A master ninja will recognize quite a few similarities between Ninja Gaiden 3 and previous Ninja Gaiden titles. However, some of the old techniques have new uses, while entirely new techniques have been added to the latest installment in the series.
In anticipation of the upcoming release, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten techniques in Ninja Gaiden 3 to aid future heroes. This is just a small taste of what can be found in Prima Games’ Official Ninja Gaiden 3 strategy guide.
On the Master Ninja and Ultimate Ninja difficulty settings, the counterattack technique is your best friend. There are so many enemies attacking Hayabusa at once, you can literally mash this technique and be successful. I never recommend mashing, but in this instance, it’s an acceptable strategy that works very well.
While the Obliteration Technique is not new to the Ninja Gaiden series, it has a slightly different use in NG3. It is directly tied to the Ki Gauge, which allows Hayabusa to use Ninpo. Because Ninpo clears the screen of enemies and restores Hayabusa’s health, it’s extremely important. Use Obliteration Techniques as often as possible to increase Hayabusa’s Ki Gauge and acquire the use of Ninpo as fast as possible.
Hayabusa’s Ultimate Technique builds up as the number of dead bodies around him increases. The number of dead bodies required to unleash an Ultimate Technique varies depending on the difficulty setting, the state of Hayabusa’s cursed arm, and his current weapon, but in most circumstances, it kills at least three enemies with a single attack. For best results, when Hayabusa’s sword glows red, perform an Obliteration Technique, then immediately unleash an Ultimate Technique to avoid attacks from surrounding enemies (this is especially important on harder difficulties).
Hayabusa uses the bow to automatically target enemies based on priority. This is very useful when being attacked by multiple long range fighters with rocket launchers or similar weapons. However, a normal arrow shot leaves Hayabusa open to attack from surrounding enemies. If you jump in the air before shooting an arrow, Hayabusa is almost completely safe against enemy attacks.
While there’s a brief period at the end of a slide in which Hayabusa can be attacked, it’s still one of his best offensive and defensive techniques. Offensively, he can knock weakened enemies off of their feet, then transition into an Izuna Drop combo. Defensively, it’s his fastest method of movement and evades many attacks. There are instances throughout the game in which it’s best to separate the enemies and take them on in small groups or one at a time. Sliding from one side of an area to another is the best way to separate enemies.
The Flying Swallow was one of Hayabusa’s best attacks in previous games. While it has been toned down slightly in NG3, it’s still very useful in many situations. It kills weaker enemies with a single attack, allows Hayabusa to attack from a distance, and provides easy karma bonuses for multiple, rapid kills on Master Ninja and Ultimate Ninja. When used in conjunction with the Wind Run, it becomes even better.
By itself, the Wind Run allows Hayabusa to jump toward an enemy with relative safety. However, when combined with the Flying Swallow, it becomes a deadly weapon. Use the Wind Run to essentially auto-target an enemy, then press Strong Attack to initiate a Flying Swallow and attack the enemy. On a crowded battlefield, it can be difficult to jump toward an enemy and use the Flying Swallow. With the Wind Run, it becomes much easier to ensure the Flying Swallow targets an enemy properly.
Ninja Arts in Ninja Gaiden 3 are stronger than they’ve been in any previous Ninja Gaiden game. Each time the Art of the Fire Dragon Ninpo is used, it clears the screen of enemies and replenishes Hayabusa’s Health Gauge. On higher difficulties, you’ll want to use this as often as possible. On lower difficulties, save it until Hayabusa has low health, then use the Ninpo like you would a health item.
Steel on Bone
One of the new additions to the Ninja Gaiden series is the Steel on Bone technique. It builds Hayabusa’s Ki Gauge faster than any other technique, but more importantly, it puts Hayabusa in a state that allows him to kill consecutive enemies with a single strike. This is especially useful against stronger enemies that cannot be Izuna Dropped and require a large number of attacks to kill. Wait until the stronger enemy is close to a weak enemy (they often attack in groups), then initiate the Steel on Bone on the weaker enemy. As long as the stronger enemy is close enough when the Steel on Bone is used, Hayabusa’s next attack will be another Steel on Bone, which kills the stronger enemy with ease.
Clan Battle is a new addition to the Ninja Gaiden series. With it comes the addition of new techniques. Ghost Kill is by far the best technique in Clan Battle mode. Start walking to camouflage your ninja, then sneak up on an unsuspecting enemy and stab them through the stomach to execute the Ghost Kill. In a hectic Clan Battle, it’s very difficult to see a camouflaged enemy, making this a deadly technique.
Find more techniques in the Ninja Gaiden III Prima Official eGuide. It includes a full walkthrough, information and tables of all combos, expert boss strategies from the dev team, and behind-the-scenes!