and during that time it was more of a competition to see who can develop a game that is very bloody.
Gears of War 1 had a bloody effect when you saw off enemies

However many games did have gore and blood to them however they had it because that was their essence of gameplay and what litterally defines the game.
Nanobreaker on PS2 was one damn violence bloody game
Madworld is one of those games that needed blood to define its unique gameplay and why it is violence. Madworld did not just have bloody gore effects just to show off, it had the violence to set itself aside from other games and what its gameplay is unique.

Another controversial game called Manhunt, it needed the high level of violence to set itself apart from other games and why it needed violence to define its gameplay. This game Manhunt was banned in many countries.

Exactly what is the moral of having blood in games? First a game having too much unneeded and exaggerated blood in the game will get your game banned in other countries resulting in loss profit sales. Second many developers are trying to get the controversial award by making their game very bloody so their game can be remembered as one of the most violence and bloody game ever created. "Its all a game".

Now lets take a look at a game that jumped into the "Blood Bandwagon" and failed:
Splatterhouse: Man this game is very very bloody but ultimately failed in gameplay motivation and mechanic. It was like the developers got bored half way and only focused on making the game very bloody as the game's motivation. The game mechanic was broken and also suffered bad hit collection detection.
So much blood but game fails. Lesson learned: "Blood doesn't sell your game if its broken!"

I'm sorry but if developers thinks Gamers will get amusement out of seeing blood in video games, they need to see the psychiatrist. We only need blood to help define a game and set it apart from other games.
Why do you think Mortal Kombat is successful? yes its one of the most violence games and memorable violence games however the blood and violence were not created as a gimmick, they were created to define the game Mortal Kombat for adult and Street Fighter for the casuals.

Now that I've explained the reasons for having blood in games and moral for having one, I will now talk about Ninja Gaiden inheriting blood.
If anybody watch a samurai or ninja moves or their anime version. You would notice they are very violence and bloody. This was something Ninja Gaiden 2 tried to achieve with its blood. Now remember I was telling you earlier above that violence is only needed for the gameplay mechanism. Yes Ninja Gaiden 2 added a Dismemberment feature in the game that allowed Ryu to cut of the heads, arms and legs of an enemy. However the blood was a gimmick feature and a reminiscent to classic ninja flicks and anime.

People should stop making it official that Ninja Gaiden is a violence game or bloody game. No it wasn't and never was, only Ninja Gaiden 2 was a bloody violence game. Ninja Gaiden Black the critically acclaim game did not had exaggerated blood like Ninja Gaiden 2 and yes it did had beheading (even though the PAL version was censored off).

And finally we have Ninja Gaiden 3 now even more bloodier than Ninja Gaiden 2. Why was this added? because fans disliked the approaching of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 by removing all the flashy gimmick blood and replacing it with purple mist and so adding striking blood effects.
Sigma 2 still had blood but toned down...A LOT
Another reason why NG3 has so much blood is to give the feeling of killing a human being when you impale them with a sword. Originally their arms are meant to cut off, but come on...how psychopathic are gamers exactly? If you combine Steel on Bone technique along with Dismemberment, what will you have? Adult Only rated game, banned in a lot of countries and rated the Most Violence Video Game ever created.
I will explain it: Steel on Bone works by impaling the sword to an enemy and you need to press a button to rip the blade off the enemy's body painfully. Now imagine Ninja Gaiden 2's dismemberment added to NG3.
Now imagine slicing off this enemy's arm, Camera is zoomed in as you Steel on Bone him and his arm comes off like NG2.
This will get NG3 to be rated Adult Only because you are performing a simulation of cutting the human body with a sword added to it is the bone crushing sound effects that makes it real. You button bash Square/Traingle to give the realism effect of hacking off the arm. I'm sorry but this will be Manhunt banning and controversy all over again. We don't need that for Ninja Gaiden games.

As I said eariler blood and violence are only needed in a game to set itself aside from other games and define its gameplay mechanic. The blood level is needed in Ninja Gaiden 3 to make the cutting more immersive, truly there is no point in Steel on Bone enemies, while camera zooms in and you see no blood at all.

All in all dismemberment is not needed in Ninja Gaiden 3, the blood already made it violence which will ultimately lead to Germany and Australia banning Ninja Gaiden 3 in their country....again.....as they did for Ninja Gaiden 2.
Dismemberment was never part of making a Ninja Gaiden Ninja Gaiden.

If you still disagree and strongly feel that Ninja Gaiden 3 needs decapitation, beheading and dismemberment for your sick pleasure and sick head. Then by all means click on this link.
And if you still feel that video games should strongly support unneeded gimmick violence that does not define its gameplay but a way of showing off then YOU are sick in the head and should be locked up.
Who enjoys cutting enemies body in half for viewing pleasure? its the same thing as playing the banned rape simulation Rapelay. (exaggeration violence/blood/gore in video game should be decreased!)

Obliteration Technique
Anybody who enjoyed Ninja Gaiden Black will notice that Obliteration Technique simply called OT was already in Ninja Gaiden Black but more improved in Ninja Gaiden 3.
Originally in NGB when you perform OT, Ryu would simply impale the enemy while on the fall. This move for the Dragon Sword is called "Fiend Sealer", while enemy is on the floor, Ryu would impale them.
If you don't know what I'm talking about:
Around the 0:52 mark, Ryu will perform OT on the fiend.
Alright...I pointed out the origin of OT but OT is missing in Ninja Gaiden 3. OT is not missing in Ninja Gaiden 3. After you Steel on Bone enemies as they run off crying or dying, if you press the attack button Ryu would automatically OT the enemy. OT still exists in Ninja Gaiden 3.
As you can see in the 0:46 mark Ryu performs OT. 
In Ninja Gaiden 2 whenever you perform OT the camera would zoom into the action. The same does in Ninja Gaiden 3 however sometimes the camera doesn't zoom in too close like above. Using Steel On Bones will ALWAYS zoom in the camera.

In the end Obliteration Technique makes Ninja Gaiden Ninja Gaiden and yes it is still in Ninja Gaiden 3.

Kamikaze, Hara Kiri, Seppuku
As I remember Itagaki saying once, "enemies are there to kill you in Ninja Gaiden 2" therefore they will go through all means necessary to kill Ryu. In terms of Realism, when you cut off both a ninja's leg, no way in hell would he be conscious to still kill you. Again this gameplay is a reminiscent to classic Ninja flicks, its basically a last resort a ninja would do before dying. If anybody remembers watching Samurai X Trust & Betrayal. You would notice each time Kenshin seriously damages a ninja, the ninja would pull a string that triggers a bomb. This is exactly the same thing in NG2, they perform kamikaze to blow themselves up along with Ryu.

As for Ninja Gaiden 3, has this concept really changed? yes it has. Ninja Gaiden 3 is moving in a path of making the game more realistic. Sure if you cut off a ninja's arm he may still be conscious however not everyone are made the same. Also realistically in war, when you stab someone or shoot someone you don't expect them to pull off a kamikaze or hara kiri along with you. They will die of course.

This is the approach Ninja Gaiden 3 is going for, going for a more realistic route. When you Steel on Bone enemies, they cry in pain like ANY real human beings would do. Please don't get fiction and reality mixed up, watching too many movies would make you stupid. Because no way you can cut off a ninja's body they would still have the courage to perform kamikaze or harakiri.

Ninja Gaiden never had kamikaze, hara-kiri or seppaku to begin with, therefore Ninja Gaiden 3 doesn't need one. And this DOESN'T make a Ninja Gaiden Ninja Gaiden.

Kunai Climb (Team NINJA should rename this to Kunai Climbing*)
Exactly what is wrong with this addition? It makes Ryu even more badass. If you look at my wishlist for NG3, you would see I added Ashiko to be included in the game. Ashiko are basically foot wear and gloves with spikes at both ends that allows a ninja to climb up walls. Team NINJA did not include this but even allowed Ryu to climb up surfaces with his kunai...that is even more badass than using pair of Ahsiko's.

It is very likely that the Flying Bird Flip is still in the game, anybody complaining about NG3 replacing Flying Bird Flip with Kunai Climbing is really stupid. As you can see in Ninja Gaiden 3 demo, Ryu used the Kunai Climbing to get to the top of a tall wall. You CAN only use Flying Bird Flip if two walls are parallel.
You can never use the Flying Bird Flip to scale a wall without another wall close to it. Stupid and not realistic!

Stealth Killing
What is wrong with this? People's complain led me to believe that they just hate Hayashi, love itagaki and dislike Ninja Gaiden 3. Worst of all they know NOTHING about ninjas aka shinbos. Ninjas don't run in a straight line killing people. They only kill people while in stealth and ninja's occupation is assassin.

I am so glad they added this feature to the game because the closest Ninja game that does play like how a ninja should act is Tenchu series however how many people are stealth fans? :/ I am not a stealth fans and I just hate being ground by the stealth rules, I want to be able to run and gun at certain point and as well as perform stealth. Splinter Cell Conviction managed to fix this problem and allowed everybody to enjoy stealth and play HOW they want to play it.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is doing the same thing, it gives the purpose of Ryu being a ninja in the first place- killing while in stealth because it is the way of a ninja assassin. Second it is optional and allows us to play a certain part Stealthly or just running and attacking.

This doesn't make Ninja Gaiden a Ninja Gaiden however does make it more Ninja-ry and badass hence the title "NINJA" Gaiden". It is obviously retarded that Ninja Gaiden doesn't have a stealth gameplay regardless of the title and game being about a ninja. It shouldn't even be called Ninja Gaiden in the first place because Ryu doesn't act like a ninja! But thanks to Ninja Gaiden 3 the name stays and Ryu does act like a ninja.

Essence and Ultimate Technique
Its a good thing the orbs have finally disappeared in Ninja Gaiden 3, first of all it doesn't make sense that when you kill someone they let out a karma orb that you can use to upgrade weapons and buy an item in Murasama's shop, that is pure fictional and not realistic enough. How can you say Ninja Gaiden 2 is realistic because I can chop off a ninja's arm yet when you kill them they orb some dumb yellow essence?

Yes the orb were in NGB and as well as NG 2, but for the sake of balancing the game and stopping n00bs from absorbing the Ultimate Technique, the essence had to be forgo. The way the essence in conjunction to the Ultimate Technique is phased out by allowing Ryu to gradually build up his bleeding infected arm so that the player can then trigger the UT at his/her will.

The UT in Ninja Gaiden 2 were smoother, faster, longer and overpowered. In NGB the UT were strong and also shorter. This is the same scenario with Ninja Gaiden 3, so far the Level 1 Dragon Sword can do 3 animation UT strikes which is similar to NGB level 1 Dragon Sword. I particularly love how the UT is balanced out for the Dragon Sword. Take the enemies holding a shield for an example, Ryu will use 1 of his limited UT strikes to take out the shield which helps balanced the game; it's not as if Ryu would rip the shield as well as slashing the enemy which would proved overpowered.

Turn to 1:56 mark for a reminder of the UT for Dragon Sword
One of the good thing I love about the new UT design is the ability to pull it off while you are making combo slashes. In NGB and NG2 you couldn't pull off a UT while performing combo's or in-between combo strings; however in NG3 you can easily pull off a UT in an instance between combo.

The essence does make a Ninja Gaiden a Ninja Gaiden game, we shall see how this game plays out without Murasama shop and yellow essence, the blood replacement is already a step in good direction that fixes n00bs spamming the Ultimate Technique. The UT from Ninja Gaiden Black is back and that was what made Ninja Gaiden a Ninja Gaiden game, Ninja Gaiden 2 UT's were overpowered.

I'm not going to go in detailed with this. Ryu can be seen gliding from the tower in Tairon and also from Ninja Gaiden 2. Complaining about this new feature makes you completely delusional that this doesn't make it Ninja Gaiden.

My god the game is only 30% done and designed for the public yet all these so called fans are complaining already of how easy the game was. Seriously man this is not cheap Ninja Gaiden 2, and this is level 1 tutorial so all the button on screen prompts will appear (they are not Quick Time Events, please go and research what QTE is actually is and don't confuse them with On screen button prompts).

When the PSN/Xbox Live demo does come out expect to be able to finish Level one London in all difficulty as we were able to do so in pass Sigma games. We couldn't even beat Ninja Gaiden 2's demo in Master Ninja difficulty. Oh yea wasn't NG2's demo playable only in Acolyte and Normal mode? when Ninja Gaiden 3 does the same thing they all complain and moaned the game was too easy.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is still Ninja Gaiden but with new game mechanics and few changes, however the core of the game features still makes it a Ninja Gaiden game.

All the people complaining about this game are nothing but Itagaki fanboys. Everyone all said that they will wait for Hayashi to make his own game, to see how his game will look like without making a port. Now that NG3 was unleashed and looked better than Ninja Gaiden 2, they all bash the game because NG3 is a better game than NG2. Even the master the Itagaki fanboys follow and worshipped said so himself that "Ninja Gaiden 3 looks to be going back to its roots".

And if you do want to acknowledge how Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge name was conceived or the meaning of subtitle Razor's Edge. Read here

1 comment:

  1. It's final from the tecmo forums: Well done, nice article. :D