The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES - CIARA O’BRIEN

18 cert, TECMO KOEI, Wii U (also Xbox 360)

An­other in the se­ries of more adult ti­tles for the Wii U, Ninja

Gaiden III: Ra­zor’s Edge is cer­tainly do­ing its bit to help the con­sole shake its kid­die im­age. There’s lots of blood and plenty of hack­ing, slash­ing, dis­mem­ber­ment and may­hem.

Although the ba­sic premise re­mains the same (Ryu Hayabusa is still locked in a bat­tle with the Lords of Alchemy) the Wii U re­lease has been re­vised from the Xbox 360 and Sony ti­tle that de­buted last year. For a start, it’s been made more dif­fi­cult. The AI is smarter, en­e­mies are not an easy con­quest, and pulling off at­tacks re­quires a lit­tle more skill and pre­ci­sion tim­ing than be­fore.

But the in­creased dif­fi­culty is wel­come. While but­ton bash­ing may work up to a point, it doesn’t keep you coming back.

Pro­gres­sion in this game is hard won at times. To bal­ance it, you get six weapons in­stead of three, and you can add to your skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties as you go along by us­ing points earned dur­ing the game­play. Ayane gets her own lev­els as well, which gives you an­other rea­son to keep plug­ging away.

If you can get to grips with us­ing the GamePad to con­trol Ryu and his at­tacks, give your­self a pat on the back. But the game is much less frus­trat­ing to tackle with the Pro con­troller; if you’ve wa­vered about buy­ing it, now is the time.

Re­mov­ing the touch screen el­e­ment makes this game feel a bit more in­tu­itive to play. It’s still not per­fect, how­ever, and there will be plenty of hairtear­ingly frus­trat­ing mo­ments.

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