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Reviews are out for Yosuke Hayashi's latest game, Ninja Gaiden 3 on PS3 and XBox 360, as well as for Kid Icarus: Uprising on the Nintendo 3DS. And the split in scores is a gash about as bad as decapitation.
Early reviews for Ninja Gaiden 3 dub the game an outright disaster (IGN gives it a 3!!!), despite the quality Team Ninja is known for and the presence of Masato Kato, writer for Chrono Trigger. IGN declares the game has "Shallow combat, a misguided narrative focus, and awful pacing", the story (about Ryu's arm becoming infected with the blood of everyone he's ever killed) "gibberish". That's not the sleek ninja we knew and loved in Ninja Gaiden 2. The cutscenes are a complete train wreck, like something you'd expect out of Mystery Science Theater. Gone is the dismemberment and careful tactics of combat and use of environment from the previous games, replaced with random button mashing and square arenas where dozens of enemies just attack constantly. The camera is terrible, too. None of the moody reflection on what it means to kill someone is present - even after Ryu Hayabusa slays upwards of 2,000 guys in a single play-through, many of them unarmed. This is making me reconsider Team Ninja's role in Metroid: Other M and Hayashi-san's skill as a director. One simply has to wonder: what the #*@& happened, Team Ninja?! I am actually glad I didn't have the money for it, otherwise I would be livid rather than just shocked and extremely disappointed.
Kid Icarus, on the other hand, has been receiving very positive reviews, mostly 8's and 9's. Nintendo World Report calls the game "amazing" and "one of the craziest and most original games released by Nintendo in awhile". All the controls sound a little clunky, but the combat system is claimed to be superb, with an excellent weapons upgrade system and excellent balance from the Fiend's Cauldron. The graphics are said to be fantastic as well, with excellent sound and voice acting to boot. The game has approximately 12 hours of play from start to finish (without replays) and is said to have one of the funniest stories ever. For an *ahem* taste of what to expect (sorry, guys!!), check out the new Palutena anime on your 3DS Video. And I am certainly reassured to hear 1Up declare, "There really is a never-ending litany of things to love about Kid Icarus: Uprising. Friday couldn't come any sooner!
Until next time...