Platforms: XBOX/XBOX 360(digital only)/PS3/VITA

Game Supports: Japanese and English text.

Audio Support: Japanese and English.

Supports 1p.

Played in Japanese.


Story: Evil has risen up and are searching for the legendary Dark Dragon Blade to use its power to destroy the world, so it’s up to Ryu Hayabusa to make sure no one gets their hands on the evil sword and use its power.

Good or Bad Story?: The plot is very well done and it’s interesting to see what will happen next. It mixes classic ninja films with modern action films in its presentation. And it includes interesting cast of characters. G00D!

Graphics: Ninja Gaiden Black came out in 2004/05 on the XBOX and playing it in 2013 the games visuals are stunning even in today’s era of gaming. The game also has CGI cutscenes that even look good today.

Audio: The music is 1 of the highlights for the game as it’s so good, it is mix of classic Japanese music and action film music. The Japanese voice acting is really good and the game also includes an English dub. 1 thing though is I would have liked the game to include more dubs besides just 2.

Gameplay and Features:

Good: Ninja Gaiden Black is a 3rd-person action game where YOU WILL hack and slash foes with your sword and very likely get YOUR ASS KICKED BY YOUR FOES cause this game is HARD!

You play Ryu Hayabusa who is equipped with the Dragon Sword(later can equip other weapons) that will cut down both human and fiends who get in your way. You have main weapons, projectile weapons(later can equip other weapons), armlets(others can be bought and gained later, also grant certain properties) , ninpo(others can be bought and requires ki), items(will be beneficial to you in battle), and ninja mobility all at your disposal in combat. With your weapon of choice in hand you can perform devastating combos by using light and heavy attacks, you can also use some projectile weapons in your combos. Another thing is you can attack from the walls and each weapon has their own Ultimate attack(requires charging). Ninja mobility is an essential part to Ninja Gaiden as you will use it for combat and platforming, you can wall run(both vertical and horizontal), wall cling, dodge(when blocking), hang from ceilings, run on water(you can also swim), jump off walls, and wind run(homing on foes).

You can also upgrade main weapons, ninpo, and Ryu’s stats which is all essential to this game. Ninja Gaiden Black requires patience as you need to know what weapons and ninpo work better on certain enemies, while you can use any main weapon on any foe, the same can’t be said about projectile weapons and ninpo so you need to try out what works and what doesn’t. In battle you will obtain these things that will be beneficial to you in the long run essence. There are 3 essence a red(refills ki), blue(refills health), and yellow(money, so GET THAT MONEY), these are obtain by killing foes and at times be inside boxes.

The game also has lots of backtracking, but it’s not bad as there is always a reason and good 1 for going back to certain areas. Shops where you will buy upgrades and items, a map, save stations, puzzles(pretty much easy), unlockable mission mode(gives you certain challenges), movie browser, map the controls the way you want, and costumes. There are boss fights and these fights will test you on your skills of being a ninja and bosses look cool. The ai for all your foes is good as they will dodge, gang up on, block, and do other things to try and beat you up. And the best thing in Ninja Gaiden Black is it contains the Ninja Gaiden Arcade game.

Bad: Walking on water requires you to keep pressing the A button and the problem is you need to steep on the water to water run, but at times you jump when you’re trying to run on the water. I hate level 7 for certain reasons. There are no checkpoints at all except the save stations and the problem is when fighting a boss if you lose you will have to start from the save station and will have to pass through areas that you cleared before to clear them again just to reach the boss which is stupid. Some platforming is done bad as sometimes you can’t reach a certain area cause the game is reading the movements of the analog stick wrong. There is an item in the game that can revive you at anytime, but the problem is you can’t stop it from being used so if you want to keep this item for boss fights only then you have to make sure you use other items to keep you alive till then.

There is also a auto lock on in the game, but this lock on makes things hard as when trying to hit a certain target when fighting a group of enemies it will lock to whoever it wants instead of who you want to lock on to. This becomes a big problem if a boss has allies with him/her. And now the biggest problem in this game and biggest enemy is the camera. First you have 2 cameras 1 is a 3rd-person camera that is inverted(cannot be changed to normal) and a 1st-person camera(can be inverted and changed to normal). The 1st person camera works well, but if you hold a certain projectile weapon at times you will go to 1st-person mode when you don’t want cause of moving with that weapon and if you have the camera set to 1st-person mode. The 3rd-person camera is a bigger issue as this camera will make some platforming and pretty much all boss fights hard cause it won’t let you see pretty much anything that a boss may throw at you or how far/close it is to reach the next platform. It’s just so bad and the thing is you will have reset it every time.

Overall: Ninja Gaiden Black is 1 of the best action games on the XBOX and 1 of the best ever, but the camera, auto-lock on, and a bunch of other stuff can make the experience a lot harder than it already is. But nice thing though is you get to 2 games for the price of 1. Highly recommended.

Likes: Graphics, story, music, voices, and gameplay.

Dislikes: No checkpoints, camera, auto-lock on, level 7, platforming, and revival item that can’t be unequipped.

Wishlist: Regular lock-on, better camera, checkpoints, and better platforming.

Score: 4.5/5 REALLY G00D!

Recommended for fans of: Action, Ninja Gaiden, DMC, MGRR, Ninja Blade, Tecmo, Team Ninja, Platinum Games, Capcom, Ninjas.