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8:33 AM on 07.09.2013

Why Ninja Gaiden 3 doesnít feel Ninja enough & the case of making SUPER HARD gam

Ninja Gaiden is one of my favorite all time franchises. I just love the game and am quite in awe with Ryu Hayabusa. The fact that a normal human being with no great super powers can accomplish so much just by way of training and discipline is something that appeals to me a lot. It makes me believe that if Ryu can do it, so can we mortal humans. Add to that, the game features the most awe inspiring moments of action where you just wish to put the controller aside and enjoy the marvel of Ryuís blade cutting and slicing through enemies. Itís almost as good as watching a movie.

Well I said, almost as good as watching a movie, but that doesnít mean I want to sit back and watch a movie. I guess, I would be the first ones to stand in the line when a movie based on the Ninja Gaiden franchise comes in the future, but I donít want the same experience when I just bought a $60 game. I donít want to be the spectator; I want to be Ryu himself. I want to face his struggles, want to fall and then want to rise again to find myself on the top of the pile of sliced and diced bodies of my enemies. That is what Ninja Gaiden has been always about. It has always been a game where the player is faced with insurmountable odds, where the player feels that death is just round the corner, where defense is almost as important to survival as attack while I am struggling to master the different weapons.

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Thatís why I donít like Ninja Gaiden 3. It just doesnít make me feel like Ryu enough. It doesnít provide me with those insurmountable challenges, it doesnít make me fear about the death that may be lurking around the corner. Yes it does offer me different weapons but it doesnít give me incentives to master them. After all why would I do so or even try if my Dragon Sword is enough for the game. And thatís the reason why I donít feel Ninja enough. A ninjaís life is supposed to be tough. A ninja is supposed to fight for his life & for the morals he stands for. A hero is only as great as his adversary, and Ninja Gaiden 3 doesnít give me any.

There is a reason why some games are made super hard. There is a reason why just completing Ninja Gaiden itself is considered as an accomplishment. There is a reason why Devil May Cry has the Dante Must Die Mode, why Dark Souls is so damn tough. Itís because their devoted players revel in the sense of accomplishment that comes with beating the game. Itís because they know that the game designer have just given them a challenge: ďHey dude, lets see if you can top thisĒ. And then when they do, its like saying back, ďHereís your gauntlet, let me see what you have got next.Ē These games are meant to be tough because they are not just games; they are a test of skill, endurance and perseverance. They are more than games; they are like badge of honor for those gamers who complete them (remember accomplishments). But Ninja Gaiden 3 doesnít feel like a walk in hell, it feels more like kindergarten as compared to the previous games. Its like the designers of the game have thought we are not good enough to be tested. And we donít like that.

Fun has many sources; some enjoy watching comic movies whereas some enjoy brutal action. Imagine making the movie 300 as Smurfs and Dumb & Dumber as Avengers. I bet the audience would be pissed off. Thatís because the audience is different. By diluting the difficulty of Ninja Gaiden 3, I believe Tecmo Koi has tried to make the game accessible to all, primarily the not so hardcore players but in doing so instead manages to piss off the loyal fan base. The ones, who want to feel like Ryu Hayabusa, want to experience his constant defeats, his struggles and learn through all that to finally stand on top of the pile of his enemies. That is when it feels like a true ninja, that is what feels like Ryu Hayabusa. Hopefully Tecmo Koi would get its act together in the next game and let us enjoy being us, the wielder of the mighty Dragon Swaord. Until then, it doesnít feel Ninja enough.

Siddharth has been playing games since forever and loves it so much so he decided to make a profession out of it. After completing his MBA, he decided to join EA to learn the ropes of the industry. A Game Producer and Game Designer by profession, while not playing games, he loves to read about them, watch movies and spend quality time with his family. His passion for writing led to the creation of this blog.

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3:39 AM on 06.29.2013

Xbox One and PS4: Is Console gaming on its last legs?

With things changing so fast on the video gaming scene, all that I seem to read is how console gaming is dying and the next generation of consoles are truly the last of its kind. The proponents of this idea seem to believe that with the advent of gaming on the move in the form of smartphones, the fastest growing segment of the industry, soon the console industry would not find enough audience for it to be a financially viable investment anymore.

With all the†pessimism surrounding the console industry, it seems hard to believe that console gaming would be dying. This got me thinking as to what are the signs which show that this may not be altogether true.

Lets for starters look at the recently announced microsoft's xbox one and sony's PS4. Both of these consoles have been subject to both awe and criticism. The great way to judge how a product is going to be received in the future is to look at the†reception†of its idea in the present. Here i am able to see some pointers which reveal that the future of the console industry is not so bleak. The launch events of both Xbox One and PS4 has been watched both online and in live attendance by record number of people. This is definitely shows a great level of interest in the next generation consoles. The preorder numbers from Amazon for Xbox one and PS4 are in record numbers, much greater than when the previous generation was launched. These facts go on to prove two things:

1. The number of people who have shown interest in the next generation consoles is definitely bigger than the ones who were interested in xbox 360 and ps3.
2. The above fact can only be achieved if the total number of people playing console gaming has increased, otherwise how would the increased number of people be accounted for.

These numbers alone are evident that the interest surrounding the launch of xbox one and ps4 is great. Let us now look at why the detractors are envisioning a future without console gaming. They are of the view that the gaming habits of gamers are changing at a pace which is so fast that the console giants would not be able to catch up to it. This seems farther from the truth. The next generation consoles take into account the fact that the gamers is always on the move and hence have focussed a lot on†cloud†computing. This is evident from the fact that Microsoft has increased the number of servers focussed on cloud computing for Xbox One to 3,00,000 from a meagre 15,000 for xbox 360. Thats a phenomenal increase in number, one that Microsoft would not be betting on if it was not sure of the role of cloud computing in games of the future. It is also true that gaming on consoles is an altogether a different beast as compared to gaming on smartphones. There has not been a single smartphone game which has been able to give as grand an experience as some of the console game behemoths like Call of Duty or GTA. The experience on consoles is so much bigger and better as compared to a 5 inch screen. We dont stop going to the multiplexes just because we have Netflix or DTH at home. We dont stop going to fancy restaurants and bars just because we can home deliver our food and beverages. People always crave for bigger and better experiences. Thats in our innate nature.

Many believe that smartphone gaming is eating into the pie of console gaming and thats why it doesn't have a bright future. I beg to differ. I believe that the whole pie is getting bigger. Smartphone gaming has done a great job of introducing more and more people to gaming by lowering the various barriers to entry. And as these new found gamers become more entrenched in games, they would start looking for better experiences and hence graviate to console gaming. I as an avid gamers on consoles as well as my ipod and galaxy s3 truly believe and hope that thats the case.

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