XBOX Wednesday, February 11, 2004 | 6:27 PM

The first 10 minutes : Ninja Gaiden Demo

The first 10 minutes : Ninja Gaiden Demo

This "10 minutes" is a bit different from the usual since this one is from the demo a game. But it's not any game, I'd day Ninja Gaiden is worthy of being two times here ! Update : SHQ version online

It's been so long since this game has been announced that some of us may have started to think they would be disapointed. Let's just say that I haven't been disapointed, not at all !

Let's start with what was the main concern, the gameplay. It's almost perfect ! Each button has a logical usage, everything just plays as you would expect it should. Moving Ryu is almost totally instinctive. Every movement is natural and some little touches like the way you can change the Nunchakus direction while attacking just adds to the depth of all that. Simple, but very effective.
The only thing I can think that I did not like about the gameplay is that the X button is used for the main attack, but also for opening doors. Sometimes in the middle of a fight you'll just open a door and go to the next room, resetting all the ennemies. It's not that bad but it can be annoying.

The graphics are almost as good as I hoped they would be. A few textures are a bit "dreamcastish" in the way they seem a bit fake, but that's all. Everything else looks exactly like Team Ninja promised us with all the screenshots, they did not lie ! There is a bit of aliasing, but it's not bad at all.
The animations are also breathtaking. Ryu moves very gracefully and every movement is just perfectly natural. A few details just add to all this, like the way some torches are destroyed.

I've detected some slowdowns during some heavy fightings in close-up. Itakagi has warned that the demo had not been optimized completely, and the delay until February is mostly due to that. Hopefully it will be totally fixed for the final version.

To conclude, I'd say that the demo almost totally delivered what I dreamed this game would be. I've totally enjoyed playing that level about 10 times so I would not totally suck while recording the video. And yes I lost the fight against the boss because I wanted to show the 3rd weapon on some magic. He's not that hard to beat, but it's still a very nice fight (and just these fights would make an excellent fighting game !).

You may notice some stuttering in the video, it's the deinterlacing system I use that just could not totally cope with the true 60 fps of the game. It's perfect on my TV.
There is a glitch in the video. At about 9 minutes the sound and image are not in sync anymore. Unfortunately it happened directly during the capture and I can't do anything except redo the whole thing. If there are too many complaints then I'll do that...

Update : Some people have written on the forums about the seeming lack of depth of the gameplay. Let me just say that it's my fault. I usually suck at this type of game, and yesterday I did not have as much time as I wanted to play the demo before doing the video. So I just used that very effective combo over and over again with that amazingly powerful weapon (which I'm sure will not be available for that level in the final game) so I could show as much of the level as possible. Be sure that there are a lot of depth in the gameplay and it's not just another mindless button masher like I show in my video (yes you can defend, or use shurikens, or the bow...). Trying playing the entire level with just the first weapon is quite a challenge and requires a lot more work than just pressing X like I did.
I'll work on a video showcasing the different combos today.
Once again my apologies for the average video, how I played, and how I encoded it.

New video : I've just put online a new video here

The first 10 minutes : Ninja Gaiden Demo
Download: AVI
The first 10 minutes : Ninja Gaiden Demo
Download: AVI

All comments

Commented on 2004-02-11 23:26:00
where did you find a demo of Ninja Gaiden? I want it too :(

btw: is Ninja Gaiden better than Otogi 2 ?
Commented on 2004-02-12 00:14:03 In reply to KnifeFace
Thank you blim blimb for the movies although i want to see the end of it=(

Is it an fmv or an in-game cutscene at the end??
Commented on 2004-02-12 01:43:08 In reply to Thyr
There was horrible stuttering (like one second freeze every 3 seconds) when I wanted to watch it in Media Player Classic. But when I opened it in VirtualDub and enabled option "Options->Allow video overlays" it was perfectly smooth. Problem with lossing sync at 9 min was still there though (not a surprise).

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