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  1. One of this year's most anticipated superhero games finally has a release date. Today Nintendo revealed that fans would get the opportunity to play as Marvel's most popular superheroes in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order on July 19, exclusively on Nintendo Switch (through both retail and the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch). The game's story pits Marvel's Finest against the villainous Thanos and his cohort, The Black Order, as they engage in a race to find the Infinity Stones before the latter can use them to unleash chaos on the universe. Along with iconic superhero mainstays like Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, you'll also be able to play as other characters such as Black Panther, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, and even Spider-Gwen; all of which will have their own unique abilities and power sets. Also, in addition to playing through the story solo, you'll be able to play co-op with friends via local play or online play; the latter of which you'll need an active Nintendo Switch Online membership (which costs $20) in order to use. Despite the title's current exclusivity to Switch, it is currently unknown if this is a timed exclusive or a lifetime deal (Team Ninja is the game's developer). Square Enix's Octopath Traveler was exclusive to Switch upon its release last year but a Steam version of the game was announced recently, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Source: Press Release
  2. Jordan Haygood

    Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 artwork.

    © Team Ninja, Koei Tecmo

  3. Famitsu magazine has released new information about the much anticipated, upcoming Zelda spin-off Hyrule Warriors today. Among the news announced was that of a two-player mode that will make use of both the TV and Wii U gamepad. Even more interesting, perhaps, was the announcement that there will be other characters you will be able to play as besides Link, including Impa, who will lead the Elite Guard in Hyrule Warriors and fights with a long sword. Fans of the Zelda series may remember Impa as Zelda's guardian and servant to the royal family of Hyrule in her many incarnations throughout the games, but perhaps her two most famous roles were in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time where she fled Hyrule Castle and hid Princess Zelda from Ganondorf, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, where she acted as Zelda's guide and protector from Ghirahim. While this is the first time we've been able to play as a character other than Link in a Zelda game (canonical or otherwise), the Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi series are known for incorporating many different characters, such as the most recent entry in the series, Dynasty Warriors 8, which features over 70 different playable characters. Additionally, Famitsu revealed that different weapons will change the way your character will fight, with one-handed swords emphasizing speed and heavier weapons highlighting damage instead. Weapons will also be upgradeable and there will be a character progression system as well. While no release date has been announced for North America or Europe yet, the Hyrule Warriors is announced to be 70% complete at the moment and will be releasing on August 16 in Japan. More news about the game is expected to come at E3 in just under a month where the game is said to be playable. Source: Famitsu (via Siliconera) Are you excited to play as other characters in Hyrule Warriors?
  4. Developer: Team Ninja Publisher: Tecmo Koei Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U Release Date: April 2, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature This review is based on the PS3 version of the game Last year, the original Ninja Gaiden 3 received quite a bit of backlash from its fanbase and critics, thanks in no small part to a significantly decreased default difficulty, no variety for weapons/magic and enemies, poorly implemented mechanics, and just a plain overall structure. Some time after, it would seem that Team Ninja took the critical feedback to heart by releasing an enhanced version almost a year later called Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (originally released for the Wii U last Fall). Featuring new weapons, spells, playable characters, mechanical tweaks, and an significantly increased default difficulty, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge intended to remedy the complaints of the original while also eventually making its way to PS3/360 so owners of those systems don't feel left out. However, since Razor's Edge is built upon the core framework of the original, it begs the question: Just how sharp can this enhanced version actually be? Storytelling is, well, what you'd expect of a Team Ninja game (read: not great), but better than something like DOA5. The resilient ninja Ryu is being hunted down by a extremist sort of cult due for unknown reasons. This cult will not hesitate to kidnap political figures in the process of sending a message, so Ryu himself agrees to help save these hostages with the assistance of an undercover government faction. During the mission, Ryu confronts a masked individual believed to be the mysterious cult's leader, and who nearly ends his life. However, in desperation, the masked individual imbues one of Ryu's arms with an ancient magical curse that worsens based on the amount of lives Ryu claims. Needless to say, the curse brings more conflict for Ryu throughout, who is under constant siege by this mysterious group. Surprisingly enough, the story is a bit more palatable than previous entries if only due to a slightly more comprehensible overall script and better voice work, but still rather weak.This preface also leads to some of the gameplay design choices of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge. In emphasizing Ryu's brutal and murderous nature, they really up the ante of the gory dismemberment compared to even what Ninja Gaiden 2 on 360 established as well as the vanilla version of 3. Also, in less pleasing news, they decided to have the curse mechanic tie into the gameplay where every time you get hurt, your maximum threshold for health is decreased until you reach very specific checkpoints, dismissing consumable healing items entirely. In conjunction to some other structure alterations with the increased difficulty, this leads to some balance issues. Structurally, Razor's Edge will probably feel foreign to fans of previous Ninja Gaiden entries since the balance and flow of combat of previous games is anything but there. On paper, Razor's Edge attempts to retain the spirit of the series with its trademark weapons and relatively high level of difficulty; cosmetically, it will probably look familiar as well. That said, an important thing to establish when playing a difficult game is whether or not you are offered adequate tools to handle your opposition with some degree of consistency. Previous Ninja Gaiden games usually encouraged more methodical play, having players play defensively and learning to capitalize either through mastering the flow of combat or enemy attack patterns in situations like boss fights. Razor's Edge does not have that sort of intrinsic combat balance consistency; even as a fan of the previous games who is not unfamiliar with difficult games in general, I have a lot of complaints with this game. Enemies in Razor's Edge are super aggressive, and you know what? That is probably a better alternative to the sleepy and pushover AI that the original NG3 had, since the series is known for its fast-pace and technical gameplay. The thing is, the enemies in NG3:RE don't have have much regularity to their attacks, blocks, and evade patterns. For example, when an enemy gets staggered for a combo, I have had plenty of baffling moments where I may be executing a combo and the enemy randomly decides to jump out of it and punish me. Another time I was doing the same thing with no problem, both without any visual cue as to what I did right or wrong. Every enemy also seems to have very quick unblockable attacks or grabs, and while these did become more commonplace in NG2, they seem much more so in this game and often times there is nothing you can do about them, even if you even press a button. Going back to their attack patterns, Ryu's attacks (even the unlockable characters) against most enemies types often times hardly feel consistent, with the super cheap 'alchemists' enemy type embody this issue the most; which just block/avoid everything randomly except ultimate attack/magic spams, until you get certain overpowered weapons. In more artificial difficulty related complaints, Razor's Edge seems to have noticeable input lag and this makes the unbalances of combat even more stiffing. This goes from general movement to attacks, and makes the game feel kind of button-mashy for combos specifically, since the immediate timing just isn't there for a game that needs it. Spamming the charge based auto-combo 'ultimate attack' becomes all too tempting in this game, since it is the most reliable attack. Of course, a common complaint with the series that still remains today is the camera, which while is more flexible/speedy in Razor's Edge, it definitely has more than a few hiccups. It's a sad thing when there was a certain point while playing where I accepted that enemies/bosses were going to get free damage on me and winning an encounter in the campaign could easily be luck-based regardless of my game plan/execution. My prior qualms are only emphasized because recent actions games, and even earlier 3D Ninja Gaiden games, have more than proven that there can and should be more finesse and balance to these action games. This holds especially true for players who are more passionate about higher level play and want to master the highest ranks/difficulties. Now that all of these complaints are out of my system, surprisingly enough, not all is bad with NG3:RE. 1st off, I think the new and very visceral 'steel on bone' mechanic is satisfying to execute almost every time in a sadistic gory sort of way, with very brutal attacks and flashy animations and plenty unlockable skills. Also, new characters like Ayane, Kasumi, and Momiji are fun to play with pretty different movesets. Even Ryu, which not necessarily my preference mechanically, since he feels sluggish and a bit more unreliable in comparison, does look pretty cool when wielding the latter unlockable weapons in the main campaign. Game modes are to-the-point in Razor's Edge. There is the main campaign, chapter challenge, and the online focused "Shadows of the World" mode. Main campaign is straightforward, since I didn't make it clear earlier with my gameplay complaints, where it is a fast-paced romp with the only real breaks being the bookend cutscenes laced within. For the various unlockable characters and Ryu as well, there is also the ”chapter challenge, which is basically the main campaign but not being interrupted with most cutscenes in between. What is neat is that you can save replays of either the chapter challenge or Ninja Trials (tied to Shadows of the World mode). So, if you magically do a solid run of the game you can immediately capture it after finishing a stage. Like the original, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor“s Edge sports an online multiplayer called Shadows of the World. Shadows of the World allows players to customize and level-up a sort of faceless ninja through cooperative and competitive modes. Ninja Trials is a relatively standard survival mode where you can solo or team up with another online player while you take on waves of enemies, which you can use your blank slate character or Ryu and the other unlockable characters. Clan Battle is a bit more interesting with what is basically a 8 vs 8 deathmatch with varying objectives. I did have fun in the brief time I played clan battle, but I could imagine it getting very unbalanced very quickly considering the leveling-up structure for skills and weapons. As a whole, for those who want something more than the solitary grind of single-player can certainly get more out of the online modes if they enjoy it. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor“s Edge is not exactly a bad game by itself, but in contrast to previous entries and even more recent games from this year alone, it can certainly feel that way since it feels less methodical/technical and very unbalanced in terms of difficulty structure. It's a weird thing when a series that helped accentuate the 'hardcore' action game feels rather poorly designed in many areas and a significantly improved re-release just can't completely fix it. The game does have its moments of fast-paced and bloodthirsty fun, and though the series does seem like it can be salvaged after 3, it is still likely to disappoint most longtime fans and newcomers as well. For a series that is known for its keen gameplay sharpness, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge sure does ironically have a lot of rough edges. Pros: + Flashy and brutal attacks and animations + Fast-paced gameplay with plenty of content + New characters and weapons are fun to play and use Cons: - Serious balance issues with the game“s combat and enemies - Some input lag for attacks and movement - Camera issues (not new for the series) - Trivial Story Overall Score: 6 (out of 10) Decent In some moments fast-paced and brutal fun and many more outright vexing in terms of design, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is likely to be very divisive. For fans of the series and newcomers alike it will be a real test of patience if they want to extract enjoyment out of this title even with this enhanced version.
  5. Developer: Team Ninja Publisher: Tecmo Koei Platform: PS Vita Release Date: March, 19 2013 ESRB: M for Mature Over the years, Dead or Alive as a series has become more known for its pandering than its fighting game roots. From loosely garbed women, imaginative physics, and sexualized volleyball spin-offs, it is little surprise how that label came about. However, prior to Dead or Alive 5's release, the newest installment was actually built up to be a less exploitative and a much more serious fighter, though one quick look at the game“s DLC will prove just how well that concept went over. Still, Team Ninja seems to have taken the most recent entry with an earnest effort toward a new direction as a fighter. With plenty of mechanical changes and some notable shifts in art direction from its predecessors, Dead or Alive 5 hardly comes off as a shoehorned effort. Less than a year later, it makes its way to the smaller screened device sporting new features with Dead or Alive 5 Plus on Vita. Among the fighting game community, Dead or Alive has always been viewed as a sort of 'casual' fighter; serving as the sort of less intimidating middle ground between Virtua Fighter and Tekken gameplay-wise, with DOA leaning to the Virtua Fighter side more so. Admittedly, with only two buttons designated for general attacks in DOA5 and its current tournament presence, that isn“t likely to change. Still, it would be very unfair to belittle the various additions and changes it has done with the series with DOA5+. The game harbors a solid amount of depth and various different playable characters, which, in addition to the game's well-done tutorials, certainly help accentuate these strengths. Dead or Alive 5 Plus's combat is fast-paced and fluid. Attack moves interchange between each other rather smoothly, making the overall game very mix-up heavy, asking players to not get too comfy with their punches, kicks, and grabs so they constantly change it up to overwhelm the opponent. It also does a solid job rewarding defensive play, encouraging players to capitalize on various counters for increased damage or extended combos to punish those more predictable opponents. There are a few more novelty mechanics that players can indulge in with more cinematic, stylized attacks that knock the enemies about the environments, which are executed by hitting the foe into a critical state before landing a specialized power hit. Even these flashy terrain attacks can be defended against, so the one being attacked can still shift the unfavorable momentum of battle with good reads. Overall, I find DOA5 to be refreshing mechanically as a fighter, especially in contrast to the mostly stagnant previous entries. Unlike the console release of the game, the story mode for DOA5+ is no longer a trial by fire tutorial/challenge mode, both of which get much more fleshed out individualized modes. I personally find that very relieving as it felt awkwardly implemented on the original console versions. The actual story however really teeters on the line between intentionally hokey and cringingly awful, falling back towards the latter more often than not. This is unfortunate, since the perspective switching narrative and varying timelines could“ve made for some solid intrigue. Regardless, It is likely that you“ll probably find yourself wondering if the trophy you get for not skipping any cutscene is really worth it or if it is maybe better to play something like arcade mode instead. Still, the positive thing is that the story mode isn“t very long, being less than a few hours total. The negative is, well, everything else about it. Tutorials are really well done in the game and feature four separate variations: free training, tutorial, command training, and combo challenge modes. The "Tutorial" mode does a great job teaching you by quite literally breaking down every mechanic of the game into bite-sized pieces, from basic movement and attacks to learning how to capitalize on counters. "Command training" helps players learn character specific attacks and stances, and lastly, "Combo challenge" is, of course, focused on learning and executing combos. Team Ninja really deserves a pat on the back for these and I would love to see more fighters even come close to how comprehensive the tutorials are for DOA5+. Fighting games on a base level tend to be rather intimidating and often times require external knowledge from their collaborative communities, which I don“t think is the case for this one. Aside from the tutorials and story modes, there are also the more traditional survival, arcade, and online versus modes as well as some tag team alterations. For online, I did have very poor luck finding matches, which is sad because this game features cross play/saves on both PS3 and Vita, that and it is a good game. In any case, the netcode was great from what I saw and seemed better than what I experienced on the consoles oddly enough. That said, the Vita version notably lacks lobbies of any sort unlike the console version, which can mean a lot for the life of an online fighter. Without lobbies, there are only really 3 modes: ranked, simple match (which seems like a quick-match for most fighters), and online dojo (practice mode with a human player). DOA5+ also supports local ad-hoc which I personally was unable to try out. A less noteworthy addition specific to DOA5+ is a new mode called "Touch fighter”. This new mode allows players to tilt the Vita screen vertically and horizontally based on preference, and fight in 1 vs 1 battles by executing attack commands through streamlined finger swipes and presses. It is novel in concept, regardless on my personal feelings on the lackluster execution, but it is very detached from any other facet of the game. Without so much as multiplayer functionality or use in the more standard modes like arcade, Touch Fighter just seems kind of like a pointless addition for anything beyond a short-lived novelty. After having a recent taste of the Ninja Gaiden Sigma ports on the Vita, I was rather skeptical how well DOA5+ would be treated. Thankfully, Team Ninja really paid the game a lot of respect on the handheld and more than proved me wrong. The character models do a great job at emulating their console counterparts, and as much as I don“t care for the story mode, the cutscenes also look really good on a technical level; even things like load times are remain fast throughout the game. Where the Vita port shows its more noticeable compromises is in the environments, with some areas looking a bit more stark in contrast to the console counterparts. Still, Tecmo Koei put their focus where it matters most technically with its gameplay. The framerate runs at a very consistent 60 frames per second and makes sure to never skips a beat, which means a ton for a 3D fighting game. DOA5 was a fairly solid looking game when it came to its visuals on consoles, and in the midst of playing this version, it can easily be indistinguishable on Vita. Dead or Alive 5 Plus makes for a very admirable and faithful port of its console brother, and easily the best example of a 3D fighter I've seen on a handheld. Of course, things like the story mode are rather painful to witness, and touch-screen mode is outright pointless, but I can hardly complain about either of those to any serious effect. It's a well-crafted game overall, and with its cleverly designed tutorials, solid fighting mechanics, polished presentation and music, it makes for a very welcome addition on the system. If you want an incredibly solid 3D fighter on the go, Dead or Alive 5 Plus would be my first recommendation for the system, and it makes for easily the best representation of the long running fighter's name. Pros: + Easy to learn fighting mechanics with a reasonable amount of depth + Visuals/animations in cutscenes and gameplay are great and remain very fluid throughout + Excellent Tutorials + Solid soundtrack Cons: + Awful story mode + No online lobbies... or online players + Touchscreen mode is pointless Overall Score: 8.0 (out of 10) Great A great fighter and excellent port for the Vita. An easy fighter to learn and get into with its very smart and comprehensive tutorials as well as sporting a solid amount of depth to its gameplay. DOA5+ makes for a very easy recommendation for newcomers to the series as well as veterans alike.
  6. After some extremely critical reception, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title Ninja Gaiden 3 was revamped into the improved Wii U exclusive Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge. Aside from the Wii U GamePad's added gameplay features, this updated version boasts improved enemy AI, doesn't force you to rely on quick-time events as much, and is a lot bloodier than the original. Additionally, Razor's Edge features new characters to play as, such as female ninja Ayane, Dragon Sword's Momiji, and Dead or Alive's Kasumi. Get ready to drop that "exclusive" label pretty soon, though, as it appears developer Team Ninja has decided to port the improved version of the game back over to the PS3 and 360. This news was originally based on listings on a Japanese retailer's database, as well as a little Famitsu leak. But Tecmo Koei Europe has officially announced that these ports of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge are indeed real, and should be expected in American stores on April 2nd and European stores on April 5th. Does this news interest you at all? Have you been wanting to play the better version but don't own a Wii U?
  7. As you may recall, Metro: Last Light's developer 4A has recently decided to cut the cord on their game's Wii U support, stating how unimpressed it was with the console's graphical processing power by claiming it has a "horrible, slow CPU." Other developers have notably agreed with this claim, or at least made similar ones regarding the console as not being next-gen material. But many others, such as Ninja Gaiden 3's own Team Ninja, have decided to join the Wii U defense force and argue against these claims. In a recent interview with Edge, Yosuke Hayashi - head of Team Ninja and Ninja Gaiden 3 director - rebutted the comments made by 4A, saying how developers tend to use the console's supposed low-power CPU as a façade in their business decisions. "To be completely blunt and honest," said Hayashi, "there“s no way that the Wii U processor is ”horrible and slow“ compared to other platforms." On the other hand, Hayashi does say that the Wii U isn't a big leap over last generation in terms of processor speeds. However, he is also very adamant in his belief that the next generation isn't just about processing speeds. "If you“re basing this simply on processor speed," said Hayashi,"then it“s not next generation. If you“re basing this on Wii U being a new idea that challenges existing platforms, then it definitely is next generation. It is a console videogame platform that is now independent of the TV. Nobody has done that before." Hayashi went on to say that "players want new innovation that includes the environment in which you play and services you use, rather than just raw processor spec. Nintendo is at the forefront of that innovation. I“m looking forward to seeing what the other platforms come up with in the future." Hayashi later said how much the Wii U helped his team fix things that made Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge seem broken when it was released for last-gen consoles. And if you've taken it upon yourselves to try out the Wii U version, which released as a launch title in the U.S., you have probably noticed already just how much the game has improved. Do you agree with Hayashi? What are your thoughts on the matter?
  8. We've known for some time now that Ninja Gaiden: Razor's Edge was slated to include revised and extra content not found in the original game on other consoles, but Nintendo has now detailed exactly what those extra features will be. Namely, there are some things that will be completely redesigned, such as the battle system and online multiplayer mode, as well as new weapons and characters. For example, the original version of Ninja Gaiden III only included three weapons, but Razor's Edge ups that to six (Sword, Claws, Scythe, Dual Katana, Staff and Kusari-Gama); each with its own unique use and strength. Other new additions include Ayane as a playable character with her own exclusive weapons and set of chapter; an online co-op mode where one player plays as Ryu and the other as Ayane; a character progression system in which weapons can be upgraded, new moves can be learned, costumes can be unlocked, and HP can be increased through the use of karma points; and last but not least, special Test of Valor battle areas that will be hidden in each level that will feature waves of enemies and classic Ninja Gaiden bosses with new moves. The Wii U Gamepad can be used to swap weapons and ninpo attacks, as well as serve as a quick reference for button inputs required for different combo attacks. There will also be additional playable characters coming as free DLC, but they'll be revealed at another time. Razor's Edge looks like it may actually live up to its name, judging by the amount of new content and more hardcore difficulty it's aiming for. The good thing is you won't have to wait for it much longer; Ninja Gaiden: Razor's Edge launches on Nov. 18 alongside the Wii U.
  9. In a perfect world, only Capcom would make silly errors while advertising or releasing their games. Thankfully however, this is not a perfect world. So let's all point and laugh as Team Ninja forgets what animals are. Tell me what you see when you look at the image off to the right. Would you say it is some form of a cat costume? Well the answer is yes and no. It is a cat costume as long as you're not buying it off of the Xbox website. If you are on the Xbox website however, you'll be buying a pack of bunny costumes for your game. Of course, they won't be bunny costumes when you load them up, but what's the big deal? Well actually, it is kind of a big deal. I'd like to point out that the actual Bunny DLC pack is currently going for over $100 on ebay. Yes I'm well aware of how crazy that is, the reason I bring this up is if someone sees the pack for about $95 less than the usual price they just might jump on it without realizing what they're getting. And seeing as you have to click the DLC description to see what you're actually buying, there is room for people getting the DLC pack mistakenly But really, let's just point and laugh for a bit about how they're calling cat costumes bunny costumes. We have to lay off Capcom sometimes. You can view the mistake at the link below. Hey I'm a bunny!
  10. We've all gotten used to the fact that today's special editions aren't actually rare. Almost every one you'll ever see has been mass produced to death. Surprisingly enough, that might not be the case with the Dead or Alive 5 Collector's Edition. Its just been listed as officially out of stock. At least for the Xbox 360 version so far. If you were to go to the American Gamestop website, you would find that the 360 version is currently out of stock. The same thing is true if you were to look on the Canadian EB Games website. Both are completely sold out. While the PS3 version is still available to preorder, postings on the gamefaqs and DOA World forums have stated that people have been turned away at the door when they tried to make their preorders in their respective stores. There's no word on if this is a nationwide occurrence or if either the Gamestop or EB Games websites will remain out of stock, but if you're considering buying it for the PS3 you should probably make your choice soon.