Release: May 28, 2013 - Author: Once - Translator: Mr Miau
In March 2012, part three of the popular and very difficult Ninja Gaiden series was released. Unnfortunately, however, Ninja Gaiden 3 could not completely live up to the expectations. This has several reasons which will be discussed later. Later in 2012, an extended version for Nintendo's new console Wii U was announced, which found its way to the stores as Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge in early 2013. This version did not only add new content to the game, but also brought some of the lost violence back. In the end, it did not stay Wii U-exclusive for long; the adaptations for the Xbox 360 and PS3 were released in April 2013 in all of Europe except for Germany, where it did not get a rating due to the new violence levels.
Which Version is the Better?
In short: Razor's Edge.
Ninja Gaiden 3 was a disappointment for many fans of the series because of many reasons: too easy, enemies stayed in one piece, no orbs, no leveling of skills, only one weapon (a sword), only one overpowered ninpo, too many quick time events and many more. Game critics also did not seem to like it very much, the average score for Ninja Gaiden 3 is 58, according to Metacritic. Razor's Edge ranks higher at either 71 (Xbox and PS3) or 69 (Wii U).
Razor's Edge removed some of the flaws. Leveling of skills is possible again, new weapons and ninpos were inserted and more violence can be witnessed. The ultimate dragon ninpo, which the character receives in the first chapter in Ninja Gaiden3, can now be obtained just before the final fight. Unfortunately, the new weapons were, except for the twin swords, not embedded in the storyline, they can be picked up or earned without any reference to the story.
One more word on the degree of violence here: it is less explicit than in Ninja Gaiden 2, but explicit enough for the first 18 rating in Australia and the already mentioned non-existing release in Germany.
Another innovation is the possibility to replay the chapters with Ayane, Momiji and Kasumi. This is not possibly for the chapter challenges only.
Razor´s Edge features two additional chapters. In these, the players does not act as Ryu but as Ayane. The two chapters are nice to have and extend the playing time, yet have not been really integrated in the main story and feel more like a spin-off without too many ties to the original plot.
The DLCs that added two new weapons into Ninja Gaiden 3 and the patch which made them available in the main storyline are available from the start.
All relevant changes and additions:
Controversy about the series:
Whoever has complained about its predecessors' difficulty will have it easier in Ninja Gaiden 3. The game can be completed without dying, which is also the case with Razor's Edge. Because the developers wanted to open a new audience for the game, a new difficulty level called "Hero" was inserted, in which you cannot die during the fights as Ryu automatically evades and blocks the enemies' attacks. Of course, the harder difficulties still exists, but the possibility of an easier difficulty level alone does not seem to fit the series.
This is a comparison between Ninja Gaiden 3 (PlayStation 3) and the extended/revised Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (PlayStation 3).
Note regarding the comparison:
The comparison features the difference that have an effect on the violence only. All other relevant differences were mentioned in the introduction.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge will only be called "Razor's Edge" from now on.
Missing in Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge
Are both of the versions „100% UNCUT“? That depends on your point of view, because Razor's Edge did not only add things to the game, some aspects were also removed.
Missing quick time event
The two versions start differently. Ninja Gaiden 3 starts with a (violent) quick time event, Razor's Edge directly goes to the introductory cutscene.
(Pictures only from Ninja Gaiden 3)
Missing Script Event #1
Shortly after the beginning of the game and the first defeated enemy, there is a script event in Ninja Gaiden 3.
One of the enemies surrenders and flees for his life. He throws his gun to the ground and removes his mask when approached. While the character approaches, the soldiers is walking backwards, back against the truck. A heartbeat can be heard in the background. The soldier stops, hands in the air, at the truck. After the push of a button (square), Ryu uses his dragon sword and then pulls it out of the soldier after another push.
(Pictures only from Ninja Gaiden 3)
Missing Script Event #2
Another script event is missing in the chapter before the last one. Ryu needs to finish an enemy off, similar to the soldier in the first chapter.
After the last wave of enemies, one of them remains and is injured. He tries to defend himself. While Ryu goes towards him, he tumbles to the ground. Another heartbeat can be heard and Ryu's sword can be pushed inside the enemy and pulled out again. Briefly, a wasteland can be seen (visible in Razor's Edge during the curse). The enemy falls and reaches the ground as a dead man.
(Pictures only from Ninja Gaiden 3)
Afterwards, the character slowly walks through the corrider, several views of the wasteland can be seen. (No pictures.)
In Razor's Edge bekämpft man hingegen die letzten Gegner in der Traumwelt (Fluch) und kann, anders als in Ninja Gaiden 3, durch den Gang normal durch laufen bzw. rennen. (No pictures.)
No Surrendering Enemies
The first and only Ninpo in Ninja Gaiden 3 can be obtained rather early in the first chapter. After the first use, some of the enemies have survived and are scared into surrendering. They can now be killed one after another. If Ryu walks towards the yielding enemies, they try to flee and beg for their lives.
Pictures only from Ninja Gaiden 3
In Razor's Edge, Ryu receives another ninpo here and no enemies surrender during the fight.(No pictures.)
Only in the third chapter, when Ryu flees from the battle helicopter, enemies can be seen surrendering again.
Ninja Gaiden 3 showed a lot of pixel blood, but the enemies always stayed in one piece. This was now changed. Now limbs are also flying around.
Note: Not all enemy types are listed here.
Weitere Beispielbilder aus Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge:
The dragon bow can now severe enemies' heads.
Exception in Ninja Gaiden 3
The experiment enemies also lose limbs in Ninja Gaiden, but alwas the same way: their arms are being chopped off.
Enemies can be injured in both version, but not in the same way.
Ninja Gaden 3
Not every attack is deadly right away. It can happen quite often that enemies stumble or crawl around before they die. They sometimes also want to drag themselves out of the combat area.
Enemies can still be injured, but they do not give up that easily. Instead, they still attack with one limb less.
One arm seems to be enough for attacking.
The enemy slowly drags himself to Ryu, then jumps at him and blows himself up.
- Only applies to the stronger human enemies
- The explosions cannot be seen here
Flying body parts can only be seen in the cutscene before the first chapter starring Ayane. The original cutscenes were not changed a lot. The blades can be seen going through the bodies, but no limbs are severed in the process. One sequence now contains a bit more red than before, in another one some shots were switched.
When the last enemy has been defeated, a short sequence of him mutating starts. Razor's Edge shows some blood dripping from his wounds and a small pool of blood on the ground.
The first sequence of the last chapter is a bit different. Ninja Gaiden three shows flashbacks from the two scripted events, Rarzor's Edge relives the splitting of the Regent's mask.
The black blood splattering from the boss' head when he literally loses it at the end was removed in Razor's Edge.
In Razor's Edge, a part of the boss is being severed at the end. In Ninja Gaiden 3, his body stays intact but more blood can be seen.
The curse is acted out differently as well. In Razor's Edge, Ryu fights in a dream world against a certain amount of enemies, whereas he dizzily fights against the remaining and scared enemies in Ninja Gaiden 3.
Scene in Ninja Gaiden 3
Scene in Razor's Edge
The savegames in Razor's Edge have blood-smeared frames.