Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge

 

18 cert, TECMO KOEI, Wii U (also Xbox 360) ****

Another in the series of more adult titles for the Wii U, Ninja Gaiden III: Razor’s Edge is certainly doing its bit to help the console shake its kiddie image. There’s lots of blood and plenty of hacking, slashing, dismemberment and mayhem.

Although the basic premise remains the same (Ryu Hayabusa is still locked in a battle with the Lords of Alchemy) the Wii U release has been revised from the Xbox 360 and Sony title that debuted last year. For a start, it’s been made more difficult. The AI is smarter, enemies are not an easy conquest, and pulling off attacks requires a little more skill and precision timing than before.

But the increased difficulty is welcome. While button bashing may work up to a point, it doesn’t keep you coming back.

Progression in this game is hard won at times. To balance it, you get six weapons instead of three, and you can add to your skills and capabilities as you go along by using points earned during the gameplay. Ayane gets her own levels as well, which gives you another reason to keep plugging away.

If you can get to grips with using the GamePad to control Ryu and his attacks, give yourself a pat on the back. But the game is much less frustrating to tackle with the Pro controller; if you’ve wavered about buying it, now is the time.

Removing the touch screen element makes this game feel a bit more intuitive to play. It’s still not perfect, however, and there will be plenty of hair-tearingly frustrating moments.

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