Review: Ninja Blade (2009)

The following is a review of Ninja Blade (2009), for the Xbox 360.

A lot of quick time events, but an overlooked gem

God of War was a pretty good game, but the game made popular quick time events, which I absolutely despised.

When I saw Ninja Blade at a used media store I was taken back by how little it cost, for what seemed like a fairly enjoyable game, similar to Ninja Gaiden (note: Ninja Gaiden 2 for the Xbox 360 is kicking my butt, but I fully plan on finishing it, have picked up Sigma for the PlayStation 3, and am semi-interested in picking up others in the series).

When I popped it in I was impressed with the visuals, and then the quick time events started. And they never stop. If you’re as poor at quick times events as I am, expect to have approximately half your time taken up by them. Of course, I kid, but only slightly.

However, after finishing Ninja Blade, I was actually rather happy with the game, and can absolutely see myself putting it in in the future to pick up some of the achievements (less than half) that I’m missing. Sure, the quick time events are harsh, but the ability to replay them with little ill-effect tones the frustration down.

I also rather liked the story, which reminded me of The Third Birthday and Drakengard (keeping in mind that I read an English translation of a Nier book).

With the exception of weapon switching, which is mostly due to the 360’s inferior d-pad, the game was also rather fluid, suffering from only a bit of slowness at extremely ‘intense’ periods of activity.

If you like Ninja Gaiden’s game play, and aren’t afraid of fairly intense quick time events, definitely give Ninja Blade a try.

4 of 5 stars for a difficult, but rewarding, and replayable, game.