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Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

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Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Congratulations, you massacred the Ninja Gaiden franchise!!
Genre(s): Action
Hack and slash
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
Release: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
NA: March 18, 2014
AU: March 20, 2014
EU: March 21, 2014
JP: March 27, 2014

Microsoft Windows
WW: March 21, 2014
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Developer(s): Spark Unlimited[1]
Publisher(s): Koei Tecmo
Country: United States
Series: Ninja Gaiden
Predecessor: Ninja Gaiden 3 (2012)

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a spin-off of the Ninja Gaiden series developed by Spark Unlimited and published by Koei Tecmo. The game was produced by Keiji Inafune, who created the titular protagonist Yaiba and provided his character designs. It was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows.

Why It Sucks

  1. Unlikable protagonist.
  2. This game tries way too hard to be funny with its forced crude humor similar to the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Devil May Cry. Ninja Gaiden was meant to be a dark and serious gaming series.
  3. Poor voice-acting and dialogue, even from Troy Baker.
  4. Incredible difficult for the wrong reasons, while the first three games were also hard, they feel fair.
  5. You can only regain health by performing executions, which aren't easy to make
  6. Combat system lacks flow and rhythm.
  7. The console versions are locked to 30 FPS, Ninja Gaiden games (along with most Koei Tecmo games) are usually 60 FPS, even on consoles.
  8. Blocks and counters are difficult to time right.
  9. Many enemies on-screen, which makes it hard to keep up with the action.
  10. Terrible story, with several plotholes.
  11. Shallow puzzles.
  12. Trial-and-error parkour sections.
  13. You cannot cancel your moves by dodging this makes the combat frustrating since you will not be able to avoid taking damage.
  14. The game is short, about 7 hours long and depends on the player replaying all the levels over and over to get 100%.
  15. Ignoring special zombies, regular zombies have only one single model, thus no variety whatsoever.
  16. Is really overpriced, costed $60 at launch, and on top of that, it still costs $60 even today (only on consoles though).

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The graphics look wonderful for a late PS3/Xbox 360 game.
  2. Although hard, the Ryu Hyabussa boss fight was really epic.


The game received mixed to negative reviews. The PS3 version has a Metacritic score of 43/100, while the PC and Xbox 360 versions have scores of 49/100 and 50/100, respectively.

Most of the criticism was focused on the repetitive gameplay, the difficulty and the level design.

It was included among the 100 worst games of all time by GamesRadar in 2014.


  1. Additional work by Team Ninja and Comcept.


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