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Ninja Gaiden (NES)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Bregalad (916)
Written on  :  Oct 27, 2008
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Damn cool, but the gameplay isn't very good

The Good

Ninja Gaiden is a very well known NES classic (also called Shadow Warriors in Europe). There is a lot of things to like about this game, despite how old it is today.

You control Ryu, a Ninja to save the world from an evil being. Well, the story is more complex than that, and have plot twists and even minor emotional factor, which is very rare for the time it was released. Even RPGs had almost no story back then ! And this game features story cutscenes ! They are really impressive ! The developers definitely wanted to show us all they had to show back then. I'd play the game just for the cutscenes !

Aside of that, the in game graphics are detailed enough, but not much above average (sprites doesn't look very good, even the hero's sprite I find).

The game has some good platforming action, and the hero is very quick at jumping and attacking, and this is cool (hey, it's a ninja).

The music doesn't seem exceptional at first but it gets much better when you progress though the game. It doesn't use full potential of the NES, but the melodies really goes well with the game and that's what count.

The Bad

If you play the game far enough you'll figure yourself the big problem with this game. It's hard. Well, it's not just about difficulty, but about how they made it hard. Enemies are loaded multiple times, even when you don't scroll at all, and this is very annoying. On every gap you have to jump over, they made one or multiple enemies just positioned to hit you down into the hole, and if you happen to be very quick and kill that enemy, a clone of it instantly relays the original. This tend to be very annoying and frustrating.

Also, it's a shame that all graphics quality was made into cutscenes and the main graphics were left over. There is very few different enemies and bosses. The non-playable characters that appears during story scenes does not appear on the main screen at all, and this looks weird indeed. Like if they don't exist at all outside of cutscenes. I'd almost prefer cutscenes using the main game's graphics, but with characters moving and doing the same thing. It would look less cool, but definitely would make the player feel like the story has something to do with the game. Here it looks like they picked a random story that has nothing to do with the game.

The Bottom Line

Ninja Gaiden is a cool game, and I suggest you give it a try if you want to play a classic platform game. But be warned about how annoying the ever-reviving enemies are, and save-states are *highly* recommended if you don't want to become mad. The cutscenes are unusual on the NES and worth a look.