March 19 – March 23

Sometimes, in the quiet moments of my soul, I see my mortal fallibility and know that much of what I project into the world is little more than an illusory shield designed to divert the most keen attacks to the soft underbelly of my own inadequacies. But, no dagger pierces that smoky veil more keenly than the video game Ninja Gaiden. Therefore, when I say that I don't really care for Ninja Gaiden, it's important to keep in mind that it's little more than a ephemeral act of impotent self defense.

I don't really care for Ninja Gaiden. I mean, making a game that is challenging is one thing, but creating a torture device disguised as recreation seems a bit missing the point. If the entire point of Ninja Gaiden is to time how quickly you can convince an otherwise sane man to punch a controller or kick a television, then I'm a world champion. If the point is to kill the bad guys before they kill you, then shut up.

This week clearly is not targeting me as a consumer, though. Releases for this third week of March include, Ninja Gaiden 3, Armored Core V, Ys: The Oath of Felghana on PC, Silent Hill HD Collection and Kid Icarus: Uprising on the 3DS. Shogun 2 also gets an expansion pack in the form of Fall of the Samurai. Also, Angry Birds are back for more, I dunno, anger? Yay?

Let's just call Ninja Gaiden 3 the game of the week and call it a wrap.

PC
- Angry Birds Space
- Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai
- Yesterday
- Ys: The Oath in Felghana (Steam)
- Waveform (Steam)

Xbox 360
- Armored Core V
- Dirt 3 Complete Edition
- Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- Silent Hill HD Collection
- Sine Mora (XBLA)
- Rayman 3 HD (XBLA)

PS3
- Armored Core V
- Dirt 3 Complete Edition
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- Silent Hill HD Collection
- Rayman 3 HD (PSN)

Vita
- Sumioni: Demon Arts (PSN)

3DS
- Kid Icarus: Uprising
- Paws & Claws Pampered Pets Resort 3D
- Zombie Slayer Dios (eShop)

PSP
- Canabalt (PSP Mini)

DS
- GoGo's Crazy Bones

Comments

Kid Icarus and Ys for me this week. The glorious return of Sakurai and XSEED bringing the goods to Steam!

IMAGE(http://i651.photobucket.com/albums/uu231/BNoice/Reactions/happybender.png)

Journey was robbed!

At least I've seen a ton of Kid Icarus commercials lately. Nintendo is trying.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is already coming out?

Wow. I'm just not keeping up with this stuff as well as I used to. I didn't even realize it had a release date.

Considering the departure of Aerosmith-san, though, I'd say this Ninja Gaiden will likely have a lot of stuff to make it more user friendly. The only real evidence I have for this is Dead or Alive: Dimensions, but that game was brutally easy in comparison to the previous entries of the series. Maybe this is because it was a portable game on 3DS, but I never had to really whip out any semi-advanced techniques (what with advanced techniques being over my head).

As to the week in general, it mostly looks like games I wouldn't mind playing at one point. Operation: Raccoon City, Ninja Gaiden 3, Silent Hill HD and...well, MAYBE Armored Core V, if I don't have to take things like which way the wind is blowing into account. I mean, it's sweet that a game exists with that sort of super bad assery, but it's just not for me.

I'll be gladly picking up Kid Icarus: Uprising on pay day.

Sadly, I didn't see any Kid Icarus commercials during The Walking Dead's season finale last night, the only TV I watch other than NPR, but there were lots of Operation Raccoon City spots and a bit of Mass Effect.

Birds in space?

How bout them AssCreed 3 commercials? I can't believe they're pumping a game slated for October already.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Birds in space?

Took them long enough to get there. Pigs have been in space for almost 3 decades now.

Ys and Rayman 3 on XBLA for me. My daughter has my Playstation and I was kind of jonesing to re-play Rayman 3 after I finished Origins.

I'm not going to play them, per se. They're going to sit there on my hard drives and add their own delicate descants to the huge chorus of games I don't have time to play right now.

Bluhh... Ninja Gaiden 3 is like having Uwe Boll direct the next Lord of the Rings. Team Ninja is dead.

shoptroll wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Birds in space?

Took them long enough to get there. Pigs have been in space for almost 3 decades now.


See also!
I <3 pigs.

Spoiler:

Unfortunately(?) not real.

shoptroll wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Birds in space?

Took them long enough to get there. Pigs have been in space for almost 3 decades now.

And, strangely, that seems like it will be the only game I buy from this week's selection. From my wife's love for anything AB related to the fact that combining Angry Birds formula with Super Mario Galaxy style of gravity puzzles looks fun even to me.
EDIT: The only other title that interests me is the Silent Hill HD collection since I consider it a crime that I never played those two titles to the end. But I'll wait a bit, still plenty of other games in the pile.

The strange thing is that Kid Icarus is one of the primary reasons I bought my 3DS in the first place. But now that it's almost out, I find myself completely disinterested in it. Maybe I just need a good Giant Bomb Quicklook of it or something to re-sell me on it, or maybe I'm just having too much fun with various iPad games to dust off my 3DS.

Either way, my wife is happy that my wallet and I are sitting this week out.

If I wasn't trying to save money and didn't have an enormous pile, I'd get:
Armored Core V
Ninja Gaiden 3
Sumioni: Demon Arts
Kid Icarus: Uprising - part of why I got my 3DS too, so I'll get it eventually probably.

Like Roland, in a world where I was cash-and-time richer, I'd take a punt on Armored Core 5, 'cos who doesn't love giant robots kicking the metal crap out of each other? But in a world of Mass Effect and Skyrim, it's got a robot snowball's chance in robot hell of getting a look-in.

I don't think that the gaming community can complain about Ninja Gaiden's difficulty anymore after how thoroughly they embraced Demon/Dark Souls. After listening to roughly 15 hours of podcasts about how you could be one-shotted, or how you "just have to learn how it wants you to play", it seems like the recent Ninja Gaiden games have simply been ahead of the curve.

InspectorFowler wrote:

I don't think that the gaming community can complain about Ninja Gaiden's difficulty anymore after how thoroughly they embraced Demon/Dark Souls. After listening to roughly 15 hours of podcasts about how you could be one-shotted, or how you "just have to learn how it wants you to play", it seems like the recent Ninja Gaiden games have simply been ahead of the curve.

Those are two very different kinds of difficult. The reason Demon's/Dark Souls was so thoroughly embraced by the gaming community was because the game does not rely on twitch or reflexes to artificially increase difficulty. It is not a young man's game. It is a thinking man's game. Patience, strategy, and learning the mechanics of the game world are the key to victory in Souls games. There are no elaborate button combos to learn. Cheap deaths are almost non-existent. If you die, there is a 95% chance you messed up and could have avoided that death with the proper approach. None of this describes Ninja Gaiden. If you play them both, the distinction is clear and pronounced.

InspectorFowler wrote:

I don't think that the gaming community can complain about Ninja Gaiden's difficulty anymore after how thoroughly they embraced Demon/Dark Souls.

I'm starting to notice this sort of thought a lot, and not just in terms of "the gaming community," but about political groups, religious affiliations, multinational ethnic groups, etc. I'm willing to let an individual human have nuanced and sometimes contradictory feelings. Why can't we allow groups to be that way, too?

I don't know. I never really felt that Ninja Gaiden's difficulty was unfair. It's not like when I played the Dante's Inferno demo at GameX, where enemies just stopped registering the fact that you were attacking them. Y'know, that invulnerability period that it seems a lot of action games have. Enemies in Ninja Gaiden reacted to my attacks, and I could take any foe on one-on-one.

But that's the thing. It's more about managing sheer numbers of foes, trying to avoid keeping your back open and exposed (finger -> butt and all that).

It is very fast-paced and thus twitchy, but it feels like it is still designed to be fair.

Doesn't change the fact that I still gave up Ninja Gaiden 2 and changed to Easy difficulty, but, well, yeah.

Also, I never drank the Demon's Soul Kool-Aid. I say funk that game too!

There was just a well written article about"playing the game wrong".

After hearing all this talk about Demon Souls, I think I would not be able to play that game correctly. All I am saying is that Ninja Gaiden is hard but absolutely possible to master (note: I suck at that game, too!). It's just a different kind of hard, and I'm not sure why one is embraced while the other is not.

wordsmythe wrote:
InspectorFowler wrote:

I don't think that the gaming community can complain about Ninja Gaiden's difficulty anymore after how thoroughly they embraced Demon/Dark Souls.

I'm starting to notice this sort of thought a lot, and not just in terms of "the gaming community," but about political groups, religious affiliations, multinational ethnic groups, etc. I'm willing to let an individual human have nuanced and sometimes contradictory feelings. Why can't we allow groups to be that way, too?

This is the internet, don't you understand? The greatest crime anyone on the internet can commit is hypocrisy. If you fail to live up to the standards you claim to hold, then nothing you possibly say can be valid. Ever.

Regarding the whole NG/DS debate, my $0.01 (after taxes) is that Dark/Demon souls at least sounds fair (full disclosure: Haven't played it). I played Ninja Gaiden Sigma, and it wasn't three hours in before I was getting killed by invisible enemies throwing exploding shuriken at me from off screen. There is a certain subset of gamer for whom that sort of thing is fun, but I am not in that subset. And I am not so tied up in my gamer identity that it bothers me to admit that.

InspectorFowler wrote:

There was just a well written article about"playing the game wrong".

After hearing all this talk about Demon Souls, I think I would not be able to play that game correctly. All I am saying is that Ninja Gaiden is hard but absolutely possible to master (note: I suck at that game, too!). It's just a different kind of hard, and I'm not sure why one is embraced while the other is not.

The cynic in me wants to respond that one is a borderline indie title from Atlus that could conceivably be called artistic, while the other is a new installment in a popular arcade franchise from the early 1990s and therefore lacking in creative integrity.

The cynic in me also wants to say that when it comes down to choosing allegiances, niche forums will nearly always go hipster.

But I won't let the cynic in me say those things.

Oh.

Dang! Tricked again by the crusty old bastard!

I played Ninja Gaiden Sigma a good way through before giving up. It felt floaty and the visual and audio feedbacks were both juvenile and unsatisfying - something about the way the enemies crumpled didn't jive with my sensibility. Use of detail was ill-considered and the overall aesthetic felt disjointed.

I was hoping NG3 would improve things in the right direction. I'll still give it a look-see when the used game shop offers it (the only way to really demo a game).

Elysium wrote:

Also, I never drank the Demon's Soul Kool-Aid. I say funk that game too!

IMAGE(http://www.segashiro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/61427post_foto.jpg)

LarryC wrote:

I played Ninja Gaiden Sigma a good way through before giving up. It felt floaty and the visual and audio feedbacks were both juvenile and unsatisfying - something about the way the enemies crumpled didn't jive with my sensibility. Use of detail was ill-considered and the overall aesthetic felt disjointed.

I was hoping NG3 would improve things in the right direction. I'll still give it a look-see when the used game shop offers it (the only way to really demo a game).

tl;dr: It's not made by Vanillaware

Of course! Can I pimp Muramasa now?

Sine Mora is my pick over all others. What? I have a soft spot for Shmups!

brokenclavicle wrote:

Sine Mora is my pick over all others. What? I have a soft spot for Shmups!

Thanks for reminding me of my sorrow when I heard they wouldn't be putting it on PSN. I even lamented about it on their Facebook page.

The preview and quick look-style videos I had seen of Ninja Gaiden 3 did not inspire a lot of confidence for the game's launch. In fact it was one of the rare times I felt that my gaming sensibilities were directly offended. The messaging from marketing and the developers themselves have also been uniformly awful and made me quite worried the new direction Team Ninja was taking with NG3.

While I have no love for aggregate reviews, I can at least say that the critical response so far has partially confirmed my initial worries. This game seems like a travesty. It feels like the team did a reverse design hack job, where instead of finding the best parts of a prequel and iterating on those parts, they took the best stuff and essentially stripped it away outright or neutered it to oblivion.

Maclintok wrote:

The preview and quick look-style videos I had seen of Ninja Gaiden 3 did not inspire a lot of confidence for the game's launch. In fact it was one of the rare times I felt that my gaming sensibilities were directly offended. The messaging from marketing and the developers themselves have also been uniformly awful and made me quite worried the new direction Team Ninja was taking with NG3.

While I have no love for aggregate reviews, I can at least say that the critical response so far has partially confirmed my initial worries. This game seems like a travesty. It feels like the team did a reverse design hack job, where instead of finding the best parts of a prequel and iterating on those parts, they took the best stuff and essentially stripped it away outright or neutered it to oblivion.

Yeah, this pretty much started to kill my interest in the game, though it had already waned quite a bit as a lot of the limb removal stuff that made Ninja Gaiden 2 interesting was being removed.

I know it may sound juvenille, but it actually did add to gameplay. Enemies changed behaviors based on limb removal, which meant changing your strategy around.

I'm skipping NG3.