Ninja Gaiden - Xbox

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Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Team Ninja Soft. Co.: Tecmo
Publishers: Microsoft (GB)
Released: 14 May 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Connectivity: Xbox Live


Reviving classic coin-ops seems to be something of a trend in 2004 and, what with the upcoming OutRun2 as well, the Xbox is faring quite well as far as exclusives are concerned. Tecmo's venture into such territory is with Ninja Gaiden - a rather innovative, fast-paced beat-em-up that rocked arcades in the late 1980's with its combination of sleek combos and nimble acrobatics. Well, that combination remains intact with this Xbox re-make, which offers your usual fare of 3D beat-em-up action, with a strong emphasis on impressive combat scenes, and a few adventuring elements thrown in to boot.

The story follows your typical vengeance idea, with protagonist Ryo Hayabusa, the deadly and feared ninja assassin, out for blood after his clan is massacred by the evil Vigor Empire. Vowing to seek revenge on those that betrayed him, he sets off on an action-packed adventure where the lines between good and evil are blurred and all that he believes in will be tested.

Taking control of Ryo, you follow the story, putting your wits, ninja skills and your deadly sword to the test as you jump, swing, climb and wall-run across the various different environments, taking on an almost endless stream of adversaries. The combat itself is quite an intricate affair - as well as the usual array of weapon-based combo attacks, Ryo can also throw projectiles, kick, dodge, block, jump and perform wall-based attacks, as well as gain access to special moves known as Ultimate Techniques. As you progress through the game, your skills are rewarded with new weapons, and the better you beat your enemies the better you will become, unlocking new combinations and skills. Wit and skill are also rewarded, as the way you play and the decisions you make affect the weapons and skills that you ultimately acquire.

As well as the main single-player experience, the game also has a series of mini games on offer and, as is often the case with such titles, also includes the original three Ninja Gaiden games, which can be unlocked as you make your way through the main game. In addition, those of you hooked up to Xbox Live can also take advantage of online scoreboards, downloadable content and a score-based competition called Master Ninja Tournament.


Ninja Gaiden - Xbox Artwork

Ninja Gaiden - Xbox Artwork

Ninja Gaiden - Xbox Artwork