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Ninja Gaiden III is undoubtedly one sequel too many. The first two NES games were excellent, but aside from graphical flourishes and some minor gameplay amendments this third game offers nothing but intense frustration to anyone who chooses to download it. If you like your videogames to offer a stern, almost sadistic challenge then you might be more willing to stick with this, but most gamers would be better off with the prequels. They may not look as good but they’re certainly better products in practically every other area.
The final verdict is that Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom is still a solid and impressive action game from the NES era, but it's also a game that missed out on capitalizing on its early potential. As a result, this game that could have been the best of the original Ninja Gaiden trilogy ends up placing third out of three. For your 500 Wii Points, our recommendation stands that the original Ninja Gaiden is still your best bet. After that, Ninja Gaiden II is second. Only invest the additional five dollars for a download of Ninja Gaiden III after you're experienced at least one of its predecessors first, and if you're comfortable with subjecting yourself to another full game's worth of frustration and ridiculous challenge. Irene may be dead, but after trying to find out who did it through a handful of these stages, you might just stop caring and turn the power off.