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User Reviews

Slice and dice! Ninja know no fear! Satoshi Kunsai (2074) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Amazing and hard as hell... Ivan Obretenov (33) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
Damn cool, but the gameplay isn't very good Bregalad (968) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.9
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.8
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.9
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.9
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 4.1
Overall User Score (85 votes) 3.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
The Retro Spirit (Dec 06, 2012)
Om du fÞler for Ä utfordra dine emnar med eit svÊrt sÄ vanskeleg spel sÄ er det berre Ä kasta seg over «Ninja Gaiden». Om du ikkje har store ambisjonar om Ä fullfÞre spelet (sjÞlv har eg enno ikkje klart Ä overvinna den siste bossen) sÄ er det hÞgst anbefalt Ä ta ein runde i ny og ne, kun for Ä fÄ nullstilt standarden over kva som er eit vanskeleg spel. Alle spel denne siden av Ärtusenet verkar plutseleg mykje lettare etter ein god gammal runde pÄ ekte «Nintendo Hard». Av den grunn meskar me denne tittelen med vÄr gjeve Golden DOS (NES) Spirit.
Presentation is outstanding, as innovative use of nicely drawn, anime-style cinema cutscenes between stages lays out a nice and complex story. An excellent and memorable soundtrack rounds out the rest of this unforgettable game.
Raze (Sep, 1991)
Indeed, under its original title of Ninja Gaiden, this game was voted Game of the Year in America, and Ninja Gaiden II is already on release over there.
Jeuxvideo.com (Aug 10, 2011)
ConsidĂ©rĂ© comme le meilleur jeu au style ninja sur NES, Shadow Warriors / Ninja Gaiden se permet d'allier une action de jeu intense Ă  une mise en scĂšne rĂ©volutionnaire grĂące au TECMO Theater. Ici, tous les aspects du jeu vidĂ©o se consolident les uns les autres et Ă  vrai dire seuls quelques choix discutables viennent ternir ce tour de force. VoilĂ  un vĂ©ritable condensĂ© d'Ă©nergie d'Ă©motions et de dĂ©fi qui ne demande qu'Ă  exploser, si vous ĂȘtes Ă  la hauteur.
Lens of Truth (Mar 24, 2009)
With Ninja Gaiden for the NES, Tecmo decided to drop the arcade beat-em up style for a more graceful Shinobi feel, and it worked. The seven stages in Ninja Gaiden all are vastly different. Each brings with it great graphics and music. As said previously, the game’s innovative way of storytelling make it monumental. Even if it didn’t have it’s cut-scenes, Ninja Gaiden would still be remembered as one of the greatest games ever to be released on the NES. It’s definitely one of the toughest.
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."
Mean Machines (Jul, 1991)
The more I play this game, the more it reminds me of Nintendo Batman. The platform, leaping-between-walls gameplay is very similar, but then, seeing as Batman was one of the best NES games of 1990, that can't be a bad thing. Shadow Warrior's graphics aren't quite as stylish as Batman's but they still do a creditable job. The sprites are detailed and well-animated, and the Tecmo Theater interludes help supply a lot of atmosphere. Shadow Warrior is probably the best arcade-style Ninja game on the NES, so anyone after some Shinobi-type shuriken shenanigans can't go wrong buying this.
Thunderbolt Games (Dec 17, 2004)
Jaquio means to take control of the earth. A demon of monstrous proportions will rise from a 700-year slumber and a young man named Ryu Hayabusa wears the burden of their inevitable confrontation on his slight back. His father was killed by someone, or something, under the Jaquio’s deft, devilish influence, and so the letter delineating his mission, his gaiden, becomes two-fold. It even becomes three-fold later on in the proceedings, but to reveal that final theme would be criminal. And so, Ryu’s undertaking must involve both avenging his father’s murder and saving the unsuspecting world from an unspeakable fate.
Overall, this game deserves notice due to its innovative use of cinema scenes and its ability to test even the most seasoned veterans' jumping and slashing skills. The game was immensely popular upon its release, and spawned two sequels and a re-release as part of the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for SNES years later. I recommend this game for players of intermediate and expert skill levels, although everyone should at least give it a try to test their skills. It's a part of history, and besides... Ryu needs our help!
Zero (Sep, 1991)
What happens next is classic arcade action as Ryu battles through six levels packed with all kinds of enemies (some human, some not), each one topped off with an end-of-level boss. It's a fantastic game which has been very well received in the States, where a sequel is about to be released.
1UP! (Feb 01, 2008)
Il y a autant de bonnes raisons d'aimer Shadow Warriors que de le dĂ©tester, et de ce fait il est impossible de lui donner une mauvaise note comme il impossible de lui en donner une excellente. MĂȘme ceux qui le haĂŻssent doivent l'admirer, et il doit Ă©nerver mĂȘme ceux qui l'adorent. Puisque l'on a dissĂ©quĂ© en long et en large ce qui le rend traumatisant pour toute une gĂ©nĂ©ration de joueurs, qui finit par s'Ă©loigner du jeu tels des blessĂ©s de guerre couverts de bandages, nous terminerons en Ă©voquant sa plus grande qualitĂ©. Elle n'est pas facile Ă  cerner en un mot. C'est sa rapiditĂ©, c'est son rythme, c'est sa jouabilitĂ© aussi. Ce pourrait ĂȘtre sa fĂ©rocitĂ©.
Questicle.net (Dec 04, 2012)
Yeah, Ninja Gaiden is pretty cool, though it’s nowhere near my favorite series for the NES. It has one standout blockbuster (Ninja Gaiden II), one solid, influential title (NG1), and one so-so ending (Ninja Gaiden III). But, much like with the original Legend of Zelda or Donkey Kong, one can’t deny Ninja Gaiden‘s impact on the gaming world at large; even if Ryu is Simon Belmont, ripped on speed, and wearing a ninja mask.
Classic-games.net (Jan 23, 2017)
Brutally difficult at times but more than worth the trouble Ninja Gaiden is still great. The fact that people still talk about it to this day speaks volumes. Stick with it and you will be rewarded with one of the best video game endings of all time. I’m running out of ways to tell you how great the game is. Just go buy it any way that you can, you won’t regret it.
Retro Game Reviews (Sep 01, 2015)
Ninja Gaiden has an unprecedented level of presentation, fantastic gameplay and an amazing soundtrack to round out the package. The last two stages are too cheap for my liking and while it does dampen the experience slightly the majority of the game is well balanced and an absolute joy to play.
Retro Game Age (Jun 29, 2011)
Sure the game is hard but you will have the time of your life playing it. No matter how many times you’ll die, and trust me you will, you’ll come back for more. It can be unfair at times, but in every situation you can determine what you did wrong and fix it. At the end of the day that’s what matters most. This is not only one of the best NES games of all time but one of the top action games of all time. Everyone should play it, no questions asked.
Realm of Gaming (Jun 06, 2013)
Without 6-2, Ninja Gaiden would be at the top of my list of favorite 8-bit platformers. Instead, it has to accept a less satisfying position somewhere close to number nine. There's only so much a gamer can stand, even a gaming masochist like myself, and this game certainly pushes the envelop in terms of fiercely difficult gameplay.
NES Times (Feb 06, 2007)
So despite its flaws and "pull-your-hair-out" frustraton, Ninja Gaiden still proves to be a worthy title. The non-stop action is just plain fun and never gets boring. Although the two sequels that followed it fixes most of the problems here, this is still a great cartridge that should definetly be checked out. You may swear at the game a few times, but if you can stand the difficulty, you'll still have a good time nonetheless.
Shadow Warrior Àr ett bra spel. NÀr du vÀl lÀrt dig hantera Ryu (och det gÀller att ha god kontroll över hans rörelser för att komma lÄngt i det hÀr spelet) Àr det lÀtt att fastna vid NES:en bara för att ta sig förbi den dÀr sista problematiska passagen... Spelet Àr stort nog att ge valuta för pengarna i form av lÄng speltid. NÀr du vÀl gjort slut pÄ ditt sista liv kan du ÀndÄ trycka pÄ Start för att börja om (med nollstÀllda poÀng) frÄn början pÄ den bandel dÀr Ryu mötte sitt öde, sÄ du har möjlighet att trÀna ordentligt pÄ varje bana utan att behöva börja frÄn början varenda gÄng. Och trÀning behövs innan man luskat ut alla specialmanövrer som krÀvs för att klara det hÀr spelet!
Micro News (Dec, 1991)
Amis de la nuit, voilà une trÚs belle réalisation qui vous fera gaiement cavalcader sur le cheval blanc des insomnies.
RetroGame Man (Sep 10, 2018)
In summary, Ninja Gaiden is a fun 2D action-platformer that is a blast to play for the first couple levels, but then becomes increasingly difficult with the introduction of challenging jumps and repeatedly respawning enemies. The graphics still look good for a NES era game, and is worth a recommendation for anyone who enjoys challenging games.
Video Games (Sep, 1991)
Shadow Warrior spielt sieh flott und ist nicht allzuschwer, was den Einstieg angenehm erleichtert. BegrĂŒĂŸenswert ist auch, daß die Endgegner nicht frustrierend sind, sondern durchaus SchwĂ€chen offenbaren. Wer auf schaffbare Actionpiele mit wenig Ecken und Kanten steht, der wird mit Shadow Warrior gut bedient.
The Video Game Critic (Jul 27, 2004)
The background scenery is a mixed bag. The city streets look plain, but later stages like the castle ruins and mine cart tunnels look very cool. Cinematic cut-scenes between stages tell an intriguing (but cheesy) tale of revenge, borrowing elements from more movies than I care to name. Interestingly, this game won an award back in 1989 for "best ending in a video game". Ninja Gaiden also features a kick-ass soundtrack that's sure to get the testosterone flowing. Once you exhaust all of your lives, "Game Over" appears of the screen, but it doesn't tell you your score, and that stinks. From there, you can hit the start button to continue on the current stage. Ninja Gaiden spawned a number of sequels, including a recent 3D version for the Xbox.
Wizard Dojo (Oct 03, 2017)
So Ninja Gaiden has a few aged elements to it. I suppose that should be expected, considering the NES era will still something of a pioneering time for the medium. But even if it can’t compete with more timeless NES titles like Mega Man 2 or Super Mario Bros. 3, Ninja Gaiden still displays a strong sense of fun and challenge. And hey, it’s still not as tough as Battletoads.
Game Zero (Jun, 1995)
While this game is nothing like it's arcade namesake, I would say it is a far better game, and one of the best versions of the title out... (although it is finally being redone on the SNES as was done in Super Mario All-Stars) Another must have for any NES owners library of titles.

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