Ninja Blade’s Tokyo Game Show 2008 demo starts off with Ken freefalling, but you’re not going to fly around like in Otogi. Instead this scene is chock full of quick time events (QTE) prompting players with buttons to press to kill dragons and shoot wires to make Ken jump into a building. Ninja Blade had the most forgiving demo on the floor. If you missed one of the early quick time events a black screen that said “Miss” would flash and time would jump backwards to give you a crack at it again. From Software probably won’t be this lenient with the final build.
When Ken vaults through a window he faces a series of infected humans that you can slice and dice with his sword. A combo meter lets you know how well you’re doing. Ken has a secondary weapon that smashes through enemies with shields and a wind spell that hits multiple enemies. The actual hack and slash portion was very brief and it didn’t require any finesse, button mashing worked fine.
In the next scene the camera angle placed Ken in the back as he ran down a vertical skyscraper. During the stunt you could move him from side to side and kill these bat-like creatures with a single hit. This was a refreshing change since this could have been a movie instead of something playable.
A mutated spider waited for Ken at the bottom. The battle started with the beat spewing waves of energy players needed to dodge. This was the perfect time to try out Ken’s ninja power which turns the screen orange and slows down time. The power is limited, but it made the boss battle quite easy. Once in front of the spider you can chip away at his armor by hitting his legs. After a few a hits the spider shoots a gust at you which you can “endure” if you press the right button. Miss and Ken gets thrown back to the wave dodging part. The boss fight ends with Ken diving underneath the spider strapping it with wires somewhat reminiscent of God of War.
Since Ninja Blade stars a ninja it’s no doubt going to be compared to Ninja Gaiden 2. Ninja Blade isn’t nearly as challenging and that might make it appealing for anyone intimidated by Ninja Gaiden 2’s difficulty. From Software seems more concerned with choreographing “damn that was cool!” action moments with quick time events.
Images courtesy of Microsoft.