Hardcore series fans didn’t care for Ninja Gaiden 3 very much when it first hit PS3 and Xbox 360 earlier this year. It was too streamlined from the previous games and just didn’t have that same level of tightly balanced skill-based combat Ninja Gaiden‘s main audience expects. I only played a bit and thought it was fun, but I’m not exactly a Ninja Gaiden purist.
Nintendo gave Team Ninja a shot at redemption, and it sounds like they took advantage of it to polish Ninja Gaiden 3 up for the revamped Razor’s Edge edition out now exclusively on Wii U, much like the team has done with past Sigma revisions.
While it sounds like it’s still probably the weakest of the modern Ninja Gaiden games, by most accounts Team Ninja used fan feedback to address many of the original version’s low points. Most importantly, the combat system has been redesigned, complimented by an increase in weapons from three to six and an increase in Ninpo from one to three.
Here’s a list of some of the other new features and upgrades to give you an idea of what’s been tweaked and what’s been added:
- Ayane as a playable character: In previous versions of the game, Ayane appeared only briefly in one cut scene. Now players can help her progress through her own exclusive chapters using a special set of weapons and Ninpo attacks.
- Character-progression system: Using Karma points earned during game play, players can upgrade weapons and Ninpo, learn new moves, increase their HP level and unlock new character costumes.
- Ryu and Ayane playable in co-op mode: For the first time, players can use Ryu or Ayane to represent themselves in the game’s online co-op mode.
- Test of Valor battle areas: Each chapter includes a hidden battle area called Test of Valor. Upon finding hidden Crystal Skulls, players will be transported to these areas to face down waves of enemies and classic NINJA GAIDEN boss characters with new moves.
- Wii U GamePad Functionality: Using the Wii U GamePad, players can easily change weapons or Ninpo attacks, and also quickly reference the button inputs required for various combo attacks without ever stopping the action.
- Additional Playable Characters: After the launch of the game, additional playable characters will become available as free downloadable content. More information about these characters will be revealed at a later time.
- More Tenacious Enemies: The Wii U version of the game restores enemies’ ability to fight when severely wounded, requiring players to stay nimble with their battle strategies.
Pretty impressive, no? So, if you didn’t care for Ninja Gaiden 3 before, think about giving it another shot on the Wii U. Even if it’s still not the ideal Ninja Gaiden, you have to admire Team Ninja’s commitment and persistence to get it right.