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Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Review

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.
 

Reviewed on: PC
Developer: Spark Unlimited
Publisher: Tecmo Koei Games
Rated: "M" for Mature

 
CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 6/10 
Performing best on the PC, the graphic novel come to life aesthetic works well with the ninja VS zombie action, but it's still hampered by unfinished textures and slowdown.
Gameplay 4/10 
The game basically consists of alternating combat arena sections mixed with quicktime events, which as you'd expect get old really quick.
Lasting Appeal 5/10 
The game features a pretty steep learning curve but the only real change is simply more of everything, which gets increasingly more frustrating due to strange limitations (seriously why can't I jump?).
Overall 4/10 
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a peculiar game. It comes with a unique art style but also dated gameplay mechanics and ideas. Fans of zombie games will feel unfilled here and those looking for a challenging Ninja Gaiden experience are sure to be disappointed.
CHEATfactor 4/10 
 

I like the think that there's a glass "In case of emergency, break glass" box somewhere in every video game studio used specifically for when a franchise starts to grow stale. Inside is the box is a piece of paper with only two words - "add zombies." It worked for Call of Duty right? Unfortunately though it doesn't for the Ninja Gaiden series; but it could have. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z has a really cool art style and the potential for a cool concept, but frustrating mechanics, repetitive gameplay and unoriginal ideas ruins it. Sure, there's some fun to be had here, but it's limited and mind-numbingly dated.

Ninja Gaiden Z feels like a B-movie that's based of a 12-year-old. The short version is that a ninja that's been hacked to bits gets put together again as a cyborg and is tasked with defeating zombies for some reason or another. This is a Team Ninja game so everything is overly sexualized and overly smarmy but thanks to the completely ridiculous tone and content, it works (at least most times). The story isn't going to put anyone at the edge of their seats or surprise anyone, but it does serve as a fitting vehicle to get the meat and potatoes of the game - the zombie killing.

"...the game boils down to a simple button masher..."

 
   

Unfortunately, this is also where the game really starts to take a turn for the worse. Yaiba is essentially a series of combat arenas with wave after wave of enemies to take out. If you've played any of the previous Ninja Gaiden games, this may sound worthwhile, but don't get confused; Yaiba shares none of the timing and grace of its predecessors. You're constantly surrounded by enemies and the games protagonist seems almost completely incapable of even holding his own against the weakest of enemies. His attacks feel slow and laborious and the dodge mechanic is completely useless, especially when the action starts to get heavy and over populated. You also can't jump besides in certain sections. Seriously, there's no jumping. As a result, the game boils down to a simple button masher (and a bad one at that), the complete opposite of what the Ninja Gaiden franchise has built it's legacy on.

It also doesn't help that the game is so completely unimaginative and lazy that it's painful. Games like this constantly have identical looking enemies here and there, but Yaiba takes it to another level all together by populating entire stages with just that one enemy. Of course, strategy goes out the window here as you're just spamming the game with the same attacks that are useful against that certain enemy until they're all gone, rather than attempting to balance different enemies and attack styles. There is a steep difficulty curve to the game, but it doesn't effect how the enemies behave or how smart they are, it just surrounds you with even more enemies.

"...the colors and visuals seem muddled, fuzzy and dated."

 
   

There's a definite sense of style to Ninja Gaiden Z, but the developers at Spark Interactive manage to mess even this up somehow. The visuals are meant to look like they're a comic book that's come to life but the developers don't know when to leave well enough alone and as a result all of the game's action make the colors and visuals seem muddled, fuzzy and dated. If you didn't know any better you'd think that this was a game from the early days of the last console generation.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a peculiar game. It comes with a unique art style but also dated gameplay mechanics and ideas. There's some fun to be had here but it's extremely limited and never feels like it reaches its full potential. Fans of zombie games will feel unfilled here and those looking for a challenging Ninja Gaiden experience are sure to be disappointed.

 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: Super Heal, Level Up, Add Score, more
 

I'm not going to lie, the super heal and add level cheats found in the trainer for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z from Cheat Happens makes some of the bigger battles less frustrating because I'm not as worried about the cheap attacks that drain half of my health each time. That being said, even with the options made available with the trainer, Yaiba is still incredibly frustrating and disappointing.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more cheats for Ninja Gaiden Z as they become available.

 
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