Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge Is Less Dull, But Still Not Quite Sharp

By Spencer . November 14, 2012 . 4:30am


In the beginning of Ninja Gaiden 3, the Regent of the Mask curses Ryu Hayabusa with the Grip of Murder so Ryu feels the pain of all of those he killed. The story’s theme is about the consequences of violence, but the game forces players cut through a soldier begging for his life. It’s a conundrum just like designing an action game where quick time events do all of the dirty work. Team Ninja heard the complaints and attempted to fix the problems with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.


You won’t see terrorists pleading for their lives in the Wii U version. Enemies are vicious in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and you’ll probably die even if the difficulty is set to normal. Part of the reason why is Team Ninja nerfed Ryu. Players don’t start out with head stomp jump or a ninpo dragon that eats all of the enemies on the screen. You have to purchase those abilities using karma, which you can earn faster by finishing foes off with finesse. Ryu can learn a few abilities that weren’t in the original Ninja Gaiden 3 like the Guillotine Throw and a new move where you can spin around a throw shuriken. The best thing about Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is combat feels fluid since you aren’t interrupted by dizzying Steel on Bone kills 30 seconds. Ryu can can start a combo and cancel into a slide to avoid a rocket. Ninja Gaiden 3 gets flack for not being difficult enough and to be fair hard mode in the original is tough, but that’s mostly because enemies soak up so much damage. I was relieved that Team Ninja adapted the AI and made enemies reactive rather than increasing their life bar. The Spider Tank fight, for example, has been changed significantly.


Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge gives players more weapons to use. You start with a sword and the Falcon Talons, which were a DLC weapon. Ryu can also get a pair of swords, the Lunar Staff, and Eclipse Scythe. More weapons theoretically means more variety, but I found myself sticking to two weapons (talon and sword) since you have to pour karma into each weapon to level it up. Ryu can get bonus karma by collecting Golden Scarabs and or finding Crystal Skulls that transport him to boss battles from previous Ninja Gaiden games.




Ayane shows up as a playable character in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Compared to Ryu, Ayane is more agile and has explosive kunai which are more useful than Ryu’s shuriken. Team Ninja made new missions for Ayane, but they take place in the same locales. Her first mission is in London and it’s essentially a walk from one horde of machinegun dudes to the next. At the end of the level, you’ll see some Black Spider Ninjas, which was a welcome change. The problem is Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge like Ninja Gaiden 3 before still feels repetitive since you’re fighting the same enemies over and over again in boxy rooms. There are points in Razor’s Edge that have the intensity of the other two Ninja Gaiden games, but other times I wondered if Team Ninja has been spending too much time with Omega Force.


WiiU_NG3RE_1_scrnB03_GroupC WiiU_NG3RE_2_scrnB04_GroupC


Dismemberment is back in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and limbs fly everywhere. Sometimes you’ll see a torso or arm get stuck in an object, too. A more serious glitch is Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge froze twice when I was playing it. Both occurrences happened in the middle of a level when the game was loading a new area. I think Razor’s Edge got in some kind of loading loop when I went backwards to search for Golden Scarabs. I wasn’t able to test out the online features since the Wii U Nintendo Network has not been enabled yet. That should change by the time Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and the Wii U come out on Sunday.


You can use the Wii U GamePad or the Pro Controller to play Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. The Wii U GamePad has a touch screen buttons for things like Ninja Sense and ninpo plus a combo list. While the second screen may add convenience, I prefer the Pro Controller. Switching between blocking and using the bow is more comfortable with a smaller controller. Unfortunately, you can’t use a Classic Controller, the DualShock-like controller that plugs into a remote, with this game. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge can also be played completely on the Wii U GamePad. You lose the touch screen buttons in this mode, but the upside is you don’t need a TV. If you walk too far from the Wii U console the action gets choppy and then cuts off altogether. I was able to play Ninja Gaiden 3 in my kitchen, dining room, and hallway before I lost the signal. The signal can travel at least 20 feet, if there aren’t any walls in the way.




Team Ninja listened to feedback and sharpened Ninja Gaiden 3 for Wii U, but Razor’s Edge still has some of the same issues as the original game. That’s inevitable because Razor’s Edge isn’t a remake, it’s a tweaked port.

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  • It’s cool you can play it entirely on the tablet… I didn’t buy NG3 but down the line I could see myself spending about $20 on this port.

    • Pokemon Lover94

      Funny the gamepad is not a tablet

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    I was afraid people were going to be disappointed. This isn’t a complete overhaul or remake, at the core it still is the same game. I still would like to try out the Master Ninja mode of this game to see how much they change it

  • XypherCode

    I still think this version of the game is pretty cool compared to what I’ve played on my PS3. I got really hooked when I played the demos. People really should give this a chance. There’s Ayane and some DLC coming so what’s not to like? :D And who know maybe they release another version… NG3: Razor’s Edge: Sigma anyone? :))

    • Mizu D

      The original game itself has been flawed so much, even a upgrade port can’t relegate it over the mediocre status. So why should they continue to waste their time and report this failure again?

      So 3rd time a charm? Or better yet, go back to the drawing board and cook something good for the next game.

      • XypherCode

        Well it might be a long time before we see another numbered NG game. Maybe a spin-off is a good option. Oh yeah there’s Yaiba as well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Yukimaru Kurosaki


  • AaqibRawat

    i really hoped they could fix this game.
    but NG3 was so poor it was inevitable .

    I will grab it if its cheap.

  • Kris

    Man… I think I got overhyped for this. I want to believe in Hayashi, but he keeps doing stuff that worries me!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething


  • Göran Isacson

    No classic controller. This makes me a sad panda… but I guess I should have expected it, if they’ve changed the design of the controller it makes sense they’ve designed the games to work with the Pro-controller, not the Classic Controller.

    On that note, I’m not surprised to hear that it’s kind of repetitive. On the one hand you’d think that kind of complaints would be moot in games like these, since they really ARE only about one thing and one thing only- dicing people up. But from the demo I played there wasn’t really much variation in the enemy behaviours. There was a ton of enemies and you had to keep your wits about you, but it felt like I was killing them all in the exact same way, because experimentation inevitably led to enemies ganging up on me and killing me dead. That the enemies didn’t really operate very differently from one another wasn’t very exciting, either.

    So all in all… this version is possibly as decent as this game could be, I guess. Still repetitive in it’s battles, but at least you can kill them with different weapons this time around.

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