XBOX Games: Ninja Gaiden

During the Age of Ancient Myth a race of beings erased from memory defeated the Evil Deities and took under their watchful eye three important artefacts: Dark Dragon Blade, Dragon Sword and Dragon Eye. That duty has been handed down through the generations and now rests in the hands of Hayabusa Clan, which includes bearer of the Dragon Blade, Ryu. Of these items, the Dark Dragon Blade, carved from the very bones of a black dragon, is the most feared weapon, able to transform its wielder into the devil himself. Now Duku, Lord of the Fiends has taken the sword and it's up to Ryu - you - to take it back and destroy it, sealing the fate of the Evil Deities for ever.

Ninja Gaiden

It's a powerful story and NG goes to great lengths to immerse you in the world of the Ninja. You begin in a traditional Japanese village and the attention to details immediately marks this as a top tier development. Watch the lens flare in the setting sun, the leaves drift down from the trees, the way Ryu's outfit wafts with each movement - you're as good as there.

NG transcends usual beat 'em up barriers, moving the story forward via cut- scenes that defy Xbox capabilities and allowing you the freedom of movement and nimble agility for which the Ninja are held in such awe. Ryu has three main attacks: quick hit, hard hit and projectile (bow and arrows, shuriken, etc.). Most of your early action will take place with a blade, but as you progress you will pick up new weapons such as nunchakus and a war hammer. These weapons and moves can be combined into various combos or tweaked through jumps, counters, grabs or power attacks. The latter is particularly impressive. By absorbing the essence of dead souls into your Dragon Blade you can unleash violent combos so quickly you see only the echo of your sprite as he dashes around the level.

However, the liberty found in the controls hasn't made its way to the level design. Awfully linear and a rampant backtracker, it in many ways suffocates the action's superior clarity.

The cut-scenes are the best the Xbox has seen, while the animations and textures complete the package. Just watch the background blur as your sword parts the air on its way to a sticky end. Unfortunately, the collision detection doesn't fare as well and provides the only downfall to an otherwise unparalleled visual onslaught. There's a wonderful score, sweet sound effects and top hair-metal influenced boss music.

A touch of Onimusha, a twist of Devil May Cry and a dab of Prince of Persia, but very much Ninja Gaiden - the story and action will keep you enthralled to its very end. This is essential gaming.

Score Card

Visuals: Serious eye candy

Audio: Realistic and foreboding

Gameplay: Button-bashing fun

Developer: Team Ninja

Publisher: Microsoft

URL: www.ninjagaidengame.comps2

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Stead

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?