Microsoft has stuffed a couple more Xbox 360 games into its magical backward-compatibility funnel, turned the crank, and shot them out onto Xbox One at the other end. And as a result, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Trails Evolution are now playable on your modern-day Microsoft console.
Razor’s Edge, for those unfamiliar with its reasonably eventful history, started life on the Wii U and offered a notable overhaul of the original Ninja Gaiden 3, which had received a mixed reception when it released on Xbox 360 and PS3 earlier in 2012.
Many felt that developer Team Ninja had gone too far in streamlining the series’ systems in part three, and Razor’s Edge took the opportunity to reinstate a variety of features from previous, better-received Ninja Gaiden games – with enhancements including enriched combat, weapon and character upgrades, online co-op play, and the return of the series’ gory dismemberments, which had originally been ditched in Ninja Gaiden 3.
Reviews were more positive second time around, if still rather lukewarm, with Eurogamer writing that, “there’s still a sense of design by committee. It’s a more clued-up committee that’s in charge for Razor’s Edge…but for a series that once felt like a singular, twisted and brilliant vision it’s still a depressing turn.” Razor’s Edge made its way to Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2013.
As for Microsoft’s second backward-compatibility offering, Trials Evolution, it fared far more positively under Eurogamer’s critical eye, earning a 9/10 back in 2012. It was the second instalment of RedLynx’s furiously compelling platform-racing series to hit Xbox 360, following on from 2009’s Trials HD, and was largely business as usual – although improved visuals, new multiplayer, and a detailed track editor made for worthy additions.
“It offers simple, one-player gameplay that uses leaderboards to provoke excitement and competition among strangers, and in this sense it has a lot in common with the original Xbox Live Arcade games,” wrote Tom Bramwell, “The way that it makes its challenging content accessible to a majority of players, however, is what singles it out as one of the best.”
If you already own the original Xbox 360 versions of Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge or Trials Evolution, you’re good to go on Xbox One. Otherwise, you can purchase Razor’s Edge digitally on the Xbox Store, where it costs a rather hefty £24.99/$29.99 USD. Trials Evolution doesn’t appear to be available digitally at present.