Ninja Gaiden 3 is the sequel to 2008's Ninja Gaiden II. The game was released March 20, 2012 in North America for Xbox 360 and PS3. An updated version called Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge was released on the Wii U in the same year on November and was released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in April, 2013.
The game starts in Hayabusa Village. Two members of the government, Mizuki McCloud and Ishigami inform Ryu of an attack of an unknown group of terrorists who hold the British Prime Minister and his Family hostage. Ryu then travels to London. After fighting through hordes of enemies, he reaches the Prime Ministers residence. He encounters the Regent of the Mask who kills the Prime Minister. After a short battle, the Regent puts a curse on Ryu's arm. The Dragon Sword is absorbed into his forearm, resulting in extreme pain and a nasty red growth. The Regent leaves and Ryu barely makes it out with his life. Ryu is transported to the JSDF Destroyer. There, he meets Cliff, Mizuki's brother-in-law, and Canna, Mizuki's Niece. They receive a disturbing broadcast from the Regent, stating that he will destroy the world in seven days.
The game is set to be easier than the past games. Developers wanted to make the game more accessible. Gameplay will be split into three modes, Hero , Normal and Hard. In hero mode, the game will focus largely on the story and gives the player auto guard and assistance in evading attacks. Normal mode focuses more on the gameplay, making the player manually dodge and guard. A hard mode is available from the beginning for those who want a challenge.
The dismemberment system from previous games will be gone, Yosuke Hayashi commented on this design choice, saying he wanted enemies to feel human rather than just fodder to be chopped up. Developers wanted players to feel what it is like to truly cut someone down, so they introduced the "Steel on Bone" concept in place of dismemberment. Despite this though, the game is still very violent, showing Ryu with a bloodied, cursed arm, cutting down his opponents. The game has introduced a bit of a karma philosophy with this; downed enemies will plead for their lives as they die, but there is a negative karma burden Ryu must bear for taking their lives. Along with dismemberment, the Dragon Statue save points have also been taken out; instead a falcon will swoop down onto Ryu's arm at certain points in the game and save. Muramasa's Shop is also gone; there are no healing items in the game and Ryu's swords will upgrade and change as the game progresses.
Many of the game's systems have been revamped. The Reverse Wind technique is now a slide maneuver that allows Ryu to hit enemies. Ultimate techniques are now gained by defeating a certain amount of enemies. When enough enemies are defeated, Ryu's Dragon Sword or arm when cursed will glow red from the essence of defeated enemies in order to perform an ultimate technique. Ninpo is also revamped; rather than slots, a green bar will appear in the HUD. Defeating enemies will fill it. Once filled, Ryu can use a Ninpo technique, which will cause him to transform into a dragon and devour enemies, restoring the health bar. The amount of health restored is proportional the amount of enemies devoured. The Obliteration Technique is also revamped: It is only executable when enemies are crawling away from you or dying (walk unbalanced) and Ryu, as mentioned above, will not dismember the victim.
New to the game is the Kunai climb system in which Ryu will climb walls utilizing his Kunai and attack from above. A new stealth system has also been added. Ryu can sneak up on enemies and defeat them in a single blow. Developers have stated that they have taken Ninpo to a new level in this game. One such Ninpo attack shows Ryu turning into a giant, flame breathing dragon. Rather than killing opponents though, it brings them to their knees as they beg for their lives. Ryu then has the choice to kill them or save them, playing into the game's morality.
Water Attacks were also removed, as there's no point of having them when there's no place in all chapters for you to sink in water or fight water enemies.
- Ryu Hayabusa (Playable, occasionally a boss in clan battle)
- Jô Hayabusa
- Ashtear Higgins (First Appearance, Boss)
- Regent of the Mask (First Appearance, Boss)
- Cliff Higgins (First Appearance, Boss)
- Mizuki McCloud (First Appearance)
- Ken Ishigami (First Appearance)
- Canna (First Appearance)
- Lovelace (First Appearance, Boss)
- The Goddess (First Appearance, Boss)
- Irene Lew (Mentioned only)
- Genshin (Cameo in Story Mode, boss in some Ninja Trials)
- Robert T. Sturgeon (Cameo)
- The Epigonos (First Appearance, Boss)
- Tyrannosaurus (First Appearance, Boss)
Appear in Ninja Trials OnlyEdit
- Alma (1st form)
- Flare Shadow Demon
- Van Gelf (Pink & Green)
- Dragon Sword (The sword use by the Dragon Ninja, fused in Ryu's right arm by the Regent of the Mask after Day 1, Usable in Ninja Trials.)
- Jinran-Maru (The sword of Ryu's friend Hayate, used in Day 2 to Day 4)
- Blade of the Archfiend (Sword of the Black Spider Clan Overlord Genshin, used in Day 5 and onwards.)
- Eclipse Scythe (The Scythe of the Greater Fiend of Storm Volf, a DLC Weapon)
- Falcon's Talons (Ninja Claws, a DLC Weapon)
- Although the game is focus on killing enemies from LOA, fiends are still fightable in the game: Fiends created by LOA are the only fiends encountered in Story Mode, and Archfiend Vazdah's fiends in the Trial Mode.
- Even though the Earth Dragon Statue does not serve as save point anymore, it still makes an appearance in Day 5 in the Forest of Shadow. Here it's the same design but without the floating animation and glowing green/red light.
For Boss Battles, see Ninja Gaiden 3 Boss Battles.
- ↑ "we wanted to focus on the act of cutting someone down, and what it's like to actually kill someone with a sword. Once you start lopping off limbs, your enemy goes from being a living thing that you're killing to just a thing." -Yosuke Hayashi, Joystiq
- ↑ "The Steel on Bone attacks are when Hayabusa’s sword gets caught in the bones and muscles of the enemy’s body. Blood sprays and the enemy goes into a critical state. You can attack again to finish him off, or let him go to bleed out on his own. -@TeamNinjaStudio, Twitter
- ↑ "Once Hayabusa kills a few people, you’ll see his arm glow red. In this state, you can hold the strong attack button down to unleash an Ultimate Technique and take out several enemies at once. Some of you also might have noticed in the TGS footage that you can actually cancel a combo into an Ultimate Technique." -@TeamNinjaStudio, Twitter
- ↑ "In the past games, Ninpo was really a support measure in the combat design. Like a way to evade enemy attacks. And it could be kind of hard to hit enemies. This time, we’re clearly designing Ninpo as a way to take out a lot of enemies at once" -@TeamNinjaStudio, Twitter
- ↑ "The only way to heal yourself during battle is Ninpo. That’s it. Hayabusa turns into a fire dragon and eats someone. How much you heal will change with how many people you devour. If you build up your Ki, wait until a bunch of enemies to surround you, then cast your Ninpo, you’ll recover a lot of health. High risk, high return game design" -@TeamNinjaStudio, Twitter