Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Mega-Review


Profanity, zombies and tits: Sound like a good game?

The short answer is yes, if you are a 13-year-old boy who likes to see an over-sexualized subservient female and the usage of profanity in every single sentence. Playing through the game you will plow through a ton of zombies of varying types thanks to the mechanical additions that were made to Yaiba Kamikaze when he was brought back to life. If you are wondering why you are smashing through tons of zombies, though, you will have to play through the entire game, as Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z  does not offer much in the way of exposition.

While a limited plot might not be a surprise to most Ninja Gaiden  fans, the lack of skill required during combat will be. There is literally no point in attempting parry-counter moves as they are rather impossible to pull off. You probably won’t even need to block anyhow if you are good enough at pulling off combos and dodging around the small levels. Literally the only time I really felt the need to block an attack, it turned out to be an unblockable one by one of the more powerful enemies.

As I plowed my way through the crazy zombies on my way to a showdown with series star Ryu Hayabusa in a bid for revenge, I was able to use my flail as my main weapon, slightly mixing it up to make combos to push through the game faster.

groupI_004I hardly enjoyed most of my fights since they all felt the same, and the cool finishing moves, which I needed to execute to keep my health meter full, were downplayed by a lack of flow. I loved the various execution mini cutscenes, from slicing and dicing a zombie, to volleying part of a zombie’s flaming weapon into its mouth to blow it up, but the transitions were not fluid enough to fully enjoy. The exclamation point to signal the availability of an execution would pop up on a zombie flying away from me, already feet away, but when it cut to the scene, it would usually look like I was already next to it, or I was filleting a totally different zombie.

A little over halfway through the game, once I had discovered the various story elements through collectibles, I began to enjoy the game a bit more, but many of the battles still felt tedious. It’s not to say that they were hard unless you count a terrible camera system as difficulty. I died on one stage in level four about 20 times because large enemies kept blocking my view, causing me to get trapped either by zombies or by corners, turning me into a sitting duck.

Before you finish up the written review, watch Justin “SlasherJPC” Celani’s video below as he shares his thoughts on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z as well!

Different elemental zombies, introduced throughout the game, become important to pay attention to. You’re supposed to use their attacks against each other, but that is hardly possible. The enemies tend to all gang up on you from afar instead of provide you with situations to pit them against each other, so you generally just have to slice all of them up one by one using the same weapons that you’ve been using the entire game. Once in a while an execution of a more powerful zombie will give you a better weapon, but it will break soon, so you can’t really rely on that to give you variety or options. Your bloodthirst (an invincible state which grants you super-high attacks) also runs out quickly, but it can help you out in a pinch.


There is so much promise in Yaiba,  but the developers’ tendency to play to what a 13-year-old, prepubescent boy would like to see cloud what could have made Yaiba  great. Regardless, the decision to make this a fully priced retail game is questionable at best.

SpawnFirst Recomends…

AvoidEven if you are a fan of the series, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z  fails to follow in its footsteps. It’s a weird offshoot that is late to the last gen and zombie party.

The combat is just not skillful and fluid enough for it to work as a hack and slash game, and there is little to keep you interested, save the fun finishing moves.

While it might be tempting to a Ninja Gaiden  fan, I would wait for the next real release in the series.