By Philip Dunkley
Not too long ago, I had the privilege of doing a preview on this game, and I was not allowed to say too much around it except the usual marketing jibe, but I need to confess up right now. I have been addicted to this game since I received it, and now that I got my grubby paws of the full review copy, I can happily reveal all that happens in the fantastic world of Ryu Hayabusa .
Normally I would start with the story section here, but since this is not one of the games strong points, I’ll keep it relatively brief. It basically revolves around Ryu having to avenge his clan’s demise, and take on a force known as the archfiend, a powerful fiend (Supernatural Beings) awakened by the Black Spider Ninja Clan. Somewhere along the line the CIA gets involved and a few familiar faces from the previous games. It’s a bit messy, but hell, it does not really matter.
I want to move straight on to the game play portion here, as this is where I believe that every gamer is in for the ride of their life. Imagine Devil May Cry, with better weapons, hordes more blood and enough style that it makes a Ferrari Super Americana look like a VW Beetle, for lack of a better analogy. The moment you start playing this game, this first thing that will strike the player is this: Damn the action is fluid and graphic, and hell it’s damn difficult. When you begin the game, a basic tutorial will ensue, teaching you how the basic mechanics work, and exactly how they need to be upgraded and how ability’s need to be performed. It’s a basic mashing of buttons and super fast reflexes that make the game play flow, and when you get it, you really get it. An example is this: learn to do a decent counter move, and instead of the enemy hitting you from all directions, you will throw him off-balance and proceed in cutting off his limbs, one by one until finally lobbing off his head. Don’t finish the enemy off completely, and he will crawl over towards wherever you are and pull a kamikaze pilot move on you, usually by blowing himself up. This happens often.Â As the player progresses through the levels, they will inevitably run into a horde of bosses, and while most of them have save points pretty close the boss(not like in the previous one), they present one hellÂ of a challenge to even the most hardened gamer. They also look amazing. Expect to die a lot in this game, especially of the harder difficulties, but also expect some of the most rewarding game play to date on any platform. When you finish a level, you will feel invincible.
This moves me onto the difficulty of the game, and a lot has been spoken around this. Yes, it’s difficult, enough to get frustrating, and I suggest buying an extra remote, but it’s not as difficult as the last one. They have implemented a health regeneration system, but this has its limitations due to portions being taken off the Health Bar, the more you get damaged, and can only be restored with herbs and talismans. It also seems a bit inconsistent, as one moment you are hacking away and demolishing the opposition, and the next minute it feels like you eyes are going to explode due to all the action on the screen, and one wrong move will cause your untimely demise.
The weapons in the game are also a masterpiece of design, ranging from the basic sword and shuriken that the player is equipped with at the beginning, to some more outlandish staffs and wearable weapons, with huge power-ups available as the game moves on. You also have some amazing abilities within the game, which allow the player to target multiple enemies at any given time, and an upgrade option for ranged weapons as well.
From a visual point of view, this game is also a little inconsistent, as some of the levels look absolutely amazing, with beautiful backdrops and highly detailed textures, while some levels feature some really bland environments that leave a lot to be desired. The frame rate also takes a bit of a noticeable hit whenever you activate the new Theatre Mode to record those epic fights, which can be uploaded at a later time. There are also a few Camera Angle issues within the game, as the action gets blurred in the environment, but a bit of tweaking in the options menu makes it a bit better.
The sound also does a great job with regards to the overall atmosphere, and once again this title has a great surround mix which gives the player a decent idea of where the danger is coming from. The voice acting is a bit cheesy, but hell it fits in quite well.
In conclusion I can say only this: With a few shortcomings and visuals inconsistencies, this game is one of the best action games I have played, and kept me engaged from beginning to end, and a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction can be earned when completing this game. I remember hearing that most people won’t finish this game, due to the difficulty, and whilst this is somewhat true, it would be a crying shame if you started this game and never finished it. If you are a fan of this style of game, you should really enjoy this, but be prepared for a challenge. If you’re not, this could really get you hooked.
Buy it now, and be prepared for an action blood fest that’s out of this world.
Gameplay: 9/10 [Action Packed all The Way] Presentation: 8/10 [A Few Inconsistencies, and Camera Angle Issues] Sound: 9/10 [Bring the Slaughter to the living room] Value: 9/10 [Will keep you busy for ages] Overall: 8.5/10 [Only let down by some polishing elements]
Last Updated: June 12, 2008