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Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Razor's Edge attempts to fix Ninja Gaiden 3. In some ways it succeeds, offering an experience with more modes and levels. But even with all of these changes, Ryu Hayabusa's newest adventure is hard to recommend. Ninja Gaiden 3 looks good, but is derailed with uneven difficulty and gameplay that is too fast for its own good! Rating: 30%
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge
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  • Review Score:

  • D+
When it comes to popular culture, some patterns are hard to break. Many people would argue that only the even-numbered Star Trek movies are worth watching. While others might note that Beethoven had much better luck with odd-numbered symphonies. And now, thanks to Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, we can add Ryu Hayabusa to the long list of victims of the pop-culture curse.

Back in 1991, Tecmo disappointed millions of Nintendo Entertainment System owners with Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. It was a half-baked action game with nasty technical problems and a lame story. Two decades later, Tecmo is ready to repeat history with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, a modern-day action game that completely misses the point of what makes this franchise so much fun. It's a game so miserably uninteresting that it will no doubt stop the franchise in its tracks.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (PlayStation 3)

To be fair, this is technically the second release of Ninja Gaiden 3. Released almost exactly a year before Razor's Edge, Ninja Gaiden 3 (no subtitle) hoped to attract a new audience by upping the action and blood. The results were decidedly mixed, with many critics complaining about the bad pacing, shallow action and repetitive boss battles. Somehow I missed out on the original 2012 release, so I vouch for the general consensus. But let me tell you, if Razor's Edge is the good version, then the original Ninja Gaiden 3 must have been a train wreck of epic proportions.

Ninja Gaiden 3 could have been a really powerful story about humanity and coping with the immediacy of death. Early on, Ryu is cursed by a mysterious alchemist and is only given a few days to live. This should have led to a deeply introspective look at who Ryu Hayabusa is, where he came from and what was important to his life. Sadly, Tecmo decided to go a different direction.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is split up into a series of days, each taking Ryu around the world killing bad guys in the bloodiest ways possible. Unlike past installments, the action presented here is heightened to an absurd level. Right from the get-go, Ryu will be taking down helicopters and making waste of expensive tanks. Eventually the game veers into the fantastical, thanks to a fight with a metal dinosaur and a few other memorable boss encounters.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (PlayStation 3)

Ninja Gaiden's speedy gameplay is just as over-the-top as the baffling storyline. Ryu doesn't have time for you to perform well-planned combos, he's ready to stab enemies and fill the screen with blood. At times the action feels out of control, where I was having a lot of luck by mashing buttons and hoping for the best. There are combos, moves and abilities to unlock (new to this version of Ninja Gaiden 3), but the game's ridiculous speed made it harder to pull of precise actions.

While the first two Ninja Gaiden games are far from brain-teasers, they both offered moments that involved figuring out paths and solving puzzles. Sadly, those quiet moments have been yanked out of Ninja Gaiden 3. Instead of giving us a chance to catch our breath, Tecmo keeps cranking up the action. The whole thing becomes incredibly tiring, especially when you realize that you're essentially going from one blocked-off combat arena to the next.
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