Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is an upgraded version of Ninja Gaiden 3, which was previously released on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was initially published by by Nintendo on November 18th, 2012 as a day-one launch title for the Wii U console. In April of 2013, a 360/PS3 port of Razor's Edge was released and published by Koei Tecmo.
The original version of Ninja Gaiden 3 was heavily criticized for simplifying the combat, and failing to deliver the aspects that critics loved about previous Ninja Gaiden games. The developers at Team Ninja took these issues to heart and set out to make large-scale improvements to nearly every aspect of the gameplay. Yosuke Hayashi, the head of Team Ninja, said in response to the criticism:
“We left out some of the things the series was well-known for,” he said. "We did leave some of our fans out. We had this opportunity to put those hardcore aspects back in [with Wii U]. It’s kind of the hardcore fan package of Ninja Gaiden 3.”
The story of Ninja Gaiden 3 starts in the Hayabusa village. Two strange visitors show up to the village and request to meet Ryu Hayabusa. The two strangers turn out to be none other than Japanese Self-Defense Force agents Mizuki McCloud and Ken Ishigami. They meet with Ryu Hayabusa and inform him of a terrorist plot in London. Unknown terrorists have occupied a section of London kidnapping the Prime Minister and his family holding them hostage. They plea with Hayabusa to work with the JSDF to save the Prime Minister. Initially Hayabusa seems dis-interested. Mizuki then plays an garbled audio recording in which a unknown terrorist names Ryu Hayabusa as their ransom for the Prime Minister. Ryu quickly agrees after hearing the audio recording and sets off for London.
After fighting through the terrorist forces Ryu locates the whereabouts of the Prime Minister. He arrives at the Prime Ministers residence and encounters the Regent of the Mask. The mysterious figure murders the Prime Minister and then taunts Ryu. After a short scuffle with Ryu the Regent gets enough of an upper hand on Hayabusa to curse Ryu with the "Grip of Murder". Ryu's coveted Dragon Blade is absorbed into his forearm causing him immense pain. His arm is quickly covered in a red growth as he writhes around in pain. The Regent taunts the injured Hayabusa and then quickly makes his leave. An injured Hayabusa makes his way to an extraction zone where Mizuki awaits him.
After being transported to a JDSF destroyer an injured Hayabusa is watched over by Mizuki. Upon awakening Ryu meets Cliff Higgins a scientist working with the JSDF and Canna who is Mizuki's adopted daughter. Soon after awakening they receive a dire message from the Regent of the Mask who claims he will destroy the world in seven days. The signal of the message is traced to Rub'al Khali desert. Ryu and Mizuki head off to try to locate the source of the broadcast in hopes of finding the Regent. Ayane meets Ryu in the desert and presents him with the Jin-Ran Maru the blade of Hayate since Ryu is without a weapon. Ryu tracks the signal to a tower and battles his way through to the top of the tower. Arriving at the top he again meets the Regent of the Mask. The Regent then reveals the nature of the "Grip of Murder" to Ryu and reveals that Hayabusa's sword was used as a medium for the application of the curse and that it will eventually kill him. Hayabusa attempts to take down the Regent but then is startled once he realizes the Regent is not the actual person but just a Hologram of him. He is then ambushed by an attack helicopter which he quickly dispatches. His arm then flares up again and Ryu collapses into Mizuki's arms upon returning to the extraction zone.
The JSDF comes upon another lead that an origination known as LOA may be tied to recent events. Ryu is dispatched to and island where a LOA compound is located. After arriving Hayabusa fights his way through a military compound and then stows away on a cargo truck headed for a LOA laboratory. After arriving at the LOA compound Ryu is greeted by the voice of the Regent of the Mask over the facility intercom. A giant T-Rex with cybernetic implants is dispatched by the Regent of the Mask to deal with Hayabusa. After dealing with the monstrosity Hayabusa finally encounters the Regent. The Regent quickly reveals his hand and a captive Mizuki is brought out by enemy soldiers. Hayabusa quickly deals with the soldiers and is surprised when Mizuki pulls a gun on him. Mizuki shoots Hayabusa.
Ryu awakens in a strange place where he is greeted by a woman who calls herself Lovelace. Lovelace reveals that she is a researcher at the LOA labs and that Ryu is in a virtual reality training simulator. Having no other choice Hayabusa plays along with Lovelace and defeats all of her simulations. Eventually destroying the machine Hayabusa makes his way further into the labratory where he discovers Canna. Hayabusa then takes Canna into his arms and sets off to search for Mizuki. Ryu then sees Lovelace escorting Mizuki in the distance. Ryu follows Lovelace and is greeted by the Regent of the Mask who has Mizuki as captive. Breaking out of the clutches of the Regent Mizuki runs over to Ryu and embraces Canna. She apologizes to Ryu for having no choice after Canna was kidnapped. Lovelace then reveals the Regent's real motives and reveals that they have taken some of Ryu's blood while he was asleep to use in a biological experiment which the regent says will birth a "god". The Regent then pushes lovelace into the dormant "egg" transforming her into a hideous beast. Mizuki escapes with Canna while Ryu battles the transformed Lovelace. Ryu dispatches of the monster and then escapes with Mizuki and Canna as the facility self destructs.
Knowing that the power the Regent weilds is great he requests to Mizuki to return to his village to speak with his father. After collapsing while walking to his village from the surrounding forest he is saved my Momiji and brought back to the village. She tells him that his father is waiting for them just outside the village and they set off to find the elder Hayabusa. On the way to Ryu's father they are ambushed by many black ninja spider clan members including the witch Obaba. Teaming up with Momiji Ryu defeats the rival clan members and makes his way to his father who gives him advice with his situation.
Cliff then tells Hayabusa that he has found what he believes to be one of LOA's main headquarters in the antarctic. Ryu battles his way to the facility through the icy tundra only to encounter Ashtear Higgins who reveals himself as the chairman of the LOA. Alongside him is Cliff who acknowledges his betrayal and hand in the now kidnapped Canna. The pair tell Hayabusa of their plot to use the girl in the creation of a "perfect being". And then quickly escape as they send a distraction to deal with Hayabusa.
Hayabusa tracks down Ishigami who tells Hayabusa Cliff and Ashtear are on a ship called the Black Narwhal along with Canna. Hayabusa is transported by Mizuki to the ship where he encounters Ashtear again. This time Ashtear attacks him. Hayabusa kills the chairmen and sets off to find Canna. Ryu finds a labratory where Canna is in a stasis in a test tube. The Regent of the Mask reveals himself and the two do battle again this time Ryu fatally injurying the Regent. After falling to the ground Cliff Higgins arrives and reveals to Hayabusa that he is The Regent's brother and furthermore the Regent is actually Canna's father and that he was controlled by an AI.
Using the grip of murder to subdue Ryu Cliff pulls the dragon sword out from within Hayabusa and then merges it with Cana who is in the stasis tube. The blade bonds to Canna transforming her into a being Cliff describes as "The Goddess" the enormous creature tears the ship in half and Hayabusa makes his escape from the sinking vessel.
The creature rampages to Tokyo as Ryu and Mizuki try to intercept the monster. They are headed off by Cliff who reveals his plans to use Cana to destroy the world and rebuild a new one. He then transforms himself into a hideous monster and attempts to thwart Hayabusa's sabotage of his plans. Cliff starts to get the upper hand when he is suddenly felled by Leo Higgins the father of Canna and formerly the Regent of the Mask. The pair set off to find the Goddess. After reaching the creature Leo disables a force field surrounding the creature. He then goads Hayabusa into a final fatal confrontation. With is dying breath Leo removes the curse on Ryu's arm and asks Ryu to save his daughter.
Hayabusa then does battle with the gigantic creature eventually besting the creature and saving Canna in the process. After returning Canna to her mother Mizuki Hayabusa heads back to his village.
|Ryu Hayabusa||Son of Joe Hayabusa born into the Dragon Lineage. He is a master ninja.|
|Leader of the Hajin Mon sect of the Mugen Tenshin clan. Ally to Ryu Hayabusa.|
|Kasumi||A run-away kunoichi and part of the Mugen Tenshin clan she is the half-sister of Ayane.|
|Momiji||Momiji acts as a shrine maiden in the Hayabusa village. She is also the sister of Kureha who died during the Dark Dragon Blade incident.|
|Joe Hayabusa||Father of Ryu Hayabusa and leader of the Hayabusa Ninja clan.|
|Regent of the Mask||The main antagonist of Ninja Gaiden 3. He is also part of a shadowy group called "The Aclhemists"|
|Mizuki McCloud||First class JSDF agent. She is also the adoptive mother to Canna. She has been instructed to help Ryu succeed in his mission and acts as Ryu's communication link in battle.|
|Genshin||Former Leader of the Black Ninja Spider Clan. His slain spirit briefly makes a cameo appearance.|
|Canna||A shy blonde girl who is the adoptive daughter of Mizuki McCloud. Cliff Higgins is her uncle.|
|Muramasa||A weaponsmith and old friend to the Hayabusa clan.He upgrades Ryu's weapons as well as gives the Dragon Ninja advice.|
|Lovelace||A woman with a flashy style she is a head researcher for LOA and works alongside the Regent of the Mask.|
|Cliff Higgins||A scientist working for the JDSF he is also Canna's biological uncle.|
|Ashtear Higgins||He is the chairman of the Lords of Alchemy otherwise known as LOA. His aim is to aquire the blood of the legendary Dragon Ninja Ryu Hayabusa.|
|Sanji||A young ninja living in the Hayabusa village. He looks up to Ryu and continually trains to try to live up to his rolemodel.|
|Ken Ishigami||He is the secretary of defense for the Japanese government. He quickly recruits Ryu Hayabusa to his cause after a terrorist attack in london.|
Razor's Edge features numerous improvements and additions over the original version of Ninja Gaiden 3. Examples of these improvements are listed below.
In the original release of Ninja Gaiden 3, the focus of the story revolved around Ryu Hayabusa and the lives he ended with the Dragon Sword. As a result, the katana was the only weapon players had at their disposal until the Eclipse Scythe and Claws were added as DLC. Razor's Edge includes weapons such as Eclipse Scythe, Lunar Staff and Dual Katanas on the disc. Content previously released as DLC is included in the base game, and additional Razor's Edge-specific DLCwas released, as well. The official list of weapons includes:
- Dragon Sword
- Falcon's Talon (Claws)
- Jin-Ran Maru (Hayate's sword from Dead or Alive)
- Eclipse Scythe
- Lunar Staff
- Blade of the Archfiend & Jin-Ran Maru (Dual Katanas)
- Blade of the Archfiend
- Lock-On Bow
- Art of the Inferno
- Art of theTrue Inferno
- Art of the Piercing Void
- Art of the Wind Blades
- Fuma Kodachi
- Explosive Kunai
- Art of the Raging Mountian god
- Heavenly Dragon Naginata
- Heavensong Bow
- Art of Crimson Lotus
- Shrouded Moon
- Kunai Tempest (Windmill Shuriken)
- Art of the Rending Wind
- The PS3/Xbox 360 version of Ninja Gaiden 3 restricted the "karma" scoring system, which rewarded their skill and performance in levels, to harder difficulties. Razor's Edge extends the karma system to all difficulty levels, though players will earn less karma on the lower difficulties.
- The player will be able to upgrade Ryu's weapons and maximum life.
- Ninja Gaiden 3 removed the dismemberment mechanic and the excessive levels of blood seen in Ninja Gaiden II. However, Razor's Edge brings these elements back.
- Ayane is included as a playable character, as she was in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 with her own story levels.
- Razor's Edge features a two-player co-op mode similar to the one found in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
- Certain elements found in the original Ninja Gaiden 3 release are being removed for Razor's Edge. Among these include the cowering enemies, as well "QTE" cinematics.
- Enemy behaviour has been improved. Among these enhancements, they attack in groups, rather than waiting one at a time. Enemies can also self-destruct if near death, taking away as much as a third of Ryu's health.
- Test of Valor levels: These are hidden levels accessed on each stage by finding a hidden Crystal Skull. This skull warps players off to a different area, where they fight enemies and bosses from earlier Ninja Gaiden games.
More playable characters have been added post-launch as DLC, free of charge. Momiji from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 returns, and Kasumi from the Dead or Alive series makes her Ninja Gaiden debut, as well.
Wii U Functionality
The Wii U GamePad's touch screen will be used to select weapons, cast ninpo magic and display other vital information to the player.
The Xbox 360 version supports Microsoft Smartglass functionality for tablets and smartphones.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is the first game to be released in Australia under the then-new R18+ rating.