2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

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2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 22nd, 2017, 1:02 pm

I've been playing these Ninja Gaiden games over the last few months, and started to write "updated" reviews for them. Then I checked out the original reviews and they were pretty darn good! So I merged both sets of reviews. It's very time consuming but I'm happy with how they turned out. Also, took the opportunity to update their screenshots, which were blurry before.

I upgraded Gaiden 3 from a C to a B-, since it's really on par with the other two.

Comments? Typos?

Voor
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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby Voor » July 22nd, 2017, 2:23 pm

Check this out. It's a race between the three games. The closeness of the race is unbelievable!!

https://youtu.be/Yl_F8ijsN10

Equally impressive is this pacifist run (aka using no sword or weapons, except on bosses):

https://youtu.be/z_JeooffKp0

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » July 22nd, 2017, 2:33 pm

One correction: The fake Ryu doesn't shoot Irene. She falls from a cliff, which in the best tradition of pulp, makes sure she'll come back more powerful than ever. Unfortunately, by the time she machine guns him, he's revealing his true form, and...well, this is all completely ridiculous, but in the best possible way.

I'm not sure 3 deserves to be so highly rated. It's level system and damage scoring was changed from the Japanese original, in ways designed to make it a cheaper, more frustrating experience. The other two are hard, but I always felt in control of the situation - 3, not so much. It's still a great game, just not as polished as the first two.

Also, in defense of 2, those shadow ninjas are only useful if you think of it in terms of a strategy game. One of their best uses is controlling vertical space, as a jump instantly places them in position, and a few steps can fine tune it all. They're not quite Gradius options, but the second game is the easiest in the series, by far.

Finally, how amazing is it that they included those cinemas just a few hundred k of memory, without compromising the graphics, sound, or fun of the game itself? They didn't even have modern compression technology. Even most 16 bit carts don't have cinemas that good. (Unless they use vectors instead, like Out of this World and Flashback.)

mbd36
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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby mbd36 » July 22nd, 2017, 8:33 pm

Cool.

This is one of my favorite series on the NES. Nice to see that you gave a fair rating to NGIII. I've beaten all three without continuing and I've played the first one so much that I've no-deathed it using just the sword.

The third is probably the toughest. It is possible to beat it without dying, but I never have.

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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby mbd36 » July 22nd, 2017, 8:49 pm

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:One correction: The fake Ryu doesn't shoot Irene. She falls from a cliff, which in the best tradition of pulp, makes sure she'll come back more powerful than ever. Unfortunately, by the time she machine guns him, he's revealing his true form, and...well, this is all completely ridiculous, but in the best possible way.

I'm not sure 3 deserves to be so highly rated. It's level system and damage scoring was changed from the Japanese original, in ways designed to make it a cheaper, more frustrating experience. The other two are hard, but I always felt in control of the situation - 3, not so much. It's still a great game, just not as polished as the first two.

Also, in defense of 2, those shadow ninjas are only useful if you think of it in terms of a strategy game. One of their best uses is controlling vertical space, as a jump instantly places them in position, and a few steps can fine tune it all. They're not quite Gradius options, but the second game is the easiest in the series, by far.

Finally, how amazing is it that they included those cinemas just a few hundred k of memory, without compromising the graphics, sound, or fun of the game itself? They didn't even have modern compression technology. Even most 16 bit carts don't have cinemas that good. (Unless they use vectors instead, like Out of this World and Flashback.)



I disagree. I think that the third is actually the most polished and least cheap. While they did increase the difficulty from the easy Japanese version, they fixed the enemy respawn and knockback that people complain about in the first two games. And there are other improvements with the controls as well as the bigger sword. So the challenge is fair. It's just hard. You also can't simply continue your way to the end like with the first two. You have to learn how to play it.

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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby Paul Campbell » July 22nd, 2017, 8:53 pm

I'm delighted to respond to these reviews as these are among my all time games.

First and foremost, I honestly think Episode 3 should lose AT LEAST two grade points for its combination of difficulty and limited continues. As a kid I looked forward to that game like no other and was so discouraged by the lack of continues that I only played it a couple days before I gave up and contemplated sending Tecmo a Unabomber package for doing such a stupid thing. To this day I would pay good money to get the head programmer tied to a chair in a dark room with a single lamp hanging over his head so I could interrogate him and give him a piece of my mind.

Second, I agree that the "ghosts" in part two can be EXTREMELY useful, especially in boss battles, if you learn to use them with some strategy. They were also incredibly cool back in the day. I'd never seen anything like that up to that point.

I think the first game absolutely changed video games as we know them. There may have been previous games with cutscenes, but nothing with the quality and storytelling importance of Ninja Gaiden. That opening scene blew my mind as a kid. I used to just turn on my NES and let that opening run on repeat in my bedroom.

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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby Sut » July 23rd, 2017, 10:56 am

So is the Japanese version of Ninja Gaiden 3 the better game ? Like Contra Hard Corps on Sega where the Japanese version had a life bar making it far more bearable than the western version.

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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby Stalvern » July 23rd, 2017, 11:16 am

Sut wrote:So is the Japanese version of Ninja Gaiden 3 the better game ? Like Contra Hard Corps on Sega where the Japanese version had a life bar making it far more bearable than the western version.

Yeah, pretty much, though not to the same degree.

mbd36
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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby mbd36 » July 23rd, 2017, 11:38 am

Sut wrote:So is the Japanese version of Ninja Gaiden 3 the better game ? Like Contra Hard Corps on Sega where the Japanese version had a life bar making it far more bearable than the western version.


It's only better if you want a much easier Ninja Gaiden game. Otherwise I would say no it's not.

Increasing the difficulty was the right thing to do, IMO. At least they didn't go as overboard as Konami did with Bayou Billy (another tough game that I enjoy, actually).

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: 2017/7/22: NES: Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » July 24th, 2017, 2:30 am

Ninja Gaiden 3 is the best version of the game for those who hate mandatory checkpoints - how dare they prevent you from replaying your favorite stages after each death? Especially if the completely optional password system killed your parents, and you've sworn revenge.

And hey, the more enemies you face, the better the level design, right? It's how Lucas improved Star Wars, and it's how Tecmo improved Ninja Gaiden.

But for the rest of us, it's a crude difficulty hack that should have been left as an optional bonus challenge.

Critic, any chance you'll be reviewing the original?


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