Review

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

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Mortal enemies Yaiba Kamikaze and Ryu Hayabusa are inexorably headed for a face-to-face confrontation, largely due to the fact that Ryu sort of killed Yaiba in the game’s introduction before being resurrected as a cyborg by a mysterious organisation.

Oh, and whilst Yaiba was dead / recovering / doing whatever dead-soon-to-be-alive-again people do, there was a zombie outbreak. Discovering that Ryu was trying to get to the bottom of the zombie outbreak, Yaiba agrees to investigate the source himself whilst seeking revenge on his sworn enemy.

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What You Need to Know

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is presented as the latest iteration of the Ninja Gaiden franchise, but many fans of the series will disagree with this. Apart from a few references to previous releases and the main ‘enemy’ being the now-marginalised Ryu, Yaiba is a very different and somewhat disappointing continuation of the franchise. Fans of the series will most likely hate this game but I’m happy to enjoy the game for what it is, not what it isn’t.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a hack ‘n slash game, which gameplay wise is all you really need to know. Expect lots of enemies all the time and nigh on impossible to beat bosses.

What’s New?

As the name suggests, the main protagonist of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is Yaiba, a new addition to the series. He’s not a nice person… at all. He is foul mouthed, violent, has a disgusting sense of humour and generally enjoys violence and killing. So I love him. I wouldn’t want to meet him, though.

The fighting dynamic has been simplified (perhaps too much) and is now a bit of a button masher. Whilst there is some strategy in terms of fighting combinations (between sword, first and flail), most of the time I was just hitting buttons as far as I could in an orgy of violence, blood and body parts (that may or may not be dead).

What’s the Same?

This game is a typical modern zombie hack-and-slash game. Expect wave after wave of enemies, increasingly poor odds, lots of gore and times in the game when you aren’t really aware of anything apart from the need to press as many buttons as you can, as fast as you can.

I quite enjoyed the comic book feel of the graphics and, as usual, you can expect some fun and interesting opponents.

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You’ll Enjoy Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z If You Liked…

… Bloodforge. The character development and ever-increasing difficulty of the game is very similar, although the story isn’t as strong.

… God of War. Just don’t expect the same quality, though.

… Lollipop Chainsaw. Do you like zombies, blood, guts, gore and big finishing moves? Yup, you’re in the right place.

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What I Liked

- 5.) Beating zombies with bits of other zombies. OK, I’m not violent by nature but this made me cheerful.

- 4.) Throwing zombies as helicopters.

- 3.) The humour of the game really appeals to me. From the amusing characters (you get to fight evil zombie clowns!) to the puerile quips that Yaiba unleashes, I love it all. I actually laughed out load at some points.

- 2.) I really enjoyed the over-the-top gore and action. Non-stop action makes this a fun game to play.

- 1.) Yaiba is an unsophisticated guy. No hidden angst, not hidden agenda. He just wants to find Ryu and cut him into little pieces, so you don’t have to think to enjoy this game.

Favourite Moment

The introduction of ridiculous enemies throughout the game was great fun. There were a few instances where I said to myself “How the heck am I going to even hit this guy, let alone defeat him!”

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What I Didn’t Like

- 3.) There were times when the zombie hoard was just overwhelming and I found myself hysterically mashing buttons. I think most of the time I just survived by luck instead of skill.

- 2.) Despite a very difficult ‘Hard’ mode being available, the game is a bit of a button masher and I prefer a bit of skill in my games.

- 1.) I found the plot a bit simplistic and repetitive. The storyline is there but the basic game is ‘fight zombies, fight a boss … repeat.’

Least Favourite Moments

The repetitiveness of the zombie attacks did get a bit boring.


Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Review – Battle Trailer


What’s Extra?

Don’t expect too much from Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. It’s a fun romp but, to be honest, I wouldn’t pay ‘new game’ prices for it. Definitely worthwhile when the price comes down a bit though.

The Bottom Line

Yaiba is out for revenge but a zombie hoard stands between him and his ultimate goal. No problem! Kill zombies and then Ryu. Easy.


This Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z review was conducted on Xbox 360


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