SiliconEra has reported on some Tweets from Team Ninja regarding info on Ninja Gaiden 3 – specifically, the new role Ninpo will play, and how Ultimate Techniques are activated in the upcoming title.
In the past, Ninpo had more than one use. The fireball was a good way to lay heavy damage on a single enemy (I used it mostly during boss fights), while the electric Ninpo was good at zapping multiple enemies at close range. Also, Ninpo had another useful benefit–Ryu was invincible during the startup animations and execution of the magic; providing nifty method of bypassing a heavy damage boss attack.
Now, per Team Ninja’s tweets, Ninpo serves as the only means in which Ryu can regain health. No more elixir bottles or blue karma orbs. Instead, the Dragon Ninpo will devour enemies which will in turn give Ryu health. The more enemies consumed, the more health Ryu gets, so there is a “high risk, high return” element to Ryu’s health management. What isn’t mentioned is whether or not the Dragon Ninpo will be the only magic Ryu will have access to.
There’s a substantial change to the Ultimate Techniques as well. Before, you absorbed karma orbs into your weapon by pressing down hard attack, or held down hard attack long enough for your weapon to build enough energy. Now, Ryu’s arm glows red after a few enemies are slain, and when the strong attack button is held down, the Ultimate Technique is unleashed. Per the tweet, you can cancel out of a combo and go into a UT.
To be honest, this is really the first promising news that I’ve heard that the Ninja Gaiden I remember may not be totally lost to the dark abyss of mainstream mediocrity. I like the risk/reward with the Ninpo, and I like the change in how UTs can be used. I can see how combo canceling could be quite punishing in boss encounters. I just hope that these changes will rely on player skill to be used effectively instead of being a mainstream crutch to lure the casual on board.