Okay, so we got my gripes about the combat out of the way. What about the co-op? The co-op mode for Razor’s Edge is called Ninja Trials, and is unlocked after the second chapter of the Story Mode. It’s two-player online co-op only, and you can quick join a random lobby, create a lobby of your own, search for lobbies, or invite a friend to play. A total of 25 maps are provided (pulled straight from the story mode levels), and each trial consists of a few waves of mobs the players will have to vanquish, then a boss fight at the end. Players can resurrect each other if someone becomes incapacitated. Everyone will start on “acolyte” difficulty, but completing maps will unlock “mentor” and “leader” difficulties for an increased challenge.
You, too, can dress up Ayane in her weird stripper outfit, complete with butterfly bra!
Everyone will start off in Ninja Trials only being able to play as an “unknown ninja” that you can customize. As you progress through the story mode, however, additional characters will become unlocked (Ayane, Momiji, Kasumi, and Ryu). You’ll only be able to get levels and karma for your unknown ninja while playing Ninja Trials, however. If you play as any of the story characters, they won’t receive levels or karma, but there are costume unlocks for completing a certain amount of maps on the different story characters. If you want to unlock upgrades or levels for these story characters, however, you’ll have to play the single-player Chapter Challenge on the character you want to progress.
I played several maps with random people, but I can’t say I found it to be very riveting. Though a full map only took 5-10 minutes depending on if we had to retry from a checkpoint (you get 5 retries for a map), I could only do one or two before I had to stop. Ninja Trials is all about the combat, and as I pointed out before, I wasn’t really sold on Razor’s Edge’s combat. If you’re a die-hard fan of Ninja Gaiden and you have another friend who is also a die-hard fan that you can play with online, you two could probably spend maybe half an hour at a time enjoying it, but sad to say that it’s very difficult to recommend Razor’s Edge solely on its co-op content. I also find it really weird that players can’t level up their story characters in Ninja Trials and are forced to go to a single-player mode to progress them, then take them back to the Ninja Trials to play.
I really don't know what to say about Kasumi's outfit here...
All in all, Razor’s Edge certainly isn’t a bad game, but I personally found it to be a pretty mediocre one, bordering on disappointing. I just never found myself “wowed,” and I wanted to be. I do have to say, however, I appreciated that I was given the option to play the game in its original Japanese audio complete with subtitles. If you buy the game for the story mode, the co-op mode may be a nice bonus, but it’s certainly not a reason to buy the game. There is simply not enough that the Ninja Trials mode has to offer for all but the most die-hard fans.
The Co-Optimus review of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is based on the PS3 version of the game. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
The Co-Op Experience: 2-players can join up online as stealthy ninjas, Ayane and Ryu Hayabusa, to hack and slash their way through hordes of evil Fiends.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.