Game Profile

Join master ninja Ryu Hayabusa, last member of the famous Dragon Clan, in the third and final chapter of the legendary Ninja Gaiden saga.

Ryu is framed for FBI agent Irene Lew's murder, and it's up to him to clear his name. Defeating superior life-forms created out of “life energy” called BIO-NOIDs and avoiding enemy ambushes are among the many obstacles which Ryu faces in this unpredictable adventure of mystery, deceit, and destruction.

Noticeable changes to the game-play mechanics include Ryu’s ability to grab on to horizontal surfaces, his reduced falling speed and altered jumping maneuvers, and visible power-ups. Help Ryu defeat the forces of evil once more and discover the real culprit behind Irene’s death as one of the most loved trilogies in video-game history comes to a close!

Game Review

3DS eShop Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

A fitting farewell to the NES trilogy

The three Ninja Gaiden games on the NES are remembered with great fondness, and for very good reason. They may never have reached the same heights of popularity as the original Super Mario Bros. games, or even the first three Mega Man games, but they...

Game Review

Virtual Console Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

One sequel too many

Ninja Gaiden is practically a household name now thanks to the fantastic Xbox title and the very promising (not to mention gory) next-gen sequel. The NES original is still fairly well known and fondly remembered, but the two 8-bit sequels are more...

Game Screenshots

Related News

Nintendo Download: 23rd January (Europe)

23rd January (Europe)

Unepic, old-school Mario and Ninja Gaiden challenge, loads of discounts

European Nintendo fans once again have the download update to bring some cheer to a dreary Monday morning. This time around we have a new Wii U eShop title that's already earned an 8 in our review, along with some retro goodies and a lengthy list of 3DS eShop discounts. Let's...

News: Ninja Gaiden III Is Slashing Its Way To The European 3DS eShop Next Week

Ninja Gaiden III Is Slashing Its Way To The European 3DS eShop Next Week

Jumping the ship of doom

Nintendo UK has confirmed that Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom is coming to the European 3DS eShop next week — the 23rd of January, to be precise. The third game in the NES-based trilogy from Tecmo, Ninja Gaiden III is seen by many fans as the best of the three. "Ninja Gaiden III does a great job of being true...

Nintendo Download: 28th November (North America)

28th November (North America)

SEGA Classics go 3D, discounted Mario, touring the Louvre and more

It's Nintendo Download time again, North America, and this week brings a fairly diverse range of options. We have plenty of retro goodies on the Wii U eShop, reduced retro Mario on both Wii U and 3DS, revived SEGA classics on the 3DS as well as a tour of the iconic Louvre museum...

News: US VC Releases - 18th February - Ninja Gaiden III

US VC Releases - 18th February - Ninja Gaiden III

There’s a bit of a surprise this week for North American Virtual Console fans - seemingly out of nowhere comes Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden III.

We’ve already had the first two Ninja Gaiden NES titles and this release completes the trilogy, but sadly it also turns out to be the weakest of the three in terms of gameplay. This game is so frustrating it should really come with a health warning – or at..

Game Trailers

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (38)



7th_lutz said:

Ninja Gaiden 3 is very hard. It even harder then Ninja Gaiden. Ninja Gaiden can be beaten without game genie, but this game is about impossible to do that with. There is a limited amount of continues for this game. I've read the Japan version of this game is easier like not having limited continues.



jackaroo said:

@ Mii be you : Read the games description. In the second paragraph it says she is assinated.



Jepa said:

I hope they release the 3rd one soon cos i want to buy the first two. Im not buying them unless i get the whole series.
Same with splatterhouse, I hope they release number 2 soon. 3rd really doesnt matter cos im not going to get it anyways.

__Mii be you


Mii be you said:

I can't believe I was dumb enough to miss that.
(A response to what Jackaroo said.)




man i never pass the second level when i played this as a kid but now im more experinced so i might pass it this time



unknown said:

hey is dis game 2 player? cuz i played a rom of this and it just says press start to start game in the beginning and so i did and then it just started w/o asking if i wanna play with 1 player or 2 players so i was wondering if dis is a 2 player game



olvido said:

This game is great, the music, the graphics,the history and the cinematics.
My favorite NG game.



michinmuri said:

The hardest Ninja Gaiden game due to only 5 continues. Still, as excellent as the other two if not better. NG2 is by far my favorite, but this one shows that they made three great games in a trilogy. NG is one of the best platformers ever IMO. Love the cinematics.



Luigison said:

I'm not a huge NG fan, but I know some people that will be happy to know that we're getting this and Phantasy Star™ II in North America tomorrow.



JNoodles said:

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom is coming out this Monday, along with Phantasy Star II. I would get it but... Ninja Gaiden I is plenty for me, actually.



NoobX said:

Hi! Since most VC games save your progress automatically when you leave, NG3 on VC should be easier than the original NES version.



Adamant said:

^Automatic saves don't help much when you have limited continues.

Should be noted that the original Japanese version does not have the problems people dislike this game for. Enemies deal more reasonable amounts of damage (all damage dealt was doubled in the US version), you have infinite continues... and there's a password system. Makes for a pretty good game, in fact, unlike this version. What on Earth were they thinking?



KhaoShar said:

I can't dream of what they were thinking when they made those changes to the US version. On the other hand I know that FinalFantasy IV (at that time released as FF II in teh US) to be much easier than the jap.original, and I can't explain that either. If I was american I' d be pissed off by both, I can tell you, those japanese seem to think you guys are either masochists or to weak to play propper games...

Well, but I'm not from NA, so I save all my anger for being pissed about not getting most games at all, not even in mutilates or insanely altered versions...



KCar said:

I've actually registered on the site to protest the score for this game. Of all the Ninja Gaidens, this was my favourite as a kid (maybe because it was the one that I actually owned), and even though I never beat it then I spent countless hours trying to and enjoyed every minute of it. I don't think any game has given me quite the same feeling of mastery, because when you're descending through level three with your "boomerang" star slingshotting with maximum efficiency, you feel like a "ninja". The changes to the game formula are puzzling, but I've been waiting for this game most of all.



morphballer said:

I would have to agree. A two out of five does seem pretty harsh even if the game is not as good as the first two. Just out of curiosity, what rating would you give the japan version?



Sharecrow said:

I'll probably download it after I've beat NG2. I used to own this one, but never did beat it. Limited continues makes it an awful lot harder....but what bragging rights you'd have!!!



Faithful_Dragon said:

Well I remember playing this game on my friends NES and I've already beaten the previous Ninja Gaiden games, but this one always gave me trouble and side scrollers are my specialty when it comes to gaming.



Jockolantern said:

Tough as nails for sure, but highly undeserving of a 2 / 5. Smooth gameplay, lovely and imaginative presentation, cutscenes that are no more cheesy than the ones we were presented in the first two titles, and the music is once again fitting and pulse-pounding... what more do you want? I can think of a dozen titles much harder than this (Battletoads, one of the most greatly revered titles for the NES is damn near impossible, even with cheats) and besides... mastering the game on only five continues gives one a terrific sense of accomplishment. Maybe I'll start up a competition between myself and my two hardcore gamer friends to see who can beat it using the least amount of continues... The showdown for Ultimate Ninja bragging rights.



Rapadash6 said:

Wow, just two stars? I think one of the most important rules of game reviewing is to never equate a games difficulty with it's overall quality. Sure just getting passed the second level can be a chore but the game oozes quality all the way there. The controls are spot on, the graphics among the best on the NES and the gameplay is just as rewarding as it is in the previous two games. I can't speak for beyond the third level as I've never passed it myself but I'm betting it's just as polished as the first part of the game.



Sarato said:

It doesn't look as hard as the first one i played through on VC (and that one was hard as sh%t according to me) so if this ever reach Europe shores, i will download it and give it a chance. Still waiting for the second Ninja Gaiden though (also known as Shadow Warrior here 'cause those germans didn't really like when games and movies had names with the word "ninja" in it).
I will surely give this a chance.



Damo said:

Come on guys, remove those rose-tinted specs. This isn't a patch on the first two NES Ninja Gaiden games and you know it.



Tweek said:

Hey guys, ive beaten this game (yup, im a hardcore gamer!). At the end of the game it is revealed that Irene survived! Yaaaaay



Ness012345 said:

Ah, the low score due to difficulty, a perfect example of how newer aged gamers seem to only want instant gratification games that they can beat with a blind fold.

Yes, the game has limited continues, and yes, it is a very difficult game, but it is by no means impossible, nor is it deserving of the lower score. The game fixed many of the problems the first two games did (Cheap deaths, the birds, jerky controls, etc.), and added a much more heightened difficulty to the game.

I dont' see why you're criticizing it for being "too hard". As someone said, difficulty should NEVER be a reason to rate a game poorly. Yes, it should be addressed in the review as a warning to the casual player, but it shouldn't affect a game's score.

It's really sad when people rate games poorly almost exclusively for their difficulty. If the game's to hard, don't play it. But don't bash the game for being to difficult.

And as far as the game being to outlandishly goofy:
Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2, with their ridiculous locations, goofy boss names, enemies that ranged from random doves to leperish flea men, and an underground ice world right along side a lava world... yeah, NG3 is way more outlandish than the first two.



Damo said:

Yup, as I enter my 29th year of being on this earth and my 20th year of being a gamer, I have to admit I'm still just 'newer aged'.



DEMON212 said:

I'm nearing my 19th gaming year and I'm only just turning 21.

Only ever played II and III on the X-BOX version. I hated both I and II, but loved III. Upon getting I on the VC, I love it. So no idea what I'll think of II and III now. Shame it's looking like I'll never find out :x



Ness012345 said:

Well than Damo, obviously our skills are vastly different, because I can complete Ninja Gaiden III within about an hour with very little trouble at all, and no, I have not played this game inside and out. I just never found Ninja Gaiden III to be at all difficult in any way, shape, or form. The lack of enemies re spawning, the hideously simplistic boss AI, and the lack of cheap deaths and pitfalls that plagued the first two games of the series make this by far the easiest. Just because it has continues means nothing, or am I to believe that any game that has continues automaticly makes it a difficult and challenging game?

Oh, and I'm 21, and also in my 20th year of gaming (my brother got me started playing games very early with SMB2. That's not say I was ever good at it at one or two, but you see my point).

But my point still stands that rating this game poorly because it's to hard for you is just plain silly and ignorant. Not to mention the enemies and locals are no more outlandish than Ninja Gaiden 2, or the recently released Ninja Gaiden II on the 360.



Terrible_Majesty said:

This game has superior controls over the first two games. It is easier due to the fact that they eliminated the eagles and added the strider-like sword add on. I can make it to level 4 without using a continue. However I tend to get stuck on level 5.



Marvel_Maniac said:

I actually like this game- not as much as NG II (that would just be silly, wouldn't it?) but I downloaded it before downloading the first Gaiden. I'll tell you why: Ninja Gaiden has terrible colours and its graphics are sub-par for the series. II is excellent all around but III has the nicest detail of the series. Its ONLY harder because of the limited continues. Some of the others (ie: Ness) are right, the bosses are quite easy and the re-spawning problems are gone. I like the game, though I have yet to finish it. I like a good challenge (one that's managable, mind you, not like S. Ghouls and Ghosts) and I personally think the sword upgrade goes a long way to making the game more playable than the first two.

I really don't understand such a low score. Newer players who are unfamiliar with the series may be instantly turned off and never investigate a decent game when they see 2/5. AT LEAST give this thing a 3. Come on!



The_Fox said:

I liked the first two NG games, but something about this one just didn't click with me.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...