Published by: Tecmo
Developed by: Team Ninja
Genre: Third-Person Action
Number of Players: 1
US: September 20, 2005
Japan: September 29, 2005
Features: Memory Unit
Media Size: 1 DVD
Ninja Gaiden Black, is a game that was released by Team Ninja, and Temco back in 2005. This game is a special edition of the original. The plot basically revolves around Ryu Hayabusa, an extraordinary ninja, who seeks to destroy the Lord of all Fiends Doku. Doku is a dark samurai that has destroyed Ryu's village and has also taken the Dark Dragon Blade with him. The Dark Dragon Blade contains stupendous power, that wants to be obtained by the sources of evil. Ryu's main motive is to kill Doku, an act of making him pay for his debts, and seeking and destroying the Dark Dragon Blade, so it cannot be obtained by the beings of evil. As the story progresses, Ryu encounters enemies and allies alike, and a female ninja named Ayane, guides Ryu through his adventure. The plot's ending is spectacular and will basically be an ending that will be unexpected. Gameplay
This game's gameplay will be respectfully and elaborately explained by myself. In the game, you play as a very nimble and highly skilled ninja, and with this ninja being playable, there comes weapons. There is one main weapon, an accessory weapon, and Ninpo Scrolls. Ninpo Scrolls are magical scrolls that allow Ryu to use elemental attacks. These elemental attacks range from Fire, Ice, and Lightening. Each Ninpo Scroll can be upgraded. With each upgrade, comes a larger radius of the attack, and higher damage. These do come in handy when fighting multiple enemies, and are needed to solve various puzzles. The accessory weapons, mainly contain the Shuriken, and the Bow. The Shuriken has three forms, the Windmill Shuriken which acts as a boomerang, the Incendiary Shuriken, which is an explosive shuriken, and the basic shuriken. Each shuriken has it's own uses. There is only one Bow, with a variation of different types of arrows that can be used. There is the explosive bow, and more technological advanced bows which have the same power as tank rounds. The bow itself can be upgraded, so the arrows can make a stronger impact. Throughout the game, many core weapons will be encountered by the player. They range from swords, and nunchucks. Every sword is small or large, and there are two types of nunchucks, nunchucks with blades, and regular nunchucks.
Every one of these weapons can be upgraded to a considerable amount of levels. Some smaller weapons can actually become stronger than larger weapons if they are upgraded enough. You will want to upgrade a weapon with any chance you get, because you will want to inflict as much damage as possible on an enemy or a boss. It makes the process of killing much faster and it saves time. Each weapon's combo's are unrivaled in depth. Each weapon handles differently from the other, and you will become attached to at least one of the weapons you have by the end of the game. Ryu has the ability to jump off walls, run up walls, wall jump, and run across walls. While he does this, he can attack, if you attack while you are one a wall, Ryu will unleash a very quick attack, that can sometimes slice through multiple enemies in one single go around. The combo sheets for each weapons go on and on, and can be scrolled through for days. Learning all of the move sets, is only one step in mastering the game's gameplay side. This will need to be done, because this game can be arduous 99.9% of the time. Once you master the way of the Ninja, (as they call it in the game), the game becomes somewhat easier. There is a rather large learning curve in this game. Even though your character is fast and lethal, the enemies are as well.
This game basically forces you to gain the ability to persevere. That is a priority in this game, and impatience will get you killed, bottom line. If you cannot sustain yourself during a battle, you will slip up and die. Making one mistake will you leave you defenseless, and the enemies take advantage of any opportunity they have to kill you. During boss battles, you will catch yourself sweating bullets mostly. A verge to complete a boss quickly will also get you killed, so beware of making any mistakes. Throughout the game, there are many items that can be obtained. These include, health potions, Ninpo potions, equipment, and even weapons. The equipment can either increase your defense or increase your damage. Every core weapon has the ability to charge except the Wooden Sword. When you charge a weapon, it is covered with a blue aura, and sucks in anything that can help it charge quicker. When an enemy is killed, they drop different colored orbs. The yellow orbs is money, blue is health, and red fills up a Ninpo slot. These can either be sucked in by yourself or by your weapon. If you suck in these orbs in with your weapon, it gives it marvelous power, and from there when you release the charge, Ryu will unleash an automatic devastating attack that takes about 3-4 seconds to complete. The devastating attack ranges from whichever weapon you are using.
The only real downside to weapon charging is that, when you are charging, you are left completely defenseless. Enemies will always attack you if you stand still, so equipping yourself with bracelets that can shorten the time your weapon has to charge is a must do. Other items that can be collected, include Scarabs, these Scarabs are collected to obtain rare items. A Blacksmith will give you an item called "The Life of Gods", which will increase your maximum health capacity. Finding all of these an essential factor to completing the game. Health is something that you will need always. Because the game does not automatically replenish your health when you save, having a large maximum health capacity is important. Health replenishing items are limited in this game, and sometimes you will fall short of money. You will be left between a choice to either upgrade your weapon, or buy health replenishing items. The thing about health replenishing items, is that when you are attacked only one single time, that you leaves you defenseless. If you are attacking, the enemies take advantage of your mere slip in performance, and they will attack you, which leads into a chain reaction, which lowers your health even more.
There is also a item that revives you when you die, but this item is rare, and expensive. So when you die you go right back to the Save Point, and even though Save Points are conveniently placed around the map, you sometimes cannot go back to save before fighting a boss. The thing that will save your arse in this game is, skill, calmness, and defense. Blocking is basically your best friend in this game, without blocking the game will be impossible to complete. The dodging in this game is fluid and nimble, but dodging alone will not be efficient enough for wanted progression. This is where Ninpo comes in. During Ninpo performance, your enemies cannot attack you because the energy around you will automatically attack them. Ninpo helps when you are in a tight squeezw.
Along with every adventure game, comes puzzles, and these puzzles are initially nothing to take lightly. The game will have you numerously checking gamefaqs for answers to puzzles. An impatient person might not have the patience or the intelligence to solve puzzles. They are great for thinking games, and they really play with your mind. Even the Ninpo magic sometimes plays a part in puzzles. The game is based around one large and spacious map. An area that is not accessible in the beginning of the game, will be later in the game. Unlocking one single door in this game, unlocks so many different pathways and tangents unfathomable. The loading times are relatively short in between transitions in areas. There is so much backtracking in this game, because doors that are locked in the beginning will be able to be unlocked in the future, and you will be catching yourself saying, (I always wondered how I was supposed to open this door). Presentation
This game is probably the best looking Xbox game in existence. It contains extravagant lighting, textures, and colors. The enemy detailing is very intricate. You will be unable to spot any jagged edges on landscape whatsoever. The cut scenes look unbelievably brilliant, and display how powerful the Xbox is. I have never seen anything of this prestige in any other Xbox game to date. The effects are dead on. The water looks great, especially while in water. The sword slashes look authentic, there is a great sense of speed. The Ninpo arts look great, the fire looks ravishing along with the other elements. Just about every graphical aspect in the game looks marvelous.Sound
The sound is unfathomable. Along with the great graphics, the sound is spectacular. The sound effects in the cut scenes are unspeakable. The grunts and yells of the enemies suit the enemies' look. The roars of the bosses are sometimes frighting, and you can sense an enemy around the corner by the sounds they make. The game has a feature that allows you to choose between Japanese and English speaking. In the cut scenes, the speaking cannot be changed, However. I would say that both languages do an equal job of voice overing. The music in the background enhances and as well compliments the atmosphere of the stages. The bosses' music are fitting, and the music in the cut scenes will always be remembered. Difficulty
There has been a slight form of controversy over the game's difficulty level. Some say that the games arduousness caused it not to get a 10/10. Some say that the game is just too hard to complete. Team Ninja has responded with an unsympathetic comment, basically telling the fans to suck it up and master the game itself. The game is so difficult at times, that you will find yourself staring at the screen in disappointment, or even yelling in the room and throwing objects abroad with extreme force. Mastering the game is very important. In this game, there was an Easy mode put in, to solve the problem of the fans complaining. Even though this mode is realistically easier than the Normal Mode, IT IS STILL DIFFICULT. Team Ninja refuses to give fans any real slack, but at least they have showed some concern with this problem.
Ninja Gaiden Black has many things that the original installment does not.Conclusion
Ninja Gaiden Black is a game that should only be played by Hardcore gamers. If you lack the patience, integrity, and containment required to complete the game, you might as well call it quits. This is not impossible but at sometimes it can seem that way. This is byy far one the best games for the Xbox, and if you do not have the game now, I suggest that you just go ahead and pick it up. You should be able to find it at a book store for under $20.00 at this time.
- Presentation - 10
- Graphics - 10
- Sound - 10
- Gameplay - 9
Overall - 9.8 (A+)Remarkable