Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Review - A Load Of Friggin' Crap

Jim Sterling | 20 Mar 2014 16:30
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Topping off the dreadful combat are consistently lame attempts at being funny. This game thinks it's a comedy, and it displays its woefully lacking sense of humor at any given opportunity. For instance, the protagonist hates clowns. That is the joke. An unoriginal bit of observation that stopped being funny decades ago, referenced without any further gags to back it up. At one point, Yaiba explodes a lingerie shop and panties rain from the sky. That, also, is apparently a joke. No, there's nothing funny that happens with the panties. The simple idea of panties existing is supposed to be funny.

This is a game that laughs at the concept of panties, laughs at the mere existence of underwear.

I hate this game.

Of course, with a videogame this unimaginative and puerile, there's plenty of sexism as well, but there's no point being offended by any of it. To take offense at the entry-level insults on display here would be to give it far too much credit. As Yaiba talks of women being "stacked six asses high" and makes lewd comments to his female advisor, one realizes this is far too dumb to be upset over. In a way, I can only feel sorry for the giggling chimp hybrid that I imagine wrote the dialogue for this thing - cackling at the very mention of boobies in between smearing feces on its own limp genitalia.

Then there are the little things that consistently piss the player off, crawling like bugs under one's skin. The reduction of wall-running and acrobatics to horribly signposted QTEs that make very little visual sense. The pop-ups that halt combat when players are near death to remind players that they're near death. The "puzzles" that consist entirely of picking up a zombie and throwing it at something. The frequent graphical glitches and total lack of collision detection. The fact they're charging full price for something that looks, sounds, and plays like it was made by particularly dimwitted kindergartners. If I've not mentioned it already, I hate this game.

Like, I really hate it.

If you're unfortunate enough to pick up this juvenile, incompetent drivel, I can only feel sad for the bad thing you've allowed to happen in your life. At its very best - at its VERY best - Ninja Gaiden Z is a sub-par button masher, easily outclassed by a multitude of better button mashers. At its worst, this farce is as close to unplayable gets without actually being unplayable. I wish it had been unplayable, because then I wouldn't have had to play as much as I did before realizing the world wouldn't care if I simply walked away.

The most tragic part is that I held out hope for this one, even as interest among other parties eroded away. I still believe in the concept - a colorful and comedic take on a dark, brooding action series can make for a most intriguing spin-off, and it's not like I have a problem with dumb action games. I truly wanted Yaiba to be good, and I think it could have been, if only it were entrusted to a developer that knew how to make things that weren't awful.

Bottom Line: Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a dismal waste of a good idea. Painfully unfunny, graphically abhorrent, and straight-up disheveled in the combat department, this manages to be one of the worst games of the last generation, right at the very end of it.

Recommendation: Get a job in telemarketing. You'll experience the same amount of despair and frustration that the game would give you, but at least you'd be making money instead of spending it.

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