Ninja Gaiden


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 9.5

Gameplay: 9.5

Overall: 9

Taken directly from the American Heritage Dictionary - Classic: Serving as an established model or standard, belonging to the highest class or rank.

ninjagaidennes1.png (4743 bytes)Is there a better way to describe the NES version of Ninja Gaiden? It established a standard of cinematic greatness on the NES, served as a standard that hundreds of other games have been judged by, and it by far in the upper most echelon of great NES games. It's also challenging on a level that few games can manage, yet still be entertaining.

While the original game was a Final Fight clone featuring red-shirted, hockey mask wearing freaks that attack our hero, the NES version turned it into a basic platformer. The change was a welcome one. Allowing unsurpassed control over the games main character, the numerous maneuvers the little purple colored sprite can perform is downright ridiculous. The special moves, called ninja arts in the game, help players defeat even the toughest enemies.

The soundtrack is a classic and amongst the best on the NES. The deep bass and tense themes present in these tracks keep even the most calm players on edge. While the actual in game graphics aren't overly spectacular (but they are quite good), the cinemas steal the show. The intro alone is worth the price of admission and anyone who can make it far enough will be thrust into the games dark story thanks to this ingenious addition.

Ninja Gaiden's only downfall is the difficulty level. The insane challenge put before players may be a bit too much for even professional gamers. When your character is hit, he takes a short leap backward causing numerous deaths from falling off of cliffs just for being positioned wrong. The later bosses don't let up either, so be prepared to use a lot of continues.

The game was good enough for Tecmo to release two sequels on the NES. Not only that, but Tecmo released all three games in a compilation cart for the SNES. The huge success of the series solidifies it as one of gaming's greatest. It's a must play for anyone who enjoys video games, even those who consider themselves "mainstream."


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Last updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 12:47 AM