Ultimate Technique in Ninja Gaiden

What do you think of Ultimate Techniques being unlimited or ‘free’ in NG? I don’t think the move breaks the game or is an easy mode button in any way, unlike the eMachos who claim to have cleared NGB/2 with their hands tied and in their sleeps using UTs (and ID+FS), but it certainly leads to bad habits. Like instead of mastering the complete moveset, understanding your weapons, and learning fundamental action game skills like positioning and timing, during difficult sequences, it’s very easy to breakdown and resort to cheesing tactics like running away and separating foes, or abusing level design/geometry to camp and charge UTs while the enemies come around the corner. I don’t really think the move is broken in normal combat, but I do think they should have limited it in some way, like how DT is limited.

I am pretty much certain they intended the UTs to be broken in the way they are. I’m basically certain they wanted the most efficient way to kill enemies to be UT chaining, considering they implemented it the way they did. Honestly, playing the game that way is rather interesting, it tests a different skill set than normal, which is kind of interesting and tricky in its own right.

It probably should have been the gimmick of a specific weapon rather than a universal solution to the entire game, like an alternate play-mode rather than something you can pull out at any time. On the other hand, it is still interesting when used sparingly, like trying to find moments in fights when it can be snuck in efficiently, so maybe it would make sense to impose a cooldown on it, or have a meter dedicated to it.

I don’t think there’s a good way to totally fit it in without cutting some type of value out. It doesn’t have much if any synergy with the rest of the moves in the game. It kind of sits by itself, only really losing because other attacks are faster than it, but if you get 1 kill, you’re mostly good.

Also, honestly, mastering the complete moveset isn’t really necessary. Most of the combos don’t have significantly different functionality. You only really need to know the strongest combos for a few situations, like whether you can juggle the enemy or not, they have super armor or not, or hitconfirm versus going all-in.

I dunno what to think of it overall. The trouble is really that it’s divisive and it’s part of the balance and “character” of the UT to make it divisive. You either play the game the normal way, or go for a UT string. In the average campaign, most people are unlikely to go for all UTs, so it ends up fairly limited, but in the sections where it’s effective it feels really cheesy. I guess the problem is the option itself simply existing, which would mean limiting it wouldn’t actually do much good, only reduce the cheese factor rather than eliminate it. It certainly doesn’t feel in line with what the rest of the game was going for to say the least.

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