Review by doggiecow

Reviewed: 11/23/03

A true classic NES game. Don't pass it up!

This game...this game is hard...This is break your controller hard! This game is a true classic. The first in the NES trilogy,this game was the one of the first NES games to have cutscenes,if not it is the first game. Back in the day, cutscenes were very rare. You wouldnt see a lot of them. All those graphic whores,who think that cutscenes are the meat of the game, should atleast give this game praise,because this game Perfected it!

The Story

This game had an intense storyline, moved along by cutscenes. Ninja Gaiden's storyline goes like this.

Two ninjas are fighting in a field of grass. One of them is Ken Hayabusa, Ryu Hayabusa's(the main character)father. They fight in a life or death duel. They leap high into the air and with a clash of swords and a flash of light, the fight is over....Ken appears to be dead...The day after he disappears Ryu finds a letter adressed to him...It reads ''Ryu, I am on my way to a life or death duel. If it is destiny that I do not return, you will take the dragon sword of the Hayabusa family, go to america and see the American Archaeologist, Walter Smith.''

Whom did Ryu's father fight in the duel? Ryu must avenge his father!


The music in this game is riveting and goes with the level that you are on. It creates the mood. That is very important in a video game. For example, If the first level of ninja gaiden had the barney song, would you be able to play the game? I think not! Although some of the levels reuse the same music The music still goes with the level that you are on. The music that you should look out for and they are true masterpieces are, 4-2, The intro stage, and the beginning cutscene where it shows Ken fighting. I think it sounds like the Zero song. =)


The graphics in this game are nothing special. Some level backrounds blend in with the enemies and you won't be able to see them. Otherwise the game looks pretty good. There are some games that came out before this that had better graphics,like Life Force and Super Mario bros. 2.


This is a typical hack and slash game. Ryu is equipped with a sword and his Ninja Magic. You run hrough the level and slash at bad guys with your sword. You aquire ninja magic by hitting the lanterns in the level. A blue box with japanese lettering is 5 ninja magic points. A red box with Japanese lettering is 10 points of Ninja Magic.

The magic you do is determined by what icon you get, also aquired by hitting the lanterns with your sword. You can get time stopper, you can get encased in a circle of fire for invincability, the little shuriken,the boomerang Shuriken, IMO one of the best weapons in any videogame. I cant really name all of em'. Those are just the ones I remember.

Now this is where the game gets hard. Its not hard as it is frusturating. Without the respawn glitch this game wouldve been much easier. But it took up to Ninja Gaiden 3 to fix it. An example of the respawn glitch is this: You kill an eagle and you jump over a pit. The same eagle comes and knocks you into the pit and you die. Now if you just stand in the place where you killed the eagle the eagle would keep on flying at you from the side of the screen.


Like I said. This game is not as hard as it is frusturating. Without that glitch this game wouldnt be so hard.


This is a must for A NES collector. You might not want to get it if you have an XBOX. The Ninja Gaiden game for XBOX will have the NES trilogy included, but I would get this game regardless. The authentic version is more value to me.

For a NES collector this is a true classic. Don't pass it up!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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