Platform: PS3, 360
Patch Details 1.01
Well, no doubt you have read about the game, be it on IGN, which gave it a 3/10, or one of the other “major” sites to give it a low score. But was it a fair score? Or were they just ranting because Itagaki left the studio? Or it was a good time to get hits? Well, today, I will take an in depth look into the game and see if Hayashi taking over this violent action game franchise, and his choice to get rid of dismemberment and focus on story was a good direction for this bloody action game.
I keep getting told that if I play Ninja Gaiden for the story, then I am stupid, and that its focus on solid gameplay is why it never had a story. My question is this: Why can I not have both? The gameplay engine is set, tweaks will be made, but why do I have to sit through the painful stories of NG and NG2 with solid gameplay? I think they could do both!
The story centers on Ryu Hayabusa killing lots of ninja and such. But instead of ending the story there, Hayashi decided to continue it past chapter one! Ryu gets cursed by the Regent of the Mask while on a mission and decides to press on in his mission while tracking the Regent and bearing the curse on his arm.
Hayashi wanted to add character to Ryu through the game, and he did just that with characters that have some depth, unlike those from the other NG games. The story is handled well, but there are a few missions that feel like they are just filler, such as fighting alongside of Momiji, which, while fun, served no real plot relevance at all.
But when the story is in play, and the Regent of the Mask is in the scene, it all plays out so well. And there are some plot twists, which is something new to this franchise and a welcome change, with the last three boss fights being very well told.
Overall, story mode took me 9 hours to complete, but that was a marathon play on normal mode. If you are new to Ninja Gaiden, which I am not, this game will likely take longer to complete.
Here is what the people are mad about: all the gameplay changes, the exclusion of dismemberment, removing all weapons aside from the Dragon Sword (Claws and Scythe, the latter of which is yet to be released, are free DLC for story mode); however, people are overlooking something. Dismemberment was only in the game as a way to do Obliterations, which are still in the game when an enemy enters critical HP, which means, unlike in NG2, they can no longer be spammed.
The gameplay as a whole is unchanged; you have all the skills you would normally have with the Dragon Sword, but the level-up system is changed. You no longer get weapon levels or essence at all, and no more items either. You heal after each fight, and you get different swords that enable new moves; all swords are story-based and granted after progress is made.
Shops are removed, so no purchasing healers and stocking up before fights. Going into a boss fight, it’s you vs. him. No items to fall back on and no more ultimate spamming due to the fact that ninpo and ultimates now charge up during combat. You cannot just use them forever.
Steel on Bone was designed to bring you closer to the combat and to show a more vicious nature of the combat. And I have to say, it is more brutal than dismemberment, which largely reminded me of all those grade-B movies of people losing limbs yet still able to fight for five minutes while blood flies everywhere. Steel on Bone adds that level of, and I HATE to say this… realism. It makes the game less childish with its gore.
With the fast paced combat still going on, there is an addition of Quick Time Events (QTE’s) in the game, but they are normally used for Steel on Bone, or assigned to certain actions, such as “slide under object” or “Glide” So, the QTEs are generally the same buttons linked to certain actions.
A change I noticed in the game was the lack of cancels, meaning you cannot dash out of your attacks anytime you want, which means your dodges and counters have to be pre-thought-out. And that adds more know-how to the game. You have to understand the A.I. and the enemies’ attacks more than just reflexes. Don’t misunderstand me, you still need reflexes, but now you have to use more than just the pro tactic of “On Landing Charges,” or OLCs, that were abused in the first two games.
The online modes, both PvP and the co-op, are fun but flawed.. So I will start off with the co-op, which this game has dubbed “Ninja Trials.” It is pretty much just like the co-op from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, but with more missions. For those who never played Sigma 2, you and a buddy are dropped onto a small map and you kill waves of enemies, and it gets harder and harder as you progress. It seems to have some slow down issues in busy missions, and in “Leader” difficulty, it froze on me, which is frustrating. So, it has some issues, but all in all, it is great fun to play, and hopefully in future patches, they fix it.
You make up a ninja for the online, and by that, I mean you choose what color you want him wearing. You can unlock different gloves and masks as you level up, and you have to level up the katana to get your full moves list, so at the start, you’ll be missing most of the moves you got used to in the single player mode.
PvP, which has been dubbed “Clan Battles,” is quite fun, and I normally hate PvP games, but this one is something new. Unlike the 4,000+ shooter clones on the market, Ninja Gaiden makes PvP work well and has stealth involved in it, which is shallow —you just walk and turn invisible — but you have to keep you guard up at all times. Balance is the problem. Like with EVERY other online game ever made, half the time, I am getting shot by arrows from across the map and ninpo from off-screen, which is a one-shot kill. So again, good fun but unbalanced and frustrating at times.
One gameplay feature this one kept was the god-awful camera Ninja Gaiden is known for. Spending half of the fights staring at Ryu’s butt, and upon turning the camera, finding yourself face to face with his crotch is not my idea of a swell time; meanwhile, you are getting torn to shreds by the AI, which does not have to fight with the camera.
Despite what anyone says, the gameplay is mostly the same. A lack of weapons is unforgivable, but since they are free DLC, it is more bearable. I would have been far more against the game if they were pay weapons.
Well, it is not going to break any new ground or set standards with the graphics in the game, but they compare to MGS4 on average, so they are far from bad. The main thing that holds it back is odd facial animations at times, but conveying emotion in the face is hard to do, and very few games have gotten it right.
Story mode is stable in the tech department, but the multiplayer is not so lucky. Ninja Trials does suffer from slow down issues, but in mind that these are NOT framerate problems! It just slows down, so you can still work with it very well. It kinda gives you more time to think, too. And both modes suffer lag, be it ice-skating AI enemies or players doing some crazy ninja dodging… no pun intended. But I have started an Izuna Drop on a player only to have them stealth kill me after landing, so the online tech is not that good.
With certain Ninja Trials freezing (Patch 1.01) making it unable to complete them.
All in all, through the story, you will not have any problems, and the online PvP is mostly fine with just a bit of lag, so tech-wise (tech-wise, what? You didn’t finish the sentence, sir.)
A lack of weapons is the worst thing this game suffers from, but with free weapons coming up, that point will be nullified. Cinematics are added in but do not break the flow of the game completely.
All in all, the game brings forward a fresh look at Ninja Gaiden, with a more mature tone and deeper story, fleshing out Hayabusa as a character. Gameplay is still fast and requires skill, but it is now more brutal than ever before. While still staying close to its roots, and though it does slip in certain areas, it never falls completely, with some chapters not seeming to fit into the story very well. It becomes a blend of solid gameplay and storytelling that Ninja Gaiden has lacked.
+Steel on Bone
-Lack of Weapons
-Lag and Freezing Issues Online
– Unbalanced Online Modes
*Regent of the Mask
Tekken’s Facebook page has a vote to see who’s the most demanded for TekkenxStreet Fighter! So head on over and vote for your favorites and keep your fingers crossed for the final product of Namco Bandai’s shot at the franchise!
Tell us who you voted for in the comments section!
I need a tan, and the best way I have found to get one is to be flamed heavily on the interwebs, so here we go, about to talk about why the ‘Online Pass’ system is used by companies. Please hold your flaming until the article is over!
All I have been reading about of late is the horrible, evil, greedy, and dreaded ‘Online Pass,’ which was stirred back up by Sony picking up this method of getting people to buy games new instead of used. Now, I know all the hate that this is catching, but I honestly don’t mind, as I understand one key rule: EA, Sony, WB Games, (Mortal Kombat) and the others are all businesses out to get money; they give people the games they want because it sells, not because you want it. I want Resonance of Fate to get a sequel, but it won’t. Why? It bombed its sales. If they cannot make money at it, why do it?
This is more of the same idea behind how a developer would view used-game sales; it is of no benefit to the dev team when this happens, so they will try to fight it the same way PC gaming is fighting piracy. It is legal to buy used games but just as harmful to the company, hence why DLC has become such a major part of gaming: no used sales and you can get money from the people who got the game used as well. That said, I do not agree with the way they are milking DLC, but that is another article entirely.
I got into an argument with someone about a week ago about how the studio needs to sell so many games to make a profit… And this was his side of the whole debate, and I quote.
“That’s bullshit. $60 x 1 million sold games, do the math. They raised the price to make more money. I’ve heard bullshit excuses like that 3 gens ago”
Some people seem to think that if you buy a game all the money goes to the developer or publisher. But this is completely wrong. Factories to make the disk, stores selling the disk, they get their money out of that $60(usd) as well. Which leads me to believe that most people do not understand this market to well, but that is a topic for another day.
And Sony got this idea from…
Yep, EA. I remember them getting cussed out over this same thing, which was included in games like Dead Space 2, Dragon Age 2 (Free DLC on launch), Mass Effect 2 (PS3) and even games as old as Dragon Age: Origins did that for DLC like Shale, but you know what? Those were not complete disasters as everyone was saying. Life kept ticking, and those four games were and are highly praised, so it’s not like the world stopped turning.
The main argument is game rentals, which I can understand slightly. If you rent the game, you are not going to have it long enough to get deep into the online anyway. Renting a game gives you enough time to go through the story and check a bit of the extra content, but online gaming is all about adding replay value; yet, you use a service to access the game that gives minimal time, so why would it matter anyway? After the five days or two weeks or however long your rental is, you will never see the game again…
Also, the economy has hit a lot of people, which is another reason rentals are higher, but that does not matter to a company, all they see is one million people bought the game, but 1.2 million are signing into the game, so they just lost 200,000 sales. Why should this matter to the gamer, though? Well, there is a reason!
In the meeting between development studio and publisher about a sequel to a game, there are a few things they take into account, sales and critical acclaim being two of those. Well, they cannot use used-game sales in the process, so if too many people got it used, then there is a chance the developer will not get the green light to make the next one.
I know people say the oh-so-common line “They won’t go under” or “It’s not that bad” and “Just one won’t hurt a company like Sony/EA.” Well, let’s look at it this way: it is likely Sony or EA would not go under, but it is likely that the individual studio will. Game Republic went under recently. Everyone thought they were good, made some fan favorites, and then BAM! They posted that they’d cleaned out their studio. Yeah, EA and Sony do take hits from used-game sales, but they are more likely to close a studio or lay off people. All companies need money; that is just the way it works. And if they are not getting the money, they will cut costs.
Is there a peaceful solution?
Everyone wants to scream and cry, instead of trying to think of a way out of the problem. Well, I will present one. You want to play online with a rental? They want their profit! The best way for everyone to win is…
(Drum roll please)
48-hour pass. Free. Something of a trial. You could download a free, timed pass for the online mode as a trial run. Yeah, the idea is flawed, as PS3 users could make new accounts to re-download it, and 360 owners could make a new one for the free month of Gold, but I am sure someone could iron that out. The idea is, those who rent the game can have some online fun for the time granted to them, and those who buy it used will be able to try it out and see if they wish to buy the online pass from the PSN/XBL. Seems logical, right?
Truthfully, I give it one year before every game company uses an online pass. Is it fair? Depends on who you ask, but in the eyes of a company trying to stay alive and keep from getting shut down, you have to admit it seems like the smart thing to do. Game studios are closing more and more right now. I don’t mind the thought because of two reasons… I buy the games new anyway, and I understand that a company has to work around threats to keep sales high. This is just how it goes.
Today, after my hour at the gym and some chores involving food, dishes, cleaning, trash, and other adult functions, I decided to get on my computer to see what the buzz was on the web, only to find a video saying it was wrong to play video games over 30, yet giving no reason why.
Oh, I’m sorry, NBC did give a reason, “it’s weird.” Seriously? That’s it? That’s what makes it wrong for an adult to have a hobby that involves video games? We should have other things on our mind as adults?
Like what, movies, news, and sports? I’m not allowed to trade those out for something different? We have jobs and pay bills just like every1 else. I know plenty of non-gamers who live with their parents, so this generalization is rather dated. You know, I believe there’s a word for this dissaproval of anything different: Bigotry.
“A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance and animosity toward those of differing beliefs. The predominant usage in modern English refers to persons hostile to those of differing race, ethnicity, religion or spirituality, nationality, inter-regional prejudice, gender and sexual orientation, homelessness, various medical disorders, particularly behavioral disorders and addictive disorders. Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views.”
If memory serves, gamers have been under a great heap of trouble and animosity for the last decade now, even to the point of an atempt at having our hobby banned by the Supreme Court.
Wow. I believe the Supreme Court agreed that video games were protected by the 1st Amendment under freedom of speech.
Freedom, let’s look at this word for a moment…
1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.
So, this means that I can choose for myself, which includes my hobbies. Video games are just like movies, watching sports, art, music, or any other medium of entertainment.
Is it that video games are immature? That can’t be it, because the rating system is set up to keep children away from violent or otherwise adult video games. Alternately, I know several adult women who watch kid shows like Arthur, Rugrats, Doug, and many others. This is seen as socially acceptable. Harry Potter fans in their 40s seem acceptable, so why can adults not play video games intended for adults?
Again, we go back to bigotry, the same bigotry that started looking down on the black community simply because they’re different. How about we tackle the homosexual crowd, or rich people, or poor people? Why don’t we just hate every1 who isn’t like us again? We seem to be on our way already, so why the hell not?
Oh, there’s another word that involves a group of people badgering a single group or person repeatedly: Bullying. Let’s see the definition.
“Bullying is abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion, and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, sex, or ability.”
The bolded part seem to apply to the last decade that gamers have had to endure, being under fire by pretty much every1 who didn’t play video games.
I believe bullying has been the subject of many suicides in the last few years, right? Quite the issue nowadays. You know how it is, though; if every1 keeps insulting you and laughing at you long enough, then you cease to value the life you have because it’s no longer living. You feel like a broken husk of a person that no1 will accept, and you just want it to end, so you take the only road you know.
It’s such a sad path, but what choice do they have? All the insults have sapped the enjoyment from their life. I wonder who’s to blame…
I’d hate to say this to my “elders,” but you people need to grow up and show some tolerance. I learned that from Seasame Street. Be accepting and tolerant of all others, no matter how different.
As long as I’m not hurting any1, I’m fine, right?
Have I not the right to choose my hobby? Have I not the right to be accepted? Have I not the right to be treated as a human?
After reading this, I hope you will do some soul-searching and some major re-evaluation towards the treatment of others. Thank you for your time.
Allow me to start off by saying that no, this game is not NEARLY as bad as every1 says. It’s actually kinda fun. I shall also say that I despise the modern 1st-person shooter genre, and it was refreshing to play 1 that felt like the olden, golden days or the FPS.
Duke Nukem Forever may not have lived up to its 12-year wait, but it certainly isn’t the worst title I have ever played. That is reserved for Vampire Rain. Hell, it’s not even the worst game I’ve played this year! That title is reserved for Hunted: The Demon’s Forge.
Whether you’ve played ’em or not, you know what Duke Nukem is: every American Macho stereotype rolled together in a Bruce Campbell-type deal. He’s a player, he benches 600 LBS, smokes cigars, kicks ass, and chews bubble-gum.
“Juvenile, simplistic, immature, grade-B, and kinda funny” boils down my thoughts on the story. Yes, this game’s sense of humor made me smile in a way that few titles do. It’s also easy-as-hell to boil down.
12 years after Duke saved the planet Earth from alien invasion, he’s a hero the world over. He has his own burger joints, his own conference room by which he can be reached by the President and some General whom I assume has been there the series before, and his own freaking palace. I never played much Duke in the old days besides some versus mode with my cousin and uncle on the PS1’s Duke Nukem: Time to Kill.
Anyway, the game starts off 12 years ago with Duke pissing in a urinal. You finish up, head upstairs, and defeat a Cyclops in a football field. The game then cuts to Duke playing the game for the last game’s ending while getting an oral from 2 twins, which I must wonder how it works. Maybe the 2nd twin was making sure the 1st was doing it right…I dunno.
Anyway, they leave, talking about their concerns with the giant alien vessel floating over the city, and you go to a TV Interview with Johnny O’Lenoman.
The interview gets scrapped because every1 wants to see what the aliens are doing at Duke Burger, so you return to your huge, freaking palace only to be contacted by the president and your general/friend/dude-type person.
The president tells you not to go all macho and shit-kick everything in sight, to which you reluctantly…remain silent. Then, the attack hits, and you’re forced to kick ass as only a cigar-chewing, American, smart-ass pimp can. You fight your way through a few nasties acting as a tutorial where you learn that the aliens have taken over Hoover Dam and are abducting women.
Duke does the noble thing and heads for the women, and that’s pretty much the story. You’re running around, beating the mess out of aliens to save Earth’s “chicks.”
Yes, it’s stupid, but I’m glad it doesn’t take itself seriously, like Ratchet and Clank. This game, as I said, reminds me of Bruce Campbell, or more accurately, Ashley Williams, on whom I’m sure the Duke was based.
If you liked the Evil Dead, you might enjoy this game’s immature quirks. The story also makes fun of Christian Bale’s “Grrr” moment on-set and Dom from Gears of War, so if you catch those little moments and want to punch the hell out of a stuck-up actor, then you’ll find the story enjoyable.
Ahh, so familiar to me. May I just start off by saying that I am so glad to have a Health Bar back and to play a title that reminds me of the older-style FPS instead of this new, cover-based, hyper-realistic BS we’ve been flooded with since the CoD era hit. I’m sick of it, and 2K heard my cries by giving me a run-and-gun title! An FPS true to the roots of FPS titles.
Sure, you can’t take mountains of damage, but you don’t have to use cover, either. Hell, I don’t even know if you can use cover in this. It’s not manly, anyway!
Sadly, however, you’re limited to 2 guns at a time. In this way, the Duke has evolved, and that saddened me, but the gameplay was still fun, so it was overlooked. It would have been nice to be a walking arsenal again, but whatevs. You run around and punch, shoot, and finish everything in your path and you feel like a manly badass while doing it.
Interacting with items gives you more “Ego,” which is your HP bar in this title. By interacting, I mean drawing on white boards/books, using the urinals, turning on faucets, and the like. Doesn’t boost your ego by much, though.
I didn’t play the online because, as I’ve said before, this isn’t something I do in most games, especially of the shooter persuasion.
There are the oh-so-tedious driving segments, which seem to have become synonymous with 1st-Person Shooters now, which annoys me, but they weren’t too bad or terribly long. The 1st was a bit annoying, since I was so freaking small, and it took several headshots to down the basic enemy, but I made it through, so it was balanced alright.
Not much else to say about the gameplay aspect. You run around and blast things like we did in the olden days. Story is a distant thought, and realism isn’t here because we get enough reality from reality anyway.
Tl;dr: the gameplay is fun, but old-school shooting is dragged down slightly by long load times.
Okay, the graphics in the game aren’t the worst you’ve ever seen. Duke’s model is very smooth, but the animations aren’t that good at all. If you look into a mirror and jump, you’ll know what I mean. It’s back to the Old School with this as well, which is not a good thing. He curls his knees and rises into the air as though he jumped by simply moving his legs a bit, which is funny but not impressive, though now I must wonder if they did this on purpose…
The worst part of this title is easily the load screens. I started timing after the 1st to see, and they averaged about 45-50 seconds. For a title that demands little from your system’s hardware AND requires a 4.5 gig install, this is really dumb. It’s shoddy programming and no optimization; however, I just remind myself of Darkstone and shrug it off, but it is still very annoying, especially in this day and age.
You won’t be impressed with this title’s tech.
Duke Nukem Forever is not a game for people who haven’t enjoyed the Evil Dead franchise, The Bro Code, Tom Selleck, Chuck Norris, or basically anything that’s so macho it’s silly. It’s not for those that hate toilet humor and sexually explicit jokes and gags.
If you’re like me and can enjoy macho gags, this is the game for you. If you’ve even liked Duke Nukem, you should enjoy this title. If you never have, this title probably won’t change your mind. If you’ve never played Duke Nukem, then just ask yourself if you’ve ever enjoyed a film with Bruce Campbell. If yes, then you might consider picking this up for a look-see.
I don’t recommend this title otherwise.
+Fun Return to Old-School Shooters
+Some of the gags are funny
-Long Load Times
-Toilet Humor (literally)
=Signing a 12-year-old boy’s book by drawing a penis (yeah, I did)
=Punching out Christian Bale-based actor
=Gears’ Dom gets called a “Pussy”
=”Screw the Dam! Where are they takin’ the chicks?”