Monday, October 14, 2013
Wait, come back!
Okay, okay, I won't mention Ninja Gaiden for a while after this, I promise.
So, for anyone who may be new to Ninja Gaiden and are finding themselves assaulted by insanity and wondering how the hell they are ever supposed to excel at the game, I have for you a few basic tips that you should be aware of. Just remember, this is Ninja Gaiden, not Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Onimusha, God of War, etc. It is its own beast so be cognizant of that fact and treat it as such (not bashing any of those, btw. love some of them, like others, blah blah. Ninja Gaiden is just in a league of its own in terms of both mechanics and difficulty).
1) ALWAYS BLOCK. On the xbox, I basically hold the L trigger at all times. This should be your default position, and from there you can flick the stick to roll, initiate attacks, etc.
2) Use shurikens to interrupt enemy attacks, and also to cancel your own attacks (this becomes more natural with time....at first, use them for stuns). This will create windows for you within which you can initiate a pre-emptive attack.
3) X+A (or X and  on the Playstation platform) will allow you to jump towards the nearest enemy. It is a tracking jump. Once you get near them, press A again to jump off of their heads. This stuns them and allows you to roll towards them and initiate a free attack.
4) Blocking reduces the damage taken from incendiary shurikens. If you time a dodge just as they explode, you completely negate the damage (due to the i-frames afforded you during an evasion) but before you get the timing for that down, at least make sure you're blocking when they blow up.
5) The center camera button is your friend. Use it often!
Good luck and again, remember that Ninja Gaiden requires a very different mindset and playstyle than does say DMC. You don't get openings, you create them. Enemies are not there for you to kill; they're there to kill you.
Monday, March 11, 2013
-Lunar Staff is obtained after beating Chapter 1 in the story mode- do this first.
-The Lunar features quick combo kills using weak, weak, strong. This is much faster than square, square, triangle, shuriken cancel, triangle with the dragon sword.
-The Lunar is also fantastic for crowd control, unlike the DS. Standing neutral strong, either stand alone or chained into a combo is good, as is the standard weak, weak, weak, strong strong. A good one for quick limb detachments is chains starting with towards and square. This is a poke with range and power and like the other combos mentioned above it seems to grant some crowd protection in the same way that VF combo strings do. The dragon sword does not carry this advantage.
-The Dragon Sword does have the flying swallow, but it whiffs too much sometimes and therefore wastes too much time. There's no whiffing with the Lunar staff.
-Minimize ET/UT usage. Keep it to the purple essence or health if you don't need it. You'll definitely want to avoid using the green essence for them as green grants time bonuses. The white essence grants speed and power bonuses so try not to utilize that for ET's/UT's either, unless you're at max speed/power or you're in trouble.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
How can you release a demo with a tutorial that does NOT tell you how to dodge?
How about not telling the player that the game contains very useful combos utilizing directional inputs?
How about the fact that you can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode)? The demo never mentions that?
It might not have been so bad if perhaps the demo wasn't REALLY hard on Normal difficulty (compared to most games released these days). They throw you into a few REALLY intense fights in the demo and you get very little in the way of practise or instruction beforehand. This is a mistake that is going to cost PG and it's a shame because having spent some time with the demo (yes, I beat it, and yes, I died several times) I can say that the combat in this game is freaking brilliant. It's incredibly different than many other hack n slash games, with a myriad of complexities that are unfortunately not immediately apparent. It manages to be both very challenging and yet totally fair.....when you figure out how to properly play the damn thing. The demo really does not do a very good job letting you know much.
So, to any prospective players, remember these few things:
-You can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode).
-Experiment with button input timing.
-It's hard. You will die. You learn by dying, so don't give up so easily; the game is worth it, trust me.
-You can dodge back with X+A (360) or X+S (PS3) and if you add in a direction you do a dodge slash.
-You can cancel the flying kick (Jump then strong attack when in Ninja Run mode) into a stealth attack.
-Towards, towards weak attack is a launcher
-There are also away, towards weak/strong moves as well as a towards, towards weak one (all powerful)
-Use the lock on during every fight. Forget trying to adjust the camera during fights.
-The game WANTS you to use Blade Mode, so USE it. Especially on large enemies.
There's more I am forgetting and there's also more I am sure I do not yet know. This is a game that requires effort, thought, practise and patience, just like all of the best hack n slash games. And, like those, I can guarantee that there is going to be a small community of extremely dedicated and adept players who will be putting out some incredible gameplay/combo videos over the coming years. And, just as true as that is, there will also be a large group of people who played the demo, got their ass kicked and shut the game off, forever writing it off as a bad game. I find that to be unfortunate. However, what I find to be even more unfortunate is that PlatinumGames is going to cause a lot of that themselves with a very underwhelming and insufficiently explanatory demo.
I really hope this incredibly talented development studio can iron out their issues and earn the sales I think they deserve.