Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 46 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 46
  2. Negative: 25 out of 46
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  1. 80
    It's not the longest game, but it is a wild and entertaining ride while it lasts.
  2. 80
    A fantastic spin-off entry to the main series, packed with great combat and stunning visuals.
  3. Mar 24, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z isn’t the best NG game on the market, but I honestly enjoyed it a lot even with its flaws.
  4. Mar 19, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z knows it's a stupid, flashy arcade action game, and rolls with it. It doesn't try to be clever or witty, or even ironic and self-effacing. It's not deep or customizable, and it's clearly running out of ideas past the halfway point. It isn't perfect. To some people, it won't even be considered good.
  5. Mar 27, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z delivers in some respects but fails on others.
  6. Mar 18, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z gets to the point: action, zombies and katanas for hack'n slash lovers' delight. Team Ninja and comcept managed to avoid making a boring game, although Yaiba is, perhaps, quite short and suffers from a lack of variety.
  7. Mar 18, 2014
    If you're expecting a Ninja Gaiden experience, you're not going to find it here. If you just want a crazy action game, you will definitely have some fun with it.
  8. May 1, 2014
    It may be overpriced and too short, but Ninja Gaiden Z has a few thrilling moments.
  9. Mar 18, 2014
    Like its second-fiddle protagonist, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z resides in the shadow of many other better third-person action games, but it’s not terrible if you’re specifically looking for a schlocky Saturday.
  10. Mar 21, 2014
    A colorful and eye-catching presentation can't mask Yaiba's numerous gameplay design flaws, but it tends to be just fun and rewarding enough to continue to grind through.
  11. Mar 19, 2014
    Yaiba gets some of the important parts right when it comes to a Hack and Slash Game, but at the same time it has its issues with length, camera and story.
  12. Mar 18, 2014
    From a serious IP with an intense history and silent main character to a bloody mix of non-stop action, zombies, hemoglobin and over the top gore-shaded visuals, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is what it is: A non-serious festival full of brainless hack 'n slash that is not perfect, it has important shortcomings, but also that is fun and honest. After all, its Keiji Inafune signing its own Ninja Gaiden.
  13. Mar 18, 2014
    If a computer generated an elevator pitch for a game based on random, stereotypical gamer interests, it might spit out a jumble like Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. And while that could totally still be awesome, this experience is so mired in frustration that even a few well-timed jokes can’t save the day.
  14. 55
    My advice for you is to beat the game simply to unlock Z mode. It’s a worthy pursuit. After that, shun the campaign.
  15. Mar 18, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is fun 80% of the time and utterly loathesome the other 20%, the difficulty spikes goring what could have been a light, frothy, tongue-in-cheek zombie hack and slasher.
  16. Mar 31, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z does some decent things right like the cel-shaded comic book narrative… and well, that’s about it. I wouldn’t suggest this for a fan of the Ninja Gaiden franchise or for someone who enjoys speedy action platformers.
  17. Mar 31, 2014
    What is sad about Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is how much potential there is. A slightly goofy take on the universe isn't a bad concept, and the combat, while not as refined, can be fun at times. However, the litany of problems, from the stubbornly low enemy count to the bad camera and terrible platforming bog, put a damper on the game's few positives.
  18. Mar 29, 2014
    Yaiba looks really cool from screenshots, but the combat system is very cheap and makes the game more frustrating than fun.
  19. Mar 21, 2014
    If you're the sort of person that enjoys a challenge and doesn't mind overlooking a few rustier moments, buy a box of super absorbent tissues and give this a go.
  20. Mar 19, 2014
    Past Ninja Gaiden games demanded a certain level of commitment and you could actually feel yourself get better while playing. In Yaiba, even when you're doing well, it all feels like a mess. Between the horrendous camera and the overly simplistic combos, you'll never truly feel like a ninja. At this point, it seems like Tecmo Koei has no idea what to do with Ninja Gaiden, but whatever comes next, we hope it's better than this.
  21. Mar 18, 2014
    In the process, it becomes less of a game and more of an anger generator – that’s anything but a recipe for fun.
  22. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Apr 27, 2014
    Getting your arm chopped off might actually be a better option. Just avoid this. [May 2014, p74]
  23. Apr 7, 2014
    This game might just be too odd for its own good. The story is a bit ridiculous, the gameplay repetitive beyond comprehension and overall quite lacking. The hacking and slashing part works fine, though an unhealthy amount of frame drops and weird camera angles make for an overall very frustrating experience.
  24. Mar 29, 2014
    There are some decent things going on in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. The cel-shaded art style is appealing, the dialogue and cutscenes are occasionally entertaining, and even the combat is fun at times. But the frustrating camera, aggravating controls and a nonsensical story that only briefly touches upon the themes of the series, weigh this spinoff title down too much for it to be enjoyable.
  25. Mar 18, 2014
    Most of the game feels like a cheap slog through enemies that won’t die.
  26. Hyper Magazine
    May 4, 2014
    I can't believe what a disaster this game is. [June 2014, p.64]
  27. Apr 11, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z does not appeal neither to fans of Ninja Gaiden or those who enjoy the genre. Finishing a game is, normally, mostly fun, Ninja Gaiden Z transform this into a painful task.
  28. Mar 31, 2014
    Ninja Gaiden Z is an exceptionally intriguing spin-off in premise alone. The thought of playing as someone who actually hunts the series’ protagonist is original, but the execution just isn’t there.
  29. Mar 24, 2014
    They wanted to give the IP as much space as possible from this train wreck, and I’d suggest you give yourself the same.
  30. Mar 24, 2014
    A clueless game that has lost sight of what made its digital ancestors genre classics, cheapening itself by unwisely choosing style over substance.
  31. Mar 24, 2014
    Yaiba is a Ninja Gaiden spin-off, but it can't be compared to the other games of the series in terms of gameplay quality. Absolutely not.
  32. Mar 18, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is putrid, crass and brash. It makes no apologies for this, and if you’re in tune with the kamikaze ninja protagonist then the game’s style will carry you much of the way. Unfortunately, though, Yaiba’s chaotic nature has led to a combat system that throws away the usual finesse of its father franchise for something so anarchic it frequently borders on unplayable. At times this direction is inspired, but it’s often just frustrating to the point where you have to wonder if it’s deliberate.
  33. Mar 18, 2014
    Every so often, 8-year-old me--the part of me that thinks that asking everyone what word starts with "f" and ends in "u-c-k" is funny--got a kick out of Yaiba's exploits. Most of the time, however, I could only wish that Ninja Gaiden Z's striking art style had been applied to a better canvas.
  34. Mar 18, 2014
    Ninja Gaiden Z is a disappointing entry in the Ninja Gaiden series filled with repetitive enemy encounters, cringeworthy pervy jokes, and frustrating, unbalanced gameplay. This is not the ninja game you're looking for.
  35. Games Master UK
    Apr 7, 2014
    It's an unforgivably sloppy game. But even if it wasn't broken, it would still be fairly rubbish. [May 2014, p.76]
  36. Mar 18, 2014
    The whole game just feels a bit budget, from the way that linked executions aren’t linked at all, merely canned animations played one after the other, to the short length and ugly UI elements. It’s a spin-off, and it sure feels like one.
  37. Mar 19, 2014
    It's not Ninja Gaiden. It's not what anyone was hoping for. It's not worth your time.
  38. Yaiba is guilty of the most heinous crime: creating difficulty not with precision combat, but with myriad borked design calls and some utterly broken camera work.
  39. Mar 25, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z definitely qualifies as a disappointment. On the surface this is a flashy, stylized action game, but it takes very little digging to realize there’s little substance underneath.
  40. Mar 28, 2014
    I can’t think of any way that Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z could have been worse.
  41. Mar 21, 2014
    With humour too dumb to even be offensive and one-note gameplay blighted by clumsy design, it's really only possible to cede Yaiba a couple of plus points: wading into zombies with a katana is moderately amusing even in this shonky form, and some of the jokes might raise a smile if you've recently suffered a head injury.
  42. Mar 19, 2014
    Yaiba fails miserably in everything it set out to do.
  43. Mar 19, 2014
    Avoid at all costs. Ninja Gaiden as a series is now, unfortunately, completely dead.
  44. Mar 18, 2014
    Basic combat is dismal, turgid stuff, yet accounts for almost all the action.
  45. Mar 24, 2014
    Not just the worst game of the year but such a wretched failure of an action game that it’s in the running for the worst of the generation.
  46. Mar 20, 2014
    Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a dismal waste of a good idea. Painfully unfunny, graphically abhorrent, and straight-up disheveled in the combat department, this manages to be one of the worst games of the last generation, right at the very end of it.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 98
  2. Negative: 48 out of 98
  1. Mar 18, 2014
    A gaiden to the Ninja Gaiden series, which takes some getting used to, but this is an action game that has the play feel of the old Devil MayA gaiden to the Ninja Gaiden series, which takes some getting used to, but this is an action game that has the play feel of the old Devil May Cry games with a new face. It also has loads of zombie comedy which are quite hilarious if you go into the game acknowledging that the game is meant to be different from your average Ninja Gaiden. This is the type of action game that classic gamers should drool over. Whether or not a fan of the series it is definitely worth checking out.
    To fully enjoy the game you need to get through the game once and power yourself up to use the vast combos available for a second play through.
    My only real vice with the game is the Trophies are far from creative or interesting.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 18, 2014
    I have reached in a later part of the game and the problems are starting to appear, but anyway I do think this game still is pretty great. ItI have reached in a later part of the game and the problems are starting to appear, but anyway I do think this game still is pretty great. It could be better yes, but it is still a fun experience. Full Review »
  3. Mar 21, 2014
    Not funny, not interesting or challenging. Graphics is bad, this game just unnecessary spin-off of great ninja hack-n-slash games. Back stepNot funny, not interesting or challenging. Graphics is bad, this game just unnecessary spin-off of great ninja hack-n-slash games. Back step for NG. Really bad game for 60 dollars. Full Review »