Review by Walker Boh Ohmsford

Reviewed: 04/04/02 | Updated: 03/01/03


Ninja Gaiden was, I believe, one of the first games to come out for the NES (the late 80's if I remember right), and it's pretty good. Why? Read on. I'll explain everything. First off, it has something which no game (even the RPG's of that time), had. This thing was cutscenes that played at various points in the game to help move the story along.
Control 10-10. Move Ryu with the D-pad, make him jump with A and make him attack with B. If you have special abilities, they can be used by pushing Up and B. Simple and reliable.
Gameplay 10-10. Run around, kill Ninja's, kill bosses, get revenge! Seriously, it's cool. If you know how you can even scale walls! I've heard it's tough to do though. Then you also have special abilities that can make your quest easier. They consume NP (Ninja Points), so be careful. There's one that lets you shoot a wheel of fire that protects you from harm and does major damage to enemies. Then there's a Jump_&_Slash type move that takes up no NP but is very effective sometimes. Oh yeah, and this game has a time limit for each level, so if you don't reach the boss and kill him in time you die.
Audio 10-10. The SFX aren't the NES' best, but they get the job done. There's a sound for when you swing your sword, and a sound for when said sword comes in contact with enemy flesh. Then there's a sound for when our hero takes damage. That's just to name a few. The music is much better than the sound. All of it is catchy. My favorites are the level 1 theme and the boss theme. Then there are themes for the cutscenes (yes, cutscenes), you'll encounter throughout the game. All in all it's quite satisfactory.
Story 8-10. You are Ryu Hayabusa, a ninja whose father was recently defeated by another ninja. Ryu decides to avenge his father's death and to thwart the plans of an evil ninja whose goal is to awaken a demon who would like nothing more than to conquer Earth. Throughout the game there will be cutscenes that help the story unfold. This is something that even RPG's didn't have back in the days when this game came out. Maybe this game introduced RPG's to that concept? Dunno.
Overall 10-10. Definitely worth a try. Try to find a copy, and if you can't, find a ROM and emulate it. That way if you really hate it you have a quick and effective way of getting rid of it. One thing that always pisses me off is when I buy a game, thinking it'll be fun, and find out I was horribly wrong! If you have a ROM all you have to do is delete it. Getting rid of a physical cartridge copy of a game can sometimes be much more difficult. If a game exchange place already has lots of copies of the game you're trying to pawn off on someone, then you're more than likely gonna be stuck with it for a while.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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