So after, uh, "demoing" it for about 2 missions, I bought it on Steam. Following are just my impressions.
This game truly has the spirit of a low-budget PS2 action game. And it fucking rules.
And it definitely has the spirit of Ninja Gaiden. I tried mission 1 on hard mode, and got stomped about one minute in. Decided to dial it down to normal, and play it on a higher difficulty once I finish it. The decrease in difficulty was pretty drastic. The projectile beetles weren't even there.
Has the signature Ninja Gaiden directional inputs during certain strings. For example, YY does one wide slice, and then these 2 other slashes, but Y>Y does a slash, and then a spinning slash which knocks enemies down.
Enemies die really quickly. They aren't super aggressive yet. They aren't as well-animated as certain other action games, so getting a read on their attacks feels quite odd. Probably will get used to it with time though.
Lock-on's just there. I've only used it when I'm fighting one really large enemy.
Game sometimes goes 2D platformer on us, and doesn't allow us to move left or right when on a path, only forwards and backwards.
And to repeat what @hedfone
said, this camera is REALLY good. I haven't had a single problem with it yet. Never got it stuck in a wall, and it soft locks to enemies very reliably.
Oh, and to address that IGN review:
Even if you’re not a Samurai Jack superfan, Battle Through Time may be worth a playthrough just for the refresher course in how action games used to work and how vital that style can still be in 2020.
This guy gets it.