The nasty, nasty weapons of Ninja Blade

Blood and shurikens fly in our EXCLUSIVE breakdown of the 360's next gorefest

Ninjas, blood and really, really sharp weapons. No matter how many games and consoles pass us by over the years, these three things will never grow old. So despite the fact that Microsoft has already given us Ninja Gaiden II and Tenchu Z, we%26rsquo;re ready and willing for more.

Can the upcoming Ninja Blade deliver? Scheduled for release exclusively on Xbox 360 sometime in 2009, the game promises to include everything you%26rsquo;d expect - lots of gore, lots of magic, lots of stylish moves %26ndash; as well as some stuff you might not expect like grenades, tanks, modern Tokyo settings and an apocalyptic zombie virus.

But the real draw of any ninja title, of course, are those bloody sharp weapons. Today, we%26rsquo;re bringing you an exclusive first look at the game%26rsquo;s swords, sorcery and enemy-exploding abilities. Check them out below and then share your thoughts on Ninja Blade%26rsquo;s potential in our comments.

Editor%26rsquo;s Note: Weapon and ability descriptions provided by Microsoft.

As you progress in the game, you will gain three different swords. As you defeat enemies, you can collect the red Blood Crystals that fall from their bodies and use the energy in these crystals to strengthen your swords. These upgrades will change the weapon design, fortify attack levels, and learn new moves and combos.

Oni-Slayer Blade

This sword balances power with speed. It is your default weapon.

Twin Falcon Knives

These dual short swords allow for quick, flowing combos, but their attacks are not strong.

Stonerender Sword

Slow and heavy, this great sword%26rsquo;s devastating attacks break through armor.

Ninja masters can channel their chi to manipulate the world around them. This ability is called Ninjutsu. As you progress, you will learn three forms of Ninjutsu, each harnessed within a special shuriken.

Cyclone Shuriken

Control the power of the wind.

Attack: Unleash a blast of air that tears into enemies and knocks them off their feet.

Environmental Use: Throw the Cyclone Shuriken at flames to extinguish them so you can pass through burning areas safely.

Flame Shuriken

Control the power of fire.

Attack: Toss a flaming shuriken at enemies that explodes upon impact.

Environmental Use: Throw the Flame Shuriken at plant-type barriers to destroy them and clear your path, or throw it at plant-type enemies to set them on fire and light up dark rooms.

Lightning Shuriken

Control the power of electricity.

Attack: Summon a lightning storm that auto-targets enemies, or create a wall of static energy that blocks projectiles and shocks anyone who touches it.

Environmental Use: Throw the Lightning Shuriken at water to charge its surface and shock any enemies within its range. Be careful not to touch the charged surface - you are susceptible to electrical attacks as well.

Dec 17, 2008

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