So to keep going on my Ninja Gaiden kick, I decided to do a couple of streams playing the other NG games for the arcade, Gameboy, Game Gear, and Sega Master System. They were fun streams and decided to do some short reviews of the four as well!
ARCADE: The arcade game is quite janky. The game stars The Ninja, later retconned to be Ryu, traveling from Japan to stop the cult of Bladeadomus (I’m not making this up). You travel through different cities to get to their lair, fighting about the same 3-4 types of enemies in each area, just palette swapped. One the goons include guys in hockey masks like Jason Voorhes! You only have punches and kicks as your attacks, along with a weird jumping neckbreaking move that’s hard to pull off. You can hang off signs and attack enemies, and breakable objects scatter the landscape, only breakable if you’re thrown or an enemy is thrown on them. The controls are still and jumping and hanging from ledges takes getting used to. In the arcade there was a button on top of the joystick to hang on objects. The graphics are very pretty and sound is good, the cinematic scenes at the end of the levels are worth seeing, especially with Ryu wearing his mask in a suit playing the tables at Vegas! You can get overwhelmed by enemies very easily and you can’t break their combos when they begin attacking you. I give this 3.0 out of 5 ninja stars!
GAME BOY: This title is really cool! Taking place 3 years before the first NES, title Ninja Gaiden Shadow is actually a retooled Shadow of the Ninja. it shows with the wide assortment of mechanical enemies that you wouldn’t normally fight in the other titles. You have unlimited continues here, so you can keep fighting when you lose all your lives. Little pushback when you get hit by enemies, and your only ninja art is the Fire Wheel. You have a cool grappling hook also to get through stages and to use fighting enemies and bosses. The graphics and music are great, with some tracks pulled from the NES titles! The loud ringing when you’re at one bar of health is more annoying than the ringing when you’re low on health in Zelda 1. Bosses are an interesting lot, but you have to keep attacking them since they have no life bar, so you don’t know how close you are to killing them. I give this 4 out of 5 ninja stars!
GAME GEAR: This game is more Strider than Ninja Gaiden. A short game, but not hard seeing the game is generous with extra lives, health recharges and ninja scrolls and weapons. You’ll race through 5 stages fighting enemies and bosses. No pushback when you take damage, but you can be juggled very easily by enemies and projectiles and lose a lot of health and die quickly, especially on bosses! Most the difficulty will come from the bosses, and the game has no continues. Neat assortment of ninja arts to use in this. I especially like level 3 when you’re climbing the outside of 2 skyscrapers and jumping back and forth to attack and avoid enemies and objects dropping on your head! I give this 3.5 out of 5 ninja stars!
SEGA MASTER SYSTEM: This is a great Ninja Gaiden game, from the plot, the beautiful graphics and the music and the gameplay. You’ll be traveling through 8 different levels with various enemies and obstacles, ranging from a waterfall to a city. You can’t climb straight up walls here, you have a wall jump like that in Batman for the NES. The pushback from enemies can be brutal here, especially from flying enemies. The bosses are a fun mix. You have a great assortment of ninja arts and scrolls to power up your weapons too, and even have the invincible fire wheel! This game is hard, not just from fighting enemies, but trying to make it through levels where you have to use the wall jump to progress, and hope a flying enemy doesn’t hit you. Losing your lives doesn’t mean a game over, as you have unlimited continues, and this game continues the tradition of a cinematic story between levels. I give this 4 out of 5 ninja stars!
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