Ninja Blade review

  • Gigantic bosses
  • Easy slash-'em-up mechanics
  • Nice weaponry upgrade system
  • Woolly combat
  • Overuse of quick-time events
  • Nothing to do other than fight

Deja vu? Ninja Blade bears a similarity to several games already out there. Ninja Gaiden and God of War are the two that first spring to mind, while its liberal use of bosses is pure Shadow of the Colossus. But then, this is a game about ninjas, so you’d expect a bit of a crossover.

The few unique points that it has – namely a rampant fondness for quick-time events (QTE) and a plot that involves parasitic worms entering into people’s bodies and turning them into blood crazed monsters – won’t win you over. The QTEs crop up too frequently and while they make the game look more cinematic, they also constantly drag you out of the action. In fact, as the game is very linear too, it feels like you’re hardly playing at times. Instead you hop from one cutscene or QTE to one short action sequence after another, some of them impressive to look at but none of them satisfying to play.

Compare Ninja Blade’s combat to Ninja Gaiden’s and it comes out very unfavorably. Your upgradeable weapons and move-sets are comprehensive but contact is imprecise and enemies follow predictable, repeated attack patterns. The bosses are a letdown too. They look good but little strategy is required to beat them – you just hack away.

Similarly, if you put its acrobatic leaping and wall-running sections next to the likes of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed you’ll notice that Ninja Blade feels rather clumsy and unintuitive in comparison. As a final insult, the game has some just plain bad on-rails sections where you’re running down buildings hammering buttons or trying to outrun enemies when you can’t really see where you’re going.

It’s a shame because with better combat and less reliance on annoying random button-pushing events it could have been a decent, if-flashy-rather- than-fleshed-out game. As it turns out, you’re better off playing any of the Xbox 360’s other ninja games rather than this weak one.

Apr 7, 2009

More Info

Release date: Nov 19 2009 - PC
Apr 07 2009 - Xbox 360 (US)
Nov 19 2009 - PC
Apr 03 2009 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: From Software
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Violence
PEGI Rating:


  • Shnubby - November 10, 2012 2:35 a.m.

    Picked it up for £2.00 today. Can't go wrong at that price!
  • TheHumbleSlave - April 28, 2009 7:01 p.m.

    I have yet to play Ninja Blade, but I was not expecting a game such as this to actually be okay. I had already known that there would be many quicktime events before the game was released, but I still have a small urge to play it. I may pick it up and try it out.
  • Japanjack - April 13, 2009 5:28 a.m.

    I revoke my previous statement. X-Play gave it a 4 out of 5..... Note to self: Never trust Kath Brice again.
  • pogo - April 9, 2009 11:18 p.m.

    Dammit, i thought the game was goin to be good. Guess i have to change my mind about buying the game
  • Japanjack - April 8, 2009 9:27 p.m.

    :( I liked the demo. . (EXTENDED VERSION) I thought that some of the quick-time events were pretty epic. Riding a wrecking ball, and throwing it? Badass. Hopefully a friend buys this.
  • Timothy_Lemon - April 8, 2009 5:46 p.m.

    i'm actually quite enjoying this game. the spider boss is awesome. voice acting is dodge and i can see how repetitive it is. still fun tho.
  • GoldenMe - April 8, 2009 4:51 a.m.

    I win. I knew this would suck.
  • nomack67 - April 8, 2009 2:37 a.m.

    first first!] also i am dissapointed with this
  • Kolhom - April 18, 2009 1:42 a.m.

    this game is great i love it...
  • Maxstats69 - April 11, 2009 7:31 p.m.

    I saw some game footage of this and got a feeling of what kind of game this would be. Still it looks hot when it's in motion doing it's thing. I'll snatch this one off of Gamefly and just ship it back when I either beat it or get bored with it.
  • crimson_soulreaper305 - April 8, 2009 9:45 p.m.

  • MW3M - April 8, 2009 6:27 p.m.

  • key0blade - April 8, 2009 4:22 p.m.

    lol I knew it was gonna suck
  • Grenade - April 8, 2009 3:52 p.m.

    The first thing I said when I saw this game was "Wow, that's going to suck...". And I was right. Give me all your cookies.
  • John-117 - April 8, 2009 3:55 a.m.

    I was pretty interested this a little while ago, but after a lot of recent reviews seem to be crapping down this game's throat I guess I'll take a pass and just stick with DMC and NG. It also seems like the reviews are really split, either you love or hate. Well, hopefully they'll learn from this and change up the game and make improvements if they get a chance to.
  • sniperscope - April 8, 2009 3:55 a.m.

    I am also disappointed! I thought this was going to be a great game :( ReCaptcha: mental visitors

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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