Ninja Gaiden Series

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Ninja Gaiden (Ninja Gaiden Sigma)
Team Ninja
Xbox, XB360, PS3
Ninja Gaiden II (Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2)
Team Ninja
XB360, PS3
Ninja Gaiden 3 (Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge)
Team Ninja
XB360, PS3, Wii U


Ninja Gaiden Box Art Ninja Gaiden II Box Art Ninja Gaiden 3 Box Art



Savage slicing and dicing action doesn't get much messier than the Ninja Gaiden series. You are the enraged Ryu Hayabusa defending the honor of his slain clan and decimated village. Along your vengeful journey, you will be confronted by a massive quantity of vicious enemies ranging from human ninja soldiers to devilish beasts. On the plus side, you will acquire some very powerful melee, projectile, and magical weapons to aid in the defeat of your foes. Get ready to witness the intense rage of one seriously pissed off ninja.

You will most definitely find some juicy blood and gore in the Ninja Gaiden series. The majority of the gore will be found in Ninja Gaiden II as Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden 3 unfortunately lack heavily in comparison. In terms of dismemberment, Ninja Gaiden only allows for head detachment on humans with no other limb dismemberment to be found. Some non-human advisories do have basic dismemberment of arms and legs, but is very limited. Blood can splatter on to any surface, but not on to characters or weapons and looks rather bland. Also, enemies disappear shortly after death and can not be further dismembered there after.

Fortunately, Ninja Gaiden II takes up the slack of the first game and then some. Ninja Gaiden II portrays full limb dismemberment as well as severable torsos. Arms and legs have a couple points of separation and blood looks incredible. You won't see any internal detail or cross-sectional dismemberment like found in games such as the Prototype series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or the Dead Rising series, but just being able to litter the area with dozens of blood spurting limbs almost makes up for it. Blood, as well as meaty chunks, can be slung through the air absolutely drenching the environment and can even accumulate on weapons. Ryu even flings off the bloody residue from his weapons before holstering them, which is a nice touch. Much like Ninja Gaiden, enemies can not be further dismembered after death in Ninja Gaiden II, however all fallen foes and even severed limbs remain present after death without disappearing.

As quite a shock to us all, Ninja Gaiden 3 for PS3 and XB360 actually has no dismemberment whatsoever! It does portray the excellent graphics and effects that we have come to love from the series, but gone be the gore. Blood effects are still excellent, although not nearly as good as Ninja Gaiden II. Unfortunately, swords are the only melee weapon you get in Ninja Gaiden 3 and all you can do with them is cut a little ways into your foe's bodies. It doesn't matter how hard Ryu slams his katana into an opponent, you will only leave a scratch with no limb dismemberment to be seen :-(

In late 2012, the Wii U version of Ninja Gaiden 3, appended with "Razor's Edge" in the title, was released making some significant improvements to the game and even added some basic limb dismemberment. Unfortunately though, the textures and overall visual quality/performance of the game pails heavily when compared to the PS3 & XB360 versions. However, that it is a small price to pay for the added weapons and gore of Razor's Edge. Yep, the claws and staff are back along with some other goodies. Still though, the dismemberment is pretty limited and severed limbs/bodies disappear almost immediately after hitting the ground most of the time. Despite the degraded graphics, Razor's Edge is actually the definitive version of Ninja Gaiden 3.

Some say that the absence of the former merciless lead designer Tomonobu Itagaki is reason for the decreased gore and violence in Ninja Gaiden 3. Whatever the reason, this most recent take on the series not only took the gore a step back, but also the strategic gameplay of former titles has diminished as well. Gameplay in Ninja Gaiden 3 feels a lot more like a weak God of War imitation as opposed to an Ninja Gaiden game.

The Ninja Gaiden series does an amazing job in terms of character and environmental detail. You will find yourself in utter awe more often than not whilst witnessing the astounding visuals. Textures, lighting, and special effects are simply stunning to behold resulting in a very immersive experience.

One important thing to note is that for some reason the PS3 versions of Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden II, identified by the word "Sigma" appended to the title, have considerably less blood and gore than the Xbox series. Also, one annoyance that the Ninja Gaiden games have more of than any other game is shear difficulty. You literally have to master every single one of Ryu's abilities to have any hope of survival.

If you feel you must try Ninja Gaiden 3, then make sure to play the Wii U version. However, if you want to get the maximum amount of gory goodness from the Ninja Gaiden series, you must get Ninja Gaiden II for Xbox 360. The ferocious blood and limb slinging chaos is something you surely don't want to miss out on.


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Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden II

Ninja Gaiden 3

Video Demonstration:

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