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Monday, 8 July 2013

Why Ninja Gaiden 3 doesn’t feel Ninja enough & the case of making SUPER HARD games

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Ninja Gaiden is one of my favorite all time franchises. I just love the game and am quite in awe with Ryu Hayabusa. The fact that a normal human being with no great super powers can accomplish so much just by way of training and discipline is something that appeals to me a lot. It makes me believe that if Ryu can do it, so can we mortal humans. Add to that, the game features the most awe inspiring moments of action where you just wish to put the controller aside and enjoy the marvel of Ryu’s blade cutting and slicing through enemies. It’s almost as good as watching a movie.



Well I said, almost as good as watching a movie, but that doesn’t mean I want to sit back and watch a movie. I guess, I would be the first ones to stand in the line when a movie based on the Ninja Gaiden franchise comes in the future, but I don’t want the same experience when I just bought a $60 game. I don’t want to be the spectator; I want to be Ryu himself. I want to face his struggles, want to fall and then want to rise again to find myself on the top of the pile of sliced and diced bodies of my enemies. That is what Ninja Gaiden has been always about. It has always been a game where the player is faced with insurmountable odds, where the player feels that death is just round the corner, where defense is almost as important to survival as attack while I am struggling to master the different weapons.

That’s why I don’t like Ninja Gaiden 3. It just doesn’t make me feel like Ryu enough. It doesn’t provide me with those insurmountable challenges, it doesn’t make me fear about the death that may be lurking around the corner. Yes it does offer me different weapons but it doesn’t give me incentives to master them. After all why would I do so or even try if my Dragon Sword is enough for the game. And that’s the reason why I don’t feel Ninja enough. A ninja’s life is supposed to be tough. A ninja is supposed to fight for his life & for the morals he stands for. A hero is only as great as his adversary, and Ninja Gaiden 3 doesn’t give me any.

There is a reason why some games are made super hard. There is a reason why just completing Ninja Gaiden itself is considered as an accomplishment. There is a reason why Devil May Cry has the Dante Must Die Mode, why Dark Souls is so damn tough. It’s because their devoted players revel in the sense of accomplishment that comes with beating the game. It’s because they know that the game designer have just given them a challenge: “Hey dude, lets see if you can top this”. And then when they do, its like saying back, “Here’s your gauntlet, let me see what you have got next.” These games are meant to be tough because they are not just games; they are a test of skill, endurance and perseverance. They are more than games; they are like badge of honor for those gamers who complete them (remember accomplishments). But Ninja Gaiden 3 doesn’t feel like a walk in hell, it feels more like kindergarten as compared to the previous games. Its like the designers of the game have thought we are not good enough to be tested. And we don’t like that.



Fun has many sources; some enjoy watching comic movies whereas some enjoy brutal action. Imagine making the movie 300 as Smurfs and Dumb & Dumber as Avengers. I bet the audience would be pissed off. That’s because the audience is different. By diluting the difficulty of Ninja Gaiden 3, I believe Tecmo Koi has tried to make the game accessible to all, primarily the not so hardcore players but in doing so instead manages to piss off the loyal fan base. The ones, who want to feel like Ryu Hayabusa, want to experience his constant defeats, his struggles and learn through all that to finally stand on top of the pile of his enemies. That is when it feels like a true ninja, that is what feels like Ryu Hayabusa. Hopefully Tecmo Koi would get its act together in the next game and let us enjoy being us, the wielder of the mighty Dragon Swaord. Until then, it doesn’t feel Ninja enough.


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Siddharth has been playing games since forever and loves it so much so he decided to make a profession out of it. After completing his MBA, he decided to join EA to learn the ropes of the industry. A Game Producer and Game Designer by profession, while not playing games, he loves to read about them, watch movies and spend quality time with his family. His passion for writing led to the creation of this blog.

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3 comments:

  1. You write very well. But, you belong on wordpress not blogger.

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  2. Thanks a lot for the appreciation :) Just figuring out which one to use but can you please explain why you suggest wordpress, maybe i am missing out something important...thanks :)

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  3. It makes no difference where you put your articles; a game review is a game review. However, I do suggest both of you (That Gaming Critic and Siddharth Singh) to either proofread what you type, or find another to do it before you post. The ideas got across fine, but the article read strangely, and both comments are rife with errors unbecoming of professionals.

    However, with that I must say I very much enjoyed your article (as a fellow Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls fan). What happened with Ninja Gaiden 3 is something I fear might happen to Dark Souls 2 (since gaining a wider audience at all costs is a pervading trend). Here's to hoping it only gets harder!

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