Monday, October 3

Paint it Black

Over the weekend I got Ninja Gaiden Black for the Xbox. This is basically a souped-up, everything-on-it version of last year's uber-action game starring Tecmo's superninja, Ryu Hayabusa. The original NG got top marks, often cited by gaming websites as 'the best action game ever', and I would concur that it's pretty awesome. The graphics and animation are DOA3-quality, Ryu is so incredibly bad-ass with an arsenal of killer ninja moves, enemies are killer and the barely-there-plot serviceable thanks to some cool cinematics. NG was also HARD AS FRICKING HELL- even the first enemies you face are dangerous and can kill you if you're not careful, and it only gets harder into the long game. From apprentice ninja you move onto samurai horsemen, assorted monsters, heavily armed commandos, elite assassins, demons and oodles more adversaries just ready to cut down your life bar to zero. The good thing is that Ryu has all the skillz- defeating any of the enemies in the game is never impossible, never unfair... you just have to know what to do.

Well, that doesn't make it any easier. Superninja or no, you shouldn't have to face a fully-loaded TANK on foot. Well, not without a tank-busting RPG. Or a man-portable particle disruptor cannon. Or a Vanishing Ray.

Anyway, NG Black adds in a ton of stuff, including all the recent add-on packs, or Hurricane Packs, that were made available off Xbox Live after the original game was released. Black also adds in new missions- in fact, about 60 of them- which basically concentrate on what Ninja Gaiden does best- combat. Add in some new cinematics for the story mode and you indeed have an even better version of the best ninja action game yet released on a console. And best of all, there's a new 'Easy' mode for all us who failed to start playing videogames when we were three. Heh. Anyway, action fans should check out Ninja Gaiden Black asap for pure ninja-fighting fun.

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