Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ninja Blade

Urgh, what a slog. There’s just no joy at all to be had from playing this game, even though you’ve got all sorts of whizz-bang action and swords chopping at enemies with wanton abandon. But there’s no soul there, none at all.

Ninja Blade is as corporate a game as you’re likely to ever play, with virtually nothing to identify it from the hundreds of other games that block up the shelves with their inane drudgery. And, on top of all of this, it’s riddled, nay, infested with quick time events, those three dreaded words that plague all right-minded individuals.

You play a character called Ken Ogawa, who likes to wear ninja clothes and do ninja things. The question of why global organisations are recruiting ninjas to battle ‘infected’ creatures across the globe is left unanswered. (Argh, even the choice of bad guy is so thoughtless, it makes us angry just to write it.) Anyway, as our Ken chops up shambling entities, upgrades his weapons and presses Space when prompted to by the game, he has to contend with that most hideous of things: the shoddy console port effect. Yes, when you save the game it says, “Do not turn off your console”. Would it have been too much trouble to change that word to “machine”? Really?

All the controls are marked in Xbox 360 control pad symbols, so you have no idea what key you’re meant to be pressing. Yes, we could have plugged in a pad, but what if we didn’t have one or ours broke? So we had to guess which keys did what, because there’s no way the game’s going to actually make it easy for us. Press RT and move the left stick to wall run. Right, we know WSAD is the left stick, so what’s RT? Quick check of the controls reveals nothing, so we’ll just spend five minutes pressing all the keys and falling off a ledge to find out which one it is. Ah ha! CTRL! At last, you little rascal.

As you can see, we hated playing this game. The unendurable boss battles, the combat, the ridiculous American accents for the clearly non-American characters, the astonishing number of QTEs and, finally, the lack of anything approaching an original idea contrives to make this one of the most ghastly games we’ve had the misfortune to play. Refuse to accept a game with such little creative effort put into it and vote with your wallets.


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