Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z features Ryu Hayabusa as a powerful cyborg ninja and plays tribute to the classic NES 8-bit Ninja Gaiden series.  Yaiba Ninja Gaiden comes from legendary game producer Keiji Inafune and the Team Ninja development team.  Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z is a great example of what can be done when you try to bring a comic book to life as a video game.  The game is fast paced, colorful and features a variety of zombies and other gruesome monsters that you must hack, slash and fight your way through to the end, one level at a time.

We played Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z on the Xbox 360 — the combat was intense and graphics only got a bit staggered when using the extreme adrenaline power-up ability.  Ultimately the game harkens back to a classic button-masher action adventure game in the style of Devil May Cry and God Of War complete with similar combos and air-juggling tactics.  Unfortunately where Devil May Cry and God of War games upgraded to being able to control the camera — Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z doesn’t offer such luxury.  You’ll find yourself often wondering what is ‘just around the corner’ with no way to peer around and see for yourself — and as a double-whammy, did we mention yet that you can’t jump?  Well — technically you can jump in scripted transition areas of the game but for the most part Ryu Hayabusa will be flat footed.


  • Stylized game with tons of action and flavor
  • Ninja animation and power-ups are very satisfying – especially the finishing moves
  • Easy to perform and master combos – leveling up is very gradual and organic
  • Great original zombies with funny introduction scenes and variety


  • No control over camera or jumping
  • Often hard to see just what the heck is going on when surrounded by zombies
  • Lack of animation for your companion ‘Miss Monday’ who appears picture-in-picture as a graphic
  • Everything is very scripted with little-to-no exploration

Overall we had a blast playing Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z — the game is different, interesting and unique.  You will feel like you’ve stepped right inside of some crazy cyborg ninja infected zombie comic book the entire time and that was very rewarding.  On the flip-side Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z is a throwback and ‘former generation’ technology at its best — you’ll find yourself wondering if the game is worth the $60 retail price tag when other games out there for that price-tag offer so much more.

Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam.

Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z Launch Trailer

Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z Gameplay