Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, the special edition for Ninja Gaiden 3 being released exclusively on the Wii U, brings ninja heroine Ayane to the foreground in an all-new campaign, but shifts use of the Wii U GamePad to the background.
The use of Nintendo's newest hardware seems superfluous; the GamePad is used as an additional display screen, with no real other function.
Players use the traditional Wii controller or the Wii U Pro Controller to hack and slash their way through the game. There is an option to change weapons and equip different skills on the GamePad, but playing this way is cumbersome. Taking your hands off the controller long enough to tap a symbol on the touchscreen means certain on-screen death.
Weapons and skills can be fluidly switched out using the traditional controller, making using the GamePad redundant. The tablet will display the attacks you are using and the buttons you are pressing, but these can also be displayed on the television screen with a push of a button on the traditional controller.
Ninja Gaiden 3 on Wii U feels just as fluid as its other console counterparts, but the only true difference is the additional campaign featuring series protagonist Ayane. The demo available at New York Comic Con this weekend set Ayane in a closed room with an endless supply of ninja opponents. The goal was to kill as many enemies as quicky as possible, something that simple button mashing wouldn't help you achieve.
Combat with Ayane is just as breakneck as Ryu, fast-paced and frantic, and a snug fit into the Ninja Gaiden canon. Aside from the bonus storyline, though, Razor's Edge looks like the same experience as its PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 counterparts.