"Seeing two or even three of the larger enemies the player struggled with earlier go down after a well planned and executed elemental strategy pays off is immensely satisfying. That is, until a camera or control issue ruins the fun."
There is a typographical error on a loading screen in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. The word “resilient” is spelled “resiliant” in a message offering a general hint about the game. Staring at that typo, time after time, death after death, one begins to meditate on what could have been. Seeing that “a” that should be an “e”, one thinks back to the death that brought him to it. Perhaps this time it was a well done and challenging fight against a couple of major foes that became impossible when the camera switched to a confusing and ineffective view. Or, maybe, the death came suddenly in an epic battle, when the player seemed to have finally mastered the most effective order in which to take out successive waves of enemies, only to have a critical dodge ruined by a glitch that let the dashing animation run, but did not allow Yaiba to move anywhere.
Possibly the player made it through these difficulties and the load screen is displaying while the game is busy preparing a new level to load. In that case, the player may be thinking of the many gag cutscenes he has just witnessed, how they were almost funny, but just a little too tasteless. Or, if the completed level in question was the first, maybe he will consider that bit of dialog about the Russian troops in Ukraine, and squirm, but not put down the controller, giving the game the benefit of the doubt about that thanks to its ship date and the difficulty in recalling it, given recent events.
Not to belabor the point, but the aforementioned typo, popping up as it does continually throughout the game, is a perfect, almost poetic encapsulation of the problem with Yaiba. Like the camera angles that shift unexpectedly and prevent the player from seeing his attackers mid-fight, like the humor that just misses the mark, like the leveled-up skill perk that is not quite useful enough to use, it is a problem that someone should have noticed and fixed.
Staff review by Jeremy Davis (April 03, 2014)
Jeremy plays video games, sometimes.
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