Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z review – stylish but unsatisfying zombie slasher

Bloody zombies. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is full of bloody, pus-dripping, disgusting zombies.

It's a far cry from the prime Ninja Gaiden games, with a profanity-spewing cybernetic bad-boy in a neon-lit nightmare replacing the refined style and stoic protagonist of the series' core entries.

Gameplay is reminiscent of the Dynasty Warriors series, albeit with gratuitous shock and gore. Yaiba cuts down hordes of necrotised foes, screaming obscenities and brutalising their remains with exaggerated finishing moves.

Unfortunately, there's no sense of resistance or challenge. For the most part, you wade through zombies without effort, and even the tougher enemies have predictable attack patterns, easily countered with a bashed-out combo.

There's a speed and fluidity to the game that's easily appreciated though, and the stylised visuals – halfway between American superhero comics and graffiti – are superb. It's just a shame there's no meat on the bones of this zombie apocalypse.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Matt Kamen, for The Observer on Sunday 6th April 2014 00.05 Europe/London

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