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NG3 Hands-on Impressions
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CyberEvil
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: NG3 Hands-on Impressions Reply with quote

Alright, I'm going to write as much as I can. Have way too much going on personally at the moment and getting back to my house after escaping for a while is bringing it all back. If I leave things out, just reply here and ask. I likely just forgot to put it in there.

I'm not going to talk too much about the presentation as most of you have likely seen a walkthrough or two at this point. It looks really good but not quite amazing or jaw-dropping. Very clean. The PS3 version definitely appears to be the lead platform as it was running the demo build at a much smoother clip. I noticed one framerate hitch at the same time every time I played the PS3 build and it appeared to be a loading zone for the next area. The 360 build had some noticeable screen tearing and slowdown that the PS3 version simply didn't. I'm a 360 guy personally so this kind of annoys me, but keep in mind this build is incredibly early-on in development.

There were no major changes to the control layout at all. The "Ninja Sense" ability to figure out where you're supposed to go next is back from Sigma 2, however, which is where I pulled my earlier answer about the game being more linear akin to NG2 rather than hub-based like our favorite entries in the series.

Quick aside because it was asked: Unlabored Flawlessness is not likely to make a return. I asked, got a dodgy answer, and then just assumed that it wouldn't be in on account of the new emphasis on cutting this time out. Don't rule it out for sure, though, as I'll be explaining a bit more about Steel on Bone in a second. Let's just dive into the gameplay, shall we?

I'm going to start with what stayed the same, gameplay-wise. Movement feels about the same as Sigma 2, which is to say that Ryu moves relatively quickly but the dodge move (a slide this time out) into Wind Run (or a normal jump, naturally) into a dodge isn't as fast as roll-jump was in NG/B. You still have your Light Attack, Strong Attack, Jump, and Shuriken. I think it's safe to assume there will be additional ranged weapons but I could not get confirmation on that. Also, it's probably safe to say that Shuriken will stay mapped to one button and additional secondary weapons will be controlled via a different one a la NGS2.

Of particular note with Shurikens is the Shuriken cancel is back in full effect this time out. It was rather curiously absent from NG2 in any meaningful way but we can definitely do it again. It works after 1, 2, 3, and 4 light attacks in the demo build with the DS. I was able to confirm this with a new friend of mine that you guys may know by the name of Monty Oum. Easily one of the coolest guys I've ever met and we hit it off rather nicely; we're keeping in touch. He is a massive NG fan and knows more than most of the Master Ninjas present here about the game systems, so I'll talk to him about stopping by for a visit. We also talked shop about Ryu, so expect him to be rather commanding in Dead Fantasy. But I digress!

Wall running is back and about as useless as it was in NG2. Almost no point to it from what I could see in the demo build other than occasionally missing a turn you wanted to make because Ryu runs around the wall and misses it. Also, before you ask, I did try to wall jump up the demo's sole Kunai Climb section. You can't. I'm not thrilled either.

On to the new stuff. A good majority of Ryu's standard strings with the DS are changed, have different inputs, or were removed altogether. The good news is that his new strings are decidedly cooler-looking and more fitting for a Super Ninja. We're talking much more fast teleports complete with shadow Ryu's trailing behind and some really cool new context-sensitive (not QTEs) aerial juggles. Izuna Drop is still the same inputs and now instantly kills normal enemies seemingly regardless of when you hit them with it in the string. The AoE is toned down, though you still have an obscene amount of i-Frames to play with after the fact.

His new sliding dodge replaces the dodge roll and dash from previous games and can be used offensively as it will hit enemies. It does no damage but will knock an enemy back. If the enemy is already staggered, it launches them slightly. At this point you can move into a new string that I referenced before that only works with this launch. If you hit Light Attack and then Strong, you'll re-launch and follow them into the air. There are a few possible strings at this point. One makes you look like a tool for just mashing Light Attack because you do a few slashes and fall. Another is very reminiscent of Storm of the Heavenly Dragon, with Ryu slicing through from multiple angles in midair. The final is similar to the Underworld Drop from the Blade of the Archfiend. All very cool stuff but hopefully these moves are accessible from more than just that particular setup as the dodge does not seem to lock on to enemies like normal attacks (for good reason naturally) and you miss a lot when you try it.

Reverse Wind is still in the game (dodge after receiving a hit that you block) however that does bring me to one rather glaring issue I had in the game: either the build I played was experiencing the same issue every time I played it regardless of platform or they have built an annoyingly large buffer window into the game's combat system. Almost every single time I attempted to continue attacking on-landing from an aerial string, Izuna, or simple jump, my first and sometimes second inputs were "eaten." Nothing would happen at all. To paint a picture, say I wanted to cheese out a smaller horde of enemies and just Izuna all of them so I could conserve my UT and play around with the plentiful i-Frames. Izuna number one is fine since I just run up to the poor soldier and realign his spinal column more to my liking. On-landing, just like in old games, I immediately input X, Y, X, X, X, Y or the PS3 equivalent. No problems with my inputs as I've been doing this for years. If done at my normal speed for the franchise, I will always hit the enemy with a standing Strong Attack and since there is no Strong -> Light string in this demo, I stand around looking like a moron and more often than not eat a grab from the enemy I should have been crushing into oblivion. This is a huge problem for those of us playing this at the speed Ryu should move at. I did bring it up but got a token "this is a very early build" response. Hayashi-san was relatively receptive to other feedback, so let's hope this is just the build that was available.

Moving on, I'll address the thing most of us here were dreading the most: QTEs. Don't worry about them. That's my final word on it. They aren't true QTEs in the middle of combat. In fact, the only QTEs in the whole demo involved sliding under an obstacle in a mini-cutscene that almost appeared as if you could not fail. Sorry, I have an issue with dying in NG so I didn't purposefully try to fail it. In combat, though, the attack buttons that come up seem to be nothing more than a reminder to be pushing SOMETHING to move your sword through your opponent. I purposefully pushed the wrong button when a prompt would come up and Ryu still skewered the guy. Additionally as you may have noticed those prompts stop coming up. This build is said to be the first level and for me they stopped after I performed my first (and only, but more on that later) stealth kill. This was roughly 2/3rds of the way through the demo. There may be more QTE sequences down the line but at least in combat things are completely fine.

If you do NOT push something when you slice into someone, though, the enemy will knock you away from them and take a chunk of your life with the attack. But we don't just let our enemies breathe, do we?

On the subject of life, while the art for the bar appears to be placeholder, there was a rather large regeneration that happens out of combat. He regenerates the whole bar after an encounter. I didn't notice when I was playing because honestly I wasn't getting hit (highest available difficulty in the demo was Hard, so I was a bit disappointed there), but watching others play it was kinda nuts. I do not believe there will be full regeneration in the full game, however. The Falcon save point definitely does fully restore your health and that will be in the final game similar to the Dragon Statues but there was only one in the whole level, which took me roughly 15 minutes to beat, cutscenes excluded. Most people were clocking in around 20-30 minutes, so I don't think the saves will be too much of a crutch, for better or for worse.

Flying Swallow is gone, which is likely due to the fact that decapitations are also gone. He now impales the enemy with his sword and throws them to the ground, letting them bleed out. You've seen the move before but I wanted to re-iterate that it is the new Flying Swallow. The bleeding out stuff I mentioned is a relatively good segue into talking about OTs. They ARE still in the game but not in the same capacity. When you mortally wound an enemy through a SoB move or the new Flying Swallow (again, no moveslist so that's what I'll call it), they start to spurt blood everywhere and then either stagger for a bit before falling or they fall over and start to crawl. At either point you can run up to the enemy and hit an attack button to trigger an OT which immediately kills them. This seems to be 100% for flash, however, as the enemies in this level posed no threat at all once down. They crawled around helplessly until I either left the area or finished them off. No attempts were made by them to attack me in that state.

There was a question asked by someone about whether enemies will follow you and the answer is "no," but not the way it used to be. You simply cannot leave an engagement in NG3. Invisible walls, obstacles you cannot pass, and scripted events all served to ensure you do not skip a fight in the demo build. It could be different in the final game but if you need to run at this stage, you're gonna die.

UTs have been replaced in this game by Ryu's new technique where he dashes and puts up to three enemies into a mortally wounded state. There does not seem to be a distance requirement as he simply teleports to any enemy currently engaged with him. This might be part of the reason for the closed-off encounters that seem to be the norm in this title. If the enemy is holding a shield he will use one of the slices to take out the shield and then cut into the enemy, so it's best to knock the shield out of their hands with a single Strong Attack first (that's all it took in the demo) and then trigger it. It's essentially easy mode and honestly it's very underwhelming and not as rewarding as the older system we've had since HP1 and NGB. The new UT is triggered after simply killing a few enemies, though I seemed to gain another stocked UT faster if I killed the enemies in quick succession. If you do not have UT stock, indicated by the glowing red arm, you can still hold the Strong Attack button down. You do not unleash any special move this way, really, though you will do a different move. The 360+Strong attack is back but cannot be charged, or couldn't at this stage of the game. The new system for weapons does progress with the story, so this stuff could change. Because of the way the new UT is implemented, though, I'm not holding my breath.

I know I'm missing some stuff but I'm tired and have a lot on my mind, so I'll simply leave you with this for now: I'm not digging it. The Kunai Climb stuff, while forced, isn't actually a big deal and is very quick. Might be a pain on MN depending on how they scale damage and how quick enemies will appear to try and knock you down, but I'm not anticipating many problems there. My biggest issue is that it simply doesn't "feel" right. The atmosphere doesn't strike me as a NG title. NG and NG2 both had a very strong vibe about them when I started them up for the first time and it was striking to me. Very absorbing and I immediately felt compelled to master the games. Yes, even Ninja Gaiden 2. But this one? I'm fighting generic soldiers in a non-descript section of what I'm told is London. There's nothing wrong with the graphics, that is definitely Ryu I'm controlling, and the action, with the exception of the weird buffer window I spoke on earlier, is still pretty fast and intense. It just doesn't feel like a Ninja Gaiden at this stage. Maybe with final music in place and a different setting (though I did get to play it by myself on a 60" Plasma with nobody around...) that may change.

I am, at this point, not terribly impressed. Let's give Team Ninja the benefit of the doubt, though; if anyone can pull off a AAA action title, it's them. It's still early on.

I'll leave you with this random tidbit I wrestled out of Hayashi-san that I don't think is up anywhere else yet: Ryu's rival (when I asked, Hayashi-san smiled and said "He has no name; he is masked man!") is an Alchemist. I had set some concept art with Ryu and this other enemy stabbing each other as my wallpaper on my phone and showed it to him. He directed my attention specifically to the enemy's left arm and was very specific about the left arm and how he collects power there. Which arm on Ryu is cursed? His right arm? Interesting...

The last thing I'll mention is something that Monty himself noticed that even I didn't: our Masked friend is using an enlarged fencing sword, so fighting him should be different than any other rival-type character to date. All interesting stuff. Feel free to reply below and I'll get to what I can as I'm sure I missed plenty.
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Sath
Shadow Ninja
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NGS - Sigma (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, great post man, thanks!

Well my issue is the QTE and the slow mo that comes with it during like sliding under trucks...etc.

I did know the QTE during combat will go away, but even so, the SoB will happen randomly which I hateb because if you have a combo in mind before attacking the enemy it wont happen considering you dont know if SoB will kick in or not.
Also, the QTE during SoB, can you press any of the attack buttons to make Ryu do the full SoB if enemy is resisting? If so, then fine, then its a some crap like God of War were its trial and error.

The music will definitely deliver I am sure, I have more faith in the composers than Hayashi himself.

And no matter what, I will always hate the kunai climb and doing the shoulder buttons crap.
But if you could just hold up on the analog stick and he would climb up, better, but QTE those? c'mon man, its annoying.

Now he says Steel-on-Bone so I am guessing all the weapons have to have steel and focus on swords, so I want Kitetsu back, that one is the best sword IMO, especially when you can pull a phantom blade out of the original one and use it as dual sword.

As the game is only in 30% stage, this being tutorial and the DS seems to be level 1 or 2, I have my doubts.
I know I will buy it when it comes out I just hope the final product is bareable to play and enjoy.

And the whole no decapitation is ridiculous IMO.
We see Ryu making gigantic swings towards arms, legs, torsos...etc. and we see galons of blood but the actual body is still attached? *sigh*

Though I am glad the PS3 is running great...now if only we could get custom music for it!
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Primeval_Demon
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew Hayashi was going to make PS3 the lead. Thats actually pretty unfair to the 360 owners. In this day and age things should be equal. Personally I haven't decided if I'm getting it on either yet.

The alchemy thing reminds me of Amnael because he also had a hooded tunic and a mask. I find it funny how he references his left arm almost as if it is going somewhere.

I just remembered I wanted to ask about the missions. Its probably too late now. But do you know if they are available on all difficulties or are they being grouped again.
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Sath
Shadow Ninja
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NGS - Sigma (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not unfair.

Majority of all games ar ebeing favored over to 360 and then the PS3 gets the crap end of it, always.
I am glad they make PS3 the lead platform and then port it over to 360, and screentearing...etc. can be patched (Darksiders).

Anyways, I saw the art when Mohshin showed it here (love it, though i hate the fact Ryu is getting a sword through him!) and Regent of the Mask has this weird arm like Ryu but his is different abit.
Even gameplay video showed it off.

From the demo, he didnt do anything wow other than awesome afterimage dash but thats it.
But I am sure it is like Murai scenario.
First counter you beat his butt, but he comes back being stronger and better.

About the missions, as long as he adds solo Mission Mode for Ryu i am good, and with big levels like NG2 had and not a small box like NG1 were you barely couldnt move.

Anyways, I am very effy about this game, but then again early stage, tutorial stage, demo, game comes out in 2012.
Much to see, but first impressions are important, this one sucked lol
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Primeval_Demon
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point scoring between the two is irrelevant. PS3 is being ditched because the developers can't develop for it. So the PS3 gets dumped. How is it any better the 360 getting the scrapings? Fact: Most people don't even notice differences between the two and nor do they care.
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Sath
Shadow Ninja
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NGS - Sigma (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Primeval_Demon wrote:
Point scoring between the two is irrelevant. PS3 is being ditched because the developers can't develop for it. So the PS3 gets dumped. How is it any better the 360 getting the scrapings? Fact: Most people don't even notice differences between the two and nor do they care.


Red Dead Redemption...Bayonetta.

Clear titles with clear differences how 360 is better while PS3 is worst.
If they develop on PS3 first and then port it to 360 its easier and faster.

Like Vanquish, Dead Space and some others I cant think of right now.
I am glad devs are going with PS3 as lead platform considering its harder to develop for.
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Primeval_Demon
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sath wrote:
Red Dead Redemption...Bayonetta.


And yet despite them being two of the most notable, several friends of mine still didn't notice the difference.

But I can perfectly understand what your saying Wink
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Sath
Shadow Ninja
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NGS - Sigma (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your friends are blind if they didnt notice any lol

But ah well.
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Wanderfalke
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your impressions Cyber.

Puuh, the buffer is my BIGGEST concern. Actually I cant believe they will keep it in the final game, but who knows what this new TM is up to.

Also very sad to hear that a NG veteran like you didnīt "feel" the striking force that other NG titles gave you.

In terms of the masked guy: to me it was kinda obvious that the regent of the mask has an "infected" arm as well and that he can summon something with it. Just look at the concept art of Ryu and him. You can clearly see that he gathers some kind of red orbs with his hand. I came to this conclusion especially after the extended walkthrough on gametrailers. Though nice to know that heīs an alchemist.

Really appreciate all your efforts Cyber. Always nice to get something from you when a new NG title is on the horizon.

Do you mind if I post your impressions on Iberians???
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Female Tengu
Superior Ninja
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a NG to me. The UTs are good IMO. Desperately trying to avoid the yellow essence was pretty annoying in NG1 and NG. IMO the changed UT is more rewarding than in the previous games because you actually have to work for it now and it seems like you can ONLY get one by killing enemies (instead of charging your weapon miles away). Your impressions baout that kunai climb stuff till sounds somekind of, ehrm, "a feature we needed to make Ryu more like a ninja, even if it it's totally pointless in a game like NG" Laughing

Let's see if the places where you fight are big enough for spacing etc.

And I still hope for manually triggerin the SOB events in the final game....


Thx a lot for the "little" review, Cyberdev.....evil Wink




P.S. Are the enemies still as throw-happy as in NG1 and NG2? Can you block throws from smaller enemies (Sigma 2 introduced to the gameplay)?
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CoolBlackKnight
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good read Cyber.


I guess we'll see.

Doesn't sound too hot so far from those impressions. Hope it improves... Sad


.....
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CyberEvil
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NG - Emblem (Amount: 1) NGB - Master (Amount: 1) NGDS - The Eye of the Dragon (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, let's keep console favoritism out of here. No arguments. I included how the builds played purely to note how the engine ran because TN made a point to say it was multi-platform. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Wanderfalke, that's fine, but it'd be nice if those guys actually let me register. I did try years ago and my email address was blocked. But post away.

Female Tengu, the enemies aren't throw happy at all. I was grabbed twice and both times were because I purposefully didn't press something in a Steel on Bone event. Also, SoB is much more frequent on higher difficulties.

One thing I forgot to mention is that you never have to stealth kill. I ran full speed into the smoky area and fought normally. The camera does zoom in too much and tends to freak out if you play faster than it thinks you should though...
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Skbzi
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CyberEvil wrote:

Wanderfalke, that's fine, but it'd be nice if those guys actually let me register. I did try years ago and my email address was blocked. But post away.



That was a very interesting read. Hopefully, within time it will turn out to be a great game.

Also, you shouldn't have any problems registering, CyberEvil. The reason why you may have had problems trying to register a year ago is due to the fact that we didn't have a second administrator back then; however, we currently have two administrators that are always on top of their game. In the past few days, we have seen an abundance of new faces so you should be able to register without troubles.
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Wanderfalke
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CyberEvil wrote:
...Wanderfalke, that's fine, but it'd be nice if those guys actually let me register. I did try years ago and my email address was blocked. But post away...


Thanks for the permission
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CyberEvil
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NG - Emblem (Amount: 1) NGB - Master (Amount: 1) NGDS - The Eye of the Dragon (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright I registered over there, however I'm likely to post anything I get here first by a rather large margin. And for those of you PMing me questions, please just ask in the thread. Just easier for everyone.
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