Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Game Review

Ninja Gaiden Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

The nimble ninja

Ninja Gaiden ranks as one of the finest 'ninja' style games ever made, right up there with The Revenge of Shinobi. When it was first released it amazed gamers with the degree of control it allowed over the main character, Ryu. He felt so quick and mobile - just like a proper Ninja should - and within seconds of picking up the pad, players were able to pull off wall jumps and super-swift attacks.

In the game you traverse the city and other locales, and head on to fight the evil henchmen in this side-scrolling action platformer. Ninja Gaiden controls like a dream, for an NES game, and has deep control mechanics, despite using just two buttons. Item pickups will help you out, but inevitably won’t save you. The first level is deceptive, leading you to believe you are a ninja master, and it really feels like it as you slash and shuriken your enemies left and right. Ryu’s ninja acrobatics and wall clinging makes you really feel like you’re accomplishing something.

The cutscenes inbetween levels were also a minor innovation for the time, and regardless of some rather daft dialogue, managed to add much to the game. The ninja magic was also pretty original, with powers like 'time freeze' helping to make the game that little easier. The biggest problem with NG is the difficulty - at times it can be amazingly frustrating, and it might be worth having a pillow to scream in whilst playing! Thankfully the game offers unlimited continues, which softens the blow a little.


Although the visuals have aged poorly, Ninja Gaiden still has plenty of enjoyable gameplay and challenge. The musical score should also be noted as one of the finest to be found on NES. In terms of NES platform action, it doesn't really get much better than this!

Note: Despite being released in Europe originally as Shadow Warriors, you get the American version of the game this time. Sadly it costs 100 extra Wii points for Europe as it is considered to be an import game.

From the web

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User Comments (8)



NESnes said:

Excellent, excellent game. Loads of action, and cool cinema cut scenes. Great music too!



michaelmax said:

Yes. Great game. Difficult, but the controls are fast and tight, which keeps you coming back for more. I plan on getting II and III but not until I finally beat this one!



Betagam7 said:

I wasn't so sad to pay the extra 100 points as it means the game is in 60hz!

I am sad about the annoying difficulty curve though!



CaptainN said:

Wow, I forgot how hard this game was. The first few levels are pretty easy but near the end it gets pretty hard and the final boss really tries your patience. Still, this is one great game and in my opinion one of the finest NES games produced.



Omega said:

I think it would be better if they also released the trilogy for the SNES for 800 points.



wuuds said:

Really looking forward to playing this game but 100points extra because it's an import?? Wtf Nintendo? Seriously.
If you're going to start charging extra for 'imported' eshop titles then just give us Cave Story and Denpa Men already.

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