Review: Ninja Blade

Review: Ninja Blade

Quick-time events have never been so ... tolerable?

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God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

I call it Elite Beat Ninjas. Also I want to see you force Yahtzee into this. THEN the murders will begin.

Seriously, jumping flying busses? Riding missiles? Didn't Super Contra 3 have scenarios like that except they were fully interactive? I've already wondered why some of the cutscenes in the demo weren't simply done via gameplay. What's so hard about giving the player a grappling hook and having him swing around, pulling all that stuff using ingame mechanics? Yeah, okay, a real player wouldn't e.g. finish off a spider by swinging a demolition crane ball around and instead just stab it in the face until it drops dead but I've seen games force more idiotically elaborate situations without QTEs.

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

Sounds like they need to fix their gameplay to make elaborate kills possible in regular play. Then again I don't find kills impressive until you can do them in one strike without stopping your movement.

Best part of these QTEs is that you get a nice big cue when a sequence is about to start.

My ninja sense is tingling.

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

There's a pretty huge difference between QTEs in cut scenes and QTEs in regular gameplay. Ninja Blade has both - aside from the elaborate cut scenes, you can perform QTE finishers on normal enemies by hitting the Y button when they're weakened. I don't mind those QTEs, because when you miss a prompt, your combo just ends abruptly - you don't have to navigate through a "Retry" screen to get back into the game. All QTEs are pass/fail, but when the failure state pulls you out of the experience, it gets old pretty quickly.

KDR_11k:

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

Sounds like they need to fix their gameplay to make elaborate kills possible in regular play. Then again I don't find kills impressive until you can do them in one strike without stopping your movement.

Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Jordan Deam:

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

There's a pretty huge difference between QTEs in cut scenes and QTEs in regular gameplay. Ninja Blade has both - aside from the elaborate cut scenes, you can perform QTE finishers on normal enemies by hitting the Y button when they're weakened. I don't mind those QTEs, because when you miss a prompt, your combo just ends abruptly - you don't have to navigate through a "Retry" screen to get back into the game. All QTEs are pass/fail, but when the failure state pulls you out of the experience, it gets old pretty quickly.

That's a realtively monochromatic viewpoint, that doesn't cover a number of games, both on the market and rapidly upcoming.

Indigo_Dingo:

KDR_11k:
I call it Elite Beat Ninjas. Also I want to see you force Yahtzee into this. THEN the murders will begin.

Seriously, jumping flying busses? Riding missiles? Didn't Super Contra 3 have scenarios like that except they were fully interactive? I've already wondered why some of the cutscenes in the demo weren't simply done via gameplay. What's so hard about giving the player a grappling hook and having him swing around, pulling all that stuff using ingame mechanics? Yeah, okay, a real player wouldn't e.g. finish off a spider by swinging a demolition crane ball around and instead just stab it in the face until it drops dead but I've seen games force more idiotically elaborate situations without QTEs.

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

Sounds like they need to fix their gameplay to make elaborate kills possible in regular play. Then again I don't find kills impressive until you can do them in one strike without stopping your movement.

Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Well, therein lies the problem, that's not cool. Just pointless.

TheNecroswanson:

Indigo_Dingo:

KDR_11k:
I call it Elite Beat Ninjas. Also I want to see you force Yahtzee into this. THEN the murders will begin.

Seriously, jumping flying busses? Riding missiles? Didn't Super Contra 3 have scenarios like that except they were fully interactive? I've already wondered why some of the cutscenes in the demo weren't simply done via gameplay. What's so hard about giving the player a grappling hook and having him swing around, pulling all that stuff using ingame mechanics? Yeah, okay, a real player wouldn't e.g. finish off a spider by swinging a demolition crane ball around and instead just stab it in the face until it drops dead but I've seen games force more idiotically elaborate situations without QTEs.

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

Sounds like they need to fix their gameplay to make elaborate kills possible in regular play. Then again I don't find kills impressive until you can do them in one strike without stopping your movement.

Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Well, therein lies the problem, that's not cool. Just pointless.

Came across as pretty cool to me, as opposed to just slicing the guy to death while he kept blinding me.

Indigo_Dingo:
Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Sounds as pointless as Mortal Kombat fatalities but I guess MadWorld had stuff on par with that. I think any kill is too clumsy when you even have to stop moving to combo the guy before he dies. It doesn't feel like power when your character needs to pull off a big combination attack with a freaking sword to even scratch the target. Besides, the coolness of any pre-scripted event is always lower than the coolness of anything the player does himself because then he can pat himself on the back and say "yeah, I did that" instead of saying "my character did that". Luring a column of giant mechs into a road you've prepared with tons of explosives and wiping them all out in one big blast is much more statisfying when you set it up yourself than any amount of cool posing from your character when you just push buttons that anyone could do. It's the difference betwen being awesome and being shown something awesome.

KDR_11k:

Indigo_Dingo:
Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Sounds as pointless as Mortal Kombat fatalities but I guess MadWorld had stuff on par with that. I think any kill is too clumsy when you even have to stop moving to combo the guy before he dies. It doesn't feel like power when your character needs to pull off a big combination attack with a freaking sword to even scratch the target. Besides, the coolness of any pre-scripted event is always lower than the coolness of anything the player does himself because then he can pat himself on the back and say "yeah, I did that" instead of saying "my character did that". Luring a column of giant mechs into a road you've prepared with tons of explosives and wiping them all out in one big blast is much more statisfying when you set it up yourself than any amount of cool posing from your character when you just push buttons that anyone could do. It's the difference betwen being awesome and being shown something awesome.

Dude, its a videogame. Its going to be a case of "my character did that" one way or the other. Anyone else could lure giant mechs into the explosives, anyone else could pull off the Prince of Perias Square-X-X combo, and anyone else could just slice a guy in Ninja Gaiden. Either way will break the illusion if you allow it to. But one way is cooler.

And no, actually. Madworld has one of the elements of the above, and that is all.

Indigo_Dingo:

KDR_11k:

Indigo_Dingo:
Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Sounds as pointless as Mortal Kombat fatalities but I guess MadWorld had stuff on par with that. I think any kill is too clumsy when you even have to stop moving to combo the guy before he dies. It doesn't feel like power when your character needs to pull off a big combination attack with a freaking sword to even scratch the target. Besides, the coolness of any pre-scripted event is always lower than the coolness of anything the player does himself because then he can pat himself on the back and say "yeah, I did that" instead of saying "my character did that". Luring a column of giant mechs into a road you've prepared with tons of explosives and wiping them all out in one big blast is much more statisfying when you set it up yourself than any amount of cool posing from your character when you just push buttons that anyone could do. It's the difference betwen being awesome and being shown something awesome.

Dude, its a videogame. Its going to be a case of "my character did that" one way or the other. Anyone else could lure giant mechs into the explosives, anyone else could pull off the Prince of Perias Square-X-X combo, and anyone else could just slice a guy in Ninja Gaiden. Either way will break the illusion if you allow it to. But one way is cooler.

And no, actually. Madworld has one of the elements of the above, and that is all.

You said it yourself though, "my character". For example, if you completed a puzzle in God of War, I doubt you felt like Kratos completed that his intelligence. You as the player cause the videogame avatar to complete an objective. A videogame character is still "our/my character", you feel some kind of connection to their action otherwise you would simply watch movies because they can contain much better spectacle for less little involvement.

I agree with KDR_11k, an unscripted kill can be far most entertaining then a scripted QTE. That doesn't mean that QTEs are not sometimes fun to watch, but I am far more likely to remember the former. Prime example of this, look at all the videos that get posted for near Rube Goldberg level of improbable kills in games like Counter Strike, Halo, etc. How many God of War QTE kills? QTE kills do serve a vastly different purpose however, the point is to emphasis the badassery of the single character. So they are fine in their own right, I personally find them to be less fulfilling.

I actually enjoy well-done QTEs, especially when they help spice up what would otherwise be a repetitious boss-fight. Take God of War, as an example. Plenty of button-mashing combat to go around in that game, but the QTEs in the boss fights allow for some really spectacular visuals without disrupting the flow of the game. If anything, they provide some much-needed breathing room during the fight.

What I don't like, though, are QTEs that force you to do them over and over and over again until you succeed. If you blow it, there should be a consequence - even a minor one, like not getting a bit of swag or as high a score - and then you move on.

Well, I think I'll pass on this. The review seems to sum it up nicely.

You know what I want to see? A realistic ninja game.

DeadlyYellow:
Well, I think I'll pass on this. The review seems to sum it up nicely.

You know what I want to see? A realistic ninja game.

About the closest we've come so far is the Tenchu series, and to a slight extent the Riddick game.

My real disappointment however, is that From Software decide that this tripe was worth release in the US, but (so far), not Demon's Souls, which is several orders of magnitude more playable and awesome than this. Plus, the Asia/China release is already fully localized into English.

unangbangkay:

DeadlyYellow:
Well, I think I'll pass on this. The review seems to sum it up nicely.

You know what I want to see? A realistic ninja game.

About the closest we've come so far is the Tenchu series, and to a slight extent the Riddick game.

My real disappointment however, is that From Software decide that this tripe was worth release in the US, but (so far), not Demon's Souls, which is several orders of magnitude more playable and awesome than this. Plus, the Asia/China release is already fully localized into English.

Form soft has issues with bringing stuff to the US....which is a shame I am still waiting on Shadow tower abyss.... sucky game or not...I still want it...in English....

unangbangkay:

DeadlyYellow:
Well, I think I'll pass on this. The review seems to sum it up nicely.

You know what I want to see? A realistic ninja game.

About the closest we've come so far is the Tenchu series, and to a slight extent the Riddick game.

Which is in itself a pretty unrealistic ninja game as well. A bunch of guys dressed up as gardeners guarding a building, that would essentially be a real historic ninja game.

Slycne:

unangbangkay:

DeadlyYellow:
Well, I think I'll pass on this. The review seems to sum it up nicely.

You know what I want to see? A realistic ninja game.

About the closest we've come so far is the Tenchu series, and to a slight extent the Riddick game.

Which is in itself a pretty unrealistic ninja game as well. A bunch of guys dressed up as gardeners guarding a building, that would essentially be a real historic ninja game.

A realistic ninja game would involve you waiting around in disguise for months on end before delivering a single fatal blow to you target. I'd rather surf on missiles, thanks!

The QTE's were fun but the battling was atrocious, I hated fighting in that game

Slycne:

Indigo_Dingo:

KDR_11k:

Indigo_Dingo:
Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Sounds as pointless as Mortal Kombat fatalities but I guess MadWorld had stuff on par with that. I think any kill is too clumsy when you even have to stop moving to combo the guy before he dies. It doesn't feel like power when your character needs to pull off a big combination attack with a freaking sword to even scratch the target. Besides, the coolness of any pre-scripted event is always lower than the coolness of anything the player does himself because then he can pat himself on the back and say "yeah, I did that" instead of saying "my character did that". Luring a column of giant mechs into a road you've prepared with tons of explosives and wiping them all out in one big blast is much more statisfying when you set it up yourself than any amount of cool posing from your character when you just push buttons that anyone could do. It's the difference betwen being awesome and being shown something awesome.

Dude, its a videogame. Its going to be a case of "my character did that" one way or the other. Anyone else could lure giant mechs into the explosives, anyone else could pull off the Prince of Perias Square-X-X combo, and anyone else could just slice a guy in Ninja Gaiden. Either way will break the illusion if you allow it to. But one way is cooler.

And no, actually. Madworld has one of the elements of the above, and that is all.

You said it yourself though, "my character". For example, if you completed a puzzle in God of War, I doubt you felt like Kratos completed that his intelligence. You as the player cause the videogame avatar to complete an objective. A videogame character is still "our/my character", you feel some kind of connection to their action otherwise you would simply watch movies because they can contain much better spectacle for less little involvement.

I agree with KDR_11k, an unscripted kill can be far most entertaining then a scripted QTE. That doesn't mean that QTEs are not sometimes fun to watch, but I am far more likely to remember the former. Prime example of this, look at all the videos that get posted for near Rube Goldberg level of improbable kills in games like Counter Strike, Halo, etc. How many God of War QTE kills? QTE kills do serve a vastly different purpose however, the point is to emphasis the badassery of the single character. So they are fine in their own right, I personally find them to be less fulfilling.

Which is why you don't see QTE's in FPS's - you see them in Rail shooters and linear Action games, where the character themselves is already constrained within a relatively limited list of actions. When the QTE's actively play off these actions directly - the button presses themselves are timed to and reflective of the action on screen (He's tryin to get lose! Grab him! O! Now slash his stomach! []!) - it remains entirely within the scope of the player made actions, except done way more impressively.

unangbangkay:

DeadlyYellow:
Well, I think I'll pass on this. The review seems to sum it up nicely.

You know what I want to see? A realistic ninja game.

About the closest we've come so far is the Tenchu series.

Really? I didn't know that Ninjaas exclusively dealt with mentally disadvantaged enemies.

Wasn't there a NES or SNES game called Ninja Blade?

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

Wait when did this review talk about GoW?

Anyways the 3 weapons thing actually reminded me more of Onimusha than anything else.

Aw, nothing about the absolutely ridiculous un-lockable costumes?

zoozilla:
Aw, nothing about the absolutely ridiculous un-lockable costumes?

To get them the player would have to endure the game long enough to unlock them.

Susan Arendt:
I actually enjoy well-done QTEs, especially when they help spice up what would otherwise be a repetitious boss-fight. Take God of War, as an example. Plenty of button-mashing combat to go around in that game, but the QTEs in the boss fights allow for some really spectacular visuals without disrupting the flow of the game. If anything, they provide some much-needed breathing room during the fight.

What I don't like, though, are QTEs that force you to do them over and over and over again until you succeed. If you blow it, there should be a consequence - even a minor one, like not getting a bit of swag or as high a score - and then you move on.

This, except replace God of War with The Bourne Conspiracy.

I rented it and quite enjoyed it. It was not perfect by any means but it those boss QTEs made me feel like such a badass. I recall watching Unskippable a couple weeks back and one of them said something like "WOW that is so cool I wish we could do that". And the other replied "ya we would just screw it up". That is how Ninja Blade made me feel. That I was involved with these amazingly over the top action sequences and not just a spectator. I should have left the V/A the default though. All english was crap.

If I dropped 60 bones on it I would have a completely different opinion. Especially towards the end when they make you replay the same levels and bosses.

Indigo_Dingo:

KDR_11k:

Indigo_Dingo:
God of War III. Evolving situations of QTE's involving multiple pathways and numerous ways to kill far more impressive than any games regular gameplay could show off. That is all.

Sounds like they need to fix their gameplay to make elaborate kills possible in regular play. Then again I don't find kills impressive until you can do them in one strike without stopping your movement.

Name one game with a kill as cool as waterboarding someone, before throwing them through a wall and impaling them on a giant hook.

Madworld.

Too many to even start counting.

Ah well, I really expected Ninja Blade to be shit.

 

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