Ninja Blade

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Ninja Blade
PAL territories cover art
PAL territories Xbox 360 cover
Developer(s) From Software
ND Games (PC)
Publisher(s) From Software
Producer(s) Masanori Takeuchi
Designer(s) Kazuhiro Hamatani
Keiji Nakaoka
Composer(s) Norihiko Hibino
Yoshitaka Suzuki
Takahiro Izutani
Takahide Ayuzawa
Engine Havok (game physics)
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) Xbox 360
  • JP January 29, 2009
  • EU April 3, 2009
  • NA April 7, 2009
Microsoft Windows
  • NA October 31, 2009
  • EU February 19, 2010
Genre(s) Action, hack and slash
Mode(s) Single-player

Ninja Blade (ニンジャブレイド Ninjabureido?) is an action game developed and published by From Software for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 in 2009.[1][2]


The player plays as a modern-day ninja, using a katana, twin swords and broad sword as the main weapon to the hostile creatures. Combat system is similar to Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry. A chi bar is used up when "ninja vision" or ninjutsu is used. The gameplay is highly cinematic, relying on quick time events to finish missions; after attacking a boss until the health bar is empty, the player must perform a finishing move, called the todome.[3]


In 2015, a small village was attacked by unknown creatures and the survivors were moved to a research facility where they underwent examination. While at the research facility, the survivors began to show symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis, and it was found out they were infected by a strange type of hookworm parasite, which was classified as "Alpha-worm". Conventional medicine had no effect on the patients and the worms deformed the victims, but the infection also increased the strength and resilience of the patients. The infected eventually broke free and attacked the researchers and, due to a fear of an outbreak, the military assaulted the facility and destroyed all traces of the infected. To prevent panic, governments of the world kept the Alpha-worms secret. The G.U.I.D.E (Global United Infestation Detection and Elimination) force was formed by Agent Michael Wilson, recruiting elite operatives from around the world. Eventually, after a massive outbreak of Alpha-worm infestation takes over the city of Tokyo, an elite ninja team including the young Ken Ogawa, and led by his father Kanbe, is sent to deal with the situation.


The concept for Ninja Blade initially came when From Software thrived to create a game that conveyed to the gamer the same intense sequences from those of Hollywood action films. From Software worked with Microsoft in creating the game's protagonist, Ken Ogawa. Ninja Blade producer Masanori Takeuchi said: "We worked closely with Microsoft in creating Ken. They provided us with lots of useful feedback and insightful consumer research of worldwide gamers. By cooperating and working together, Ken has become more appealing to a wider audience."[4] The character was designed by Capcom 2nd Character Development Studio designer Keiji Nakaoka.[5][6]

The game has been categorized as a "cinematic action game," combining a mixture of hack and slash elements with context-sensitive commands.[2] Ninja Blade was commonly referred to as Otogi 3 by various sources before its official announcement. Ninja Blade planner Kazuhiro Hamatani noted that while not a direct sequel or spiritual successor to Otogi, that the game would contain action-adventure elements of which fans of the Otogi series would like.[7]

The soundtrack was composed by Norihiko Hibino's GEM Impact studio.[8] The animation was produced by Production I.G.[9]

A demo for Ninja Blade was released in Japan on December 29, 2008.[10] The demo was released in North America on March 10, 2009.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 68.55%[11]
Metacritic 68/100[12]
Review scores
Publication Score C-[13]
Eurogamer 7/10[14]
Famitsu 32/40[15]
GamePro 5/5 stars[16]
GameSpot 7.5/10[17]
GameTrailers 5.9/10[18]
GameZone 6/10[19]
IGN 6.5/10[20]
X-Play 4/5[21]

Overall, the game has received mixed to positive reviews. Ninja Blade was named Game of the Month in the June 2009 issue of GamePro, with a rating of 5/5 stars.[16] In GameSpot's The Best of 2009 awards, it was one of the five titles nominated for Best Game No One Played.[22]


  1. ^ " Ninja Blade". Retrieved 2008-10-09. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Ninja Blade: Brief Real-Time Impressions". Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  3. ^ Todome - The Most Gruesome Finishing Moves Ever -
  4. ^ "Interview with Executive Producer Masanori Takeuchi". Retrieved 2009-04-24. [dead link]
  5. ^ "1UP NETWORK PREVIEWS: Ninja Blade". 1UP. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  6. ^ Ninja Blade: Creating Ken Ogawa - Xbox 360 Feature at IGN
  7. ^ "Sorry but Ninja Blade is not Otogi 3". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  8. ^ "Original Sound Version: Ninja Blade Soundtrack Preview". OSV. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  9. ^ "Official Ninja Blade Website". From Software. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  10. ^ "Ninja Blade Demo Hits Xbox Live Marketplace in Japan". Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  11. ^ "Ninja Blade for Xbox 360". GameRankings. 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  12. ^ "Ninja Blade for Xbox 360 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  13. ^ "Ninja Blade Review for 360, Game from". 2009-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  14. ^ Kieron Gillen (2009-03-24). "Ninja Blade Xbox 360 Review - Page 1". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  15. ^ "Famitsu Hates Crystal Chronicles". Gemaga. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  16. ^ a b Bartron, Heather (June 2009). "Ninja Blade". GamePro (GamePro Media) 21 (6): 78–79. ISSN 1042-8658. OCLC 19231826. Archived from the original on 2009-04-11. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  17. ^ Kevin VanOrd, GameSpotPosted Apr 7, 2009 3:54 pm PT (2009-04-07). "Ninja Blade Review for Xbox 360". GameSpot. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  18. ^ "Ninja Blade: Reviews, Trailers, and Interviews". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  19. ^ "Ninja Blade - 360 - Review |". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  20. ^ Erik Brudvig (2009-04-06). "Ninja Blade Review - Xbox 360 Review at IGN". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  21. ^ Sessler, Adam; G4 TV. "NinjaBlade Review". G4 TV. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  22. ^ Best Game No One Played - GameSpot's Best Games of 2009

External links[edit]