Preview – Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z
Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z is a spin off title from the main Ninja Gaiden series of games. Renowned for their fast combat and high difficulty level, Yaiba seems to follow at least one of those themes. The demo opens in a city invaded by zombies, these are the age old shuffling zombies that don’t seem to fare well against a ninja’s blade. Here marks the main issue of the game, at least in the demo I played, you can run through most of the game by running at enemies and mashing the square button. The only enemies that require any alteration to this strategy are the bosses and sub-bosses. These require special moves that involve holding a button to use, not something that has appeared in a Ninja Gaiden game before, with good reason! If anyone has played a Ninja Gaiden game before you’ll know how suicidal standing still is, let alone being forced to do it in boss battles!
The game also looks a lot different from the main Gaiden games, opting to use a cell shaded stylised look. Personally I am a massive fan of the visuals in this game, I’ve always been a fan of the cell shaded games, especially when they match the theme of the game, and this definitely does. The outrageous enemy and hero designs match the visuals perfectly, as does the overall tone of the game. We found ourselves in fits of giggles when it game to the zombie orientated cutscenes and the game doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, a breath of fresh air as far as I’m concerned!
Overall from what I played of Yaiba I don’t think I could recommend the game, while the visuals and the humour were good, the gameplay didn’t live up to it. It played like a really easy Ninja Gaiden, the issue being difficulty was pretty much the only thing keeping the original series compelling.
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