Ninja Blade (Xbox 360)

With each passing year, it seems like the amount of time between the Japanese market receiving a game and the American market releasing the same game. In the nineties, there could be years and years between the two region’s release dates, but Microsoft has done a tremendous job here in closing the game to about ten weeks. Anyways, Ninja Blade is an Xbox 360-exclusive title, and it is loosely affiliated with the Otogi series of titles (2003’s Otogi: Myth of Demons and 2004’s “Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors”). Ninja Blade is a game that does not comfortably fit into any specific genre, ensuring that there really is something for everyone that picks up the title.

While most of the game play falls into the game play category (I’d compare the typical action in Ninja Blade to Devil May Cry 4, for example), there are bits and pieces of puzzle titles as well as item-driven plot points (Resident Evil). The graphics themselves are superb, tying in the quick action of an action film with delicately-rendered people, items, and backdrops. Where a number of action games typically do not give players more than 6 to 8hours of straight game play, players of Ninja Blade will likely be unable to finish everything up before a half a day ticks out.

While there have been a number of different titles that have focused on the infection of different characters in the last decade or so, Ninja Blade makes players actually care that they are wasting what used to be integral parts of society. While individual players may not be too familiar with the surroundings in which they direct Ken around (modern Tokyo), any experience with modern metropoles will ensure some semblance of familiarity with the game’s layout. Ninja Blade comprises the next level of action games; anyone that has an Xbox 360 should purchase the title, and if the player likes action games but does not have an Xbox 360, make it a point to pick up the console first.

Rating: 8.6/10

Ninja Blade (Xbox 360) / 2008 Microsoft / http://www.microsoft.com / http://www.fromsoftware.jp

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