So I had a chance to play the first mission of Ninja Blade yesterday.
It’s hard not to compare this with Ninja Gaiden II, which was one of the exclusive titles on Xbox360. There are some similarities in gameplay and mechanics. In Ninja Blade, you control a character named Ken (as opposed to Ryu in Ninja Gaiden, GEDDIT?). You have access to three different weapons and 1 ninjutsu which is a shuriken (probably there’s more to unlock as you play along). Every kill lets you soak in yellow orbs which replenishes your health, and red orbs allow you to purchase upgrades. You can upgrade your weapons and each upgrade changes the outlook of your weapons. Blue orbs improve your Chi, which is used for special powers, currently only for Ninja Vision (not sure if there’s more to unlock).
Graphics wise, Ninja Blade shows some impressive details, but some may be of the view that Ninja Gaiden looks much sharper and defined. If you are a fan of QTEs (Quick Time Events), this game (at least in the first mission that I played) has numerous QTE sequences. Whenever each button appears, you have about 1 second to react and press correctly. Each execution carries a grade (eg. Good, Great, Perfect, Excellent). I’m guess better grade means more damage but sometimes you cannot see or feel the difference. If you’re looking for challenge, you can set the difficulty level of the QTE.
What happens if you press the wrong button during a QTE? The game pauses and asks you to ‘Retry’, where the game literally rewinds to the last checkpoint and start over. If you die during a battle, it loads up a user menu for you to load the last checkpoint.
If you’re used to Ninja Gaiden gameplay, you should be able to pick this up fast because the controls are relatively the same.
My favourite is after completing the first Mission, you have an option to customise your costume and colours. Using RGB sliders, you’re free to come up with your very own shade of colour for specific pieces of your attire, or for the whole suit. I’m not sure how this ‘freedom of expression’ relates to the game, but the flexibility is much welcomed.
Too bad there is no coop/multiplayer feature in this game. It seems that we can’t have gamer couples dressing up as in their favourite lovey-dovey colours and play this over the Valentine weekend.