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Ninja Gaiden: Black Xbox

Published by Tecmo
Developed by Team Ninja

Team Ninja could rest on their laurels - but they love their games too much
for that!

Team Ninja and Tecmo took a game many fans already considered perfect and
improved on it.

In an industry full of game developers who are looking to make a quick buck
and put just enough work into a project to get by, Team Ninja leaves it
competitors in the dust, because it's obvious when you play Ninja Gaiden
Black that these programmers LOVE this game and when they saw room for
improvement and got some great ideas about stuff they could add to the game,
they didn't hesitate to re-release in a new version.

The tricky camera issues that had many gamers complaining has been fixed;
Team Ninja now gives the player the option of using the old camera system OR
clicking the right thumbstick to take the game into permanent 3rd person
view.

New difficulty levels have also been added, another complaint that's been
addressed. While many hardcore gamers loved the difficulty of the original
game, some levels, especially early on, were so challenging the game actually
limited it's marketability since most casual gamers would get stuck and stop
playing the game.

Now the player has the option of playing the game on 'Ninja Dog' difficulty
if the regular difficulty proves too challenging. (Prepare for humiliation
however, if you go that route!) For those that just love the challenge,
Igitaki and Co. have added Master Ninja level, which makes the hardest game
of all time......even harder. Igitaki himself is quoted as saying the thinks
maybe there are about 10 people in the world that could complete all the
levels of the game on the hardest difficulty level.

I should also note that the game doesn't just get harder the higher up in
difficulty levels you go; the game itself actually changes. Playing a level
on Ninja Dog and then going back and playing it on Master Ninja reveals many
differences that makes it almost like a completely different game. Different
enemies, different weapons, objects in different places, and so on.

New cinematics have been added, raising the amount of absolutely gorgeous
animation contained in the game. There is no better looking game on the XBox,
period, whether it's in-game play or FMV's. One can only drop one's jaw in
awe at some of the visuals in this game, and then shudder in delightful
anticipation of what Team Ninja is going to do in the future. After all, if
they can make stuff look like this on the old XBox, what in the world are
they going to be able to do when they write stuff for the XBox 360?

After completing the game, there are over 50 bonus missions to play, each one
challenging and fun that make it like two games in one.

Even better, gamers get this awesome game at a reduced price. If you haven't
played Ninja Gaiden yet, you are in for one heck of a treat.

I recommend you try this game if you want to see the very best the XBox has
to offer.

Deaf Gamer's Grade: Very deaf friendly game. All cutscenes are subtitled, and
there are plenty of visual hints when something is happening off-screen; one
of the best games when it comes to making use of the controller vibration
feature.  B

Overall Grade: 9.9

by Brian Cates