This reviewer had truly hoped that time would, in fact, heal all wounds as the old saying goes. However, there will always be those titles which you reach for during some time off work or while feeling under the weather, hoping against all hope that you merely missed something in the first playthrough. Ninja Gaiden 3 is one of these titles.
Suffice it to say, this is a sad statement, indeed. Ninja Gaiden's first reboot that began this particular universe or storyline, call it what you will, was one of the most difficult and therefore one of the most satisfying titles that had come along up to that time. The innovative weapons system, the God-of-War style chain combos that make other titles like Castlevania, Darksiders and Dante's Inferno so readily engaging. Ninja Gaiden 2 only improved upon this by making the game a bit easier on the thumbs and nerves of the gaming world. But the third installment.... Oh.... What happened?
The play control is far too watered down. Yes, there are still chained move sets, but the limited nature of them takes away from molding Ryu Hyabusa into your own style of ninja and makes it far more a button-mashing experience.
The storyline is not altogether horrible. Even downright reminiscent of something SquareEnix would have used for one of their later Final Fantasy titles. Before they started falling on their face, as well, but that's another topic for another review. As a huge fan of action anime, watching the story unfold was predictable in places but had a solid enough foundation to walk on its own.
So what does this mean for the future of the franchise some of us grew up with since its side scrolling NES days? This reviewer hopes that the story and the nostalgia will be able to combine to churn up enough interest in a fourth that hopefully returns to the formula used for parts one and two. But if the next incarnation is anything like this latest entry, please sign the rights over to someone who will do the title full justice again.
Or someone could get the rights to make a righteous Bleach title for all consoles, not solely Sony. That would be some real fun.