"After launch, we learned again what fans of the series expect from the series and a Ninja Gaiden game," Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi said when introducing Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. "We feel we focused too much on getting new action game fans and perhaps not enough on the fans who have supported the series for so long. Now, we have heard those voices and know very well what fans of the franchise expect from a Ninja Gaiden game and we’re ready to start again. That’s Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge for Wii U."
I admit, I was skeptical that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was just a gorier port of Ninja Gaiden 3. Team Ninja changed my mind when I played the game with Ayane, a character added for the Wii U version. Ayane’s mission takes place on Day 2 in Paris where she is getting massage. A mercenary storms in and points his machine gun at Ayane’s head then moves down to her… um… chest and attempts pulls her towel down a tad. Ayane, in a cutscene, quickly slaughters the gunman and after a few more cinematic kills the game gives control to the player.
The first thing I noticed about Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is that the enemies are more aggressive and they won’t plead for their lives anymore. Director Fumihiko Yasuda confirmed that they removed cowering enemies from Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Enemies feel "smarter" since you can’t repeat the same attack pattern and they will gang up on a player instead of waiting for you to kill them. The "steel & bone" quick time kills are gone. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge has dismemberment instead.
While I breezed through the first wave of enemies, the third group finished Ayane off. One enemy who lost his leg crawled towards Ayane and self destructed taking off about 1/3 of Ayane’s life. Ouch. I changed my tactics a bit and used ninpo to recover Ayane’s life much earlier after I died the first time. At least for Ayane’s missions, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is challenging. Yasuda who was watching everyone play had a wry smile when he saw a player die. I asked him if Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge would have difficulty levels for new players and he said the game does. However, if you play Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge at a lower difficulty you’ll earn less karma. Players can use karma to unlock moves like the Guillotine Throw, the Flying Swallow technique, and more ninpo.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will have free downloadable content after the game launches. Hayashi didn’t reveal the content, but gave hints saying there was "quite a bit" and "series fans are going to love it."
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is a launch day title for Wii U in North America and Japan. The game will also be available in Europe in the Wii U’s launch window.