Grindhouse Game #1. Fellow Luncher Yusaku Matsuda's recommendations became a shopping list.
NINJA GAIDEN 1.5?? Basically a B-grade action game with a huge number of QTE's to help keep it varied and entertaining throughout. The combat is slower and simpler than it's more polished predecessor, and sometimes can feel like a bit of a chore. Another standout feature of this game is that it features a TON of boss fights...sometimes you'll be facing off against the same boss as many as four times. Unfortunately, this isn't as cool as it sounds. The boss fights are unusually slow paced and become really tedious on the higher difficulty levels (slash, dodge, repeat 900 times, etc.). Another thing that bugged me about this game was the static setting: the ENTIRE game takes place in the destroyed metropolis of Tokyo. You'll experience none of the diversity of environments you'd find in NINJA GAIDEN. Near the end of the game things start to pick up and get better. The cinematic action sequences become more numerous, varied and crazy and the combat and acrobatics flow together and get more intense. Even the bosses get more challenging and exciting. If you can stand the monotony of the earlier levels, things do pick up a bit later on. I would say stick with NINJA GAIDEN, but given how that other franchise has dived in recent years (check out NG3), NINJA BLADE honestly doesn't seem like that bad an alternative in comparison.
PS: I wanted to add also in addition to the crazy QTE's, this game also features some pretty hilarious cutscenes...like when your elderly military director randomly pulls out his jujitsu and beats the crap out of a master ninja. If you're in to that kind of absurdity, then this game will have quite enough to offer.