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I've played the game for a couple of hours now. I've finished "Day 3" though I don't know what that means, if I'm far into the game or not.
It's pretty fun, but it's so goddamn hard! After getting killed over and over again by the first boss, I finally gave in and bumped the difficulty down from Normal to "Hero" (yeah, I know) as the game recommended. Since then, I still find the game very challenging, so I guess I'm glad I made the switch.
I'm still not 100% comfortable with the combat. I basically mash the buttons, admittedly. I do the X, X, X, X, Y combo constantly, and dodge everywhere and anywhere. I find it hard to keep track of who I am on screen, haha. Either I'm not built for these games, or Ryu just isn't distinctive enough. I can pick Kratos in a crowd, but the Ninja, as we all know, like to blend in.
The game doesn't look great: the environments look like high resolution PS2 fare, and I say that without exaggeration. The first stage is set in Paris and it's the least appealing or impressive representation of Paris you could think of. A couple of alleys, non-descript shops, very plain buildings with very simple geometry.
The characters don't fare much better. I guess Ryu is pretty detailed, but he's hardly a convincing human. And then there is a little girl character who is the freakiest-looking thing I've seen in a while. Dead eyes behind a porcelain mask. *shudder*
These observations aside, though, it's fun enough to slice my way through countless bad guys. I'm looking forward to "getting" the combat system. These games often completely change once you do. I didn't love Viewtiful Joe until I played it on V-Rated, after all...
I haven't played 3 (or Razor's Edge) but as a rule, Y X Y Y Y X is like the Konami Code of 3D Ninja Gaiden. The Izuna Drop is so overpowered.
But in general, the combat is less about memorizing combos (except the Izuna Drop of course) and more about getting into the rhythm of constant motion. If you stand still or even just run, you'll be peppered by shuriken and bullets. Pretty much have to slide-jump-slide-jump your way around every skirmish and fit in a fancy move when you can.
I don't know how NG3's karma system works (or even if it has one), but in the other two games, you can quickly charge an ultimate attack (hold strong attack) by landing a jump and immediately holding strong attack for about a split second. This will absorb all the nearby karma and trigger an Ultimate Attack that will decimate one or more enemies quickly. Though again, not sure if that's in Razor's Edge. I don't think it was in the vanilla NG3. Anyway that attack is very useful.
Last time I played I finished day 3. This game is really hard. I tend to be a bit of a button-masher too. It's not too tough handling the hand-to-hand stuff but the guys on rooftops with rocket launchers in every other fight are a big pain. Any time I stop to try to take one of thm out, I get hit with a combo that takes 75% of my life bar.
This is a fun game that really tests your endurance. It throws wave after wave of enemies at you and can leave you feeling frustrated. I appreciate its style. It's completely unapologetic about its over-the-top nature and rewards you for going absolutely nuts on enemies who have no chance of recuperating or posing any threat to you after you've chopped their head-off or severed both arms. And I'll be honest, most of the game mechanics never seem to get old. For Instance, when you avoid an enemy's attack and tap "X" to initate a Steel-on-bone attack, it's the most rewarding feeling esp. if Ryu goes apeshit on more than one enemy. In that sense, you live to have those moments and it takes away the sometimes daunting task of having to clear out a room of enemies.
If I had a wish (or two or three) I would want the sometimes severe framerate drops to be fixed esp. when you have multiple enemies on screen at one time and a helicopter is pummeling you with missiles and explosions. I would also wish that the environments would allow some more exploring.
The invisible wall is in full effect with this game only allowing you down the path that the game wants you to go down...it kinda defeats the purpose of the Ninja Sense function since you only have one possible direction to go down anyways. I also wished this was a better representation of what the Wii U's graphical capabilities are. Tons of jaggies all over the place. It looks good at some points, very sloppy in others.
I've had a chance to play multiplayer cooperative modes for a little bit. It's fun but not something I would want to do the whole night. Overall, with the chapter challenges, online components and varying difficulty levels, this game has a surprising amount of content for being such a linear game. the Additional characters are a nice addition. Ayane, though completely unnecessary in this game, feels really quick and is a nice change of pace to Ryu who feels a little bigger and slower. I can't say I had a Ton of fun playing Momiji but having her and her gamepad friendly breasts (hint: shake dat gamepad!!!!) to accompany me was fun regardless.
The story might as well've been dreamt up by Jerry Bruckheimer as it makes no sense and often you feel like you have no idea why the hell you are where you are or what you are doing. Just like a JB movie, sometimes it doesn't matter whether you get it, just as long as you can appreciate the action. And that is what NG3:RE excels at - action...with a little bit of obscene death and jiggly boobs thrown in for good measure.
So yeah, dove in and I'm somewhere into the first day in London. I actually had to dumb down the difficulty to Hero (from Normal) in order beat the first boss (the walking mech). I knew what to do, but I couldn't do it. The difficulty is pretty brutal, but I'm enjoying the game a lot more than I thought I would.
This was my first Wii U download. Fits nicely on my 1 TB external hard drive and the load times are pretty good.