Ninja Gaiden

I don’t really remember the first time I played Ninja Gaiden, but I do remember the summer that I wasted playing it. I played this game daily, sometimes with my cousin and sister, edging further and further through it until I just couldn’t play it any more.

The game is broken into two parts, action parts and story parts. The story parts tell the main story of the game in fantastically (well, for the NES) rendered detail, and the action scenes kind of tie the story parts together. The story is something about a ninja whose father was killed in a one-on-one ninja-off. He has to go to exotic locations, massacring everyone in the way (man, woman, or beast) to unravel the mystery behind his father’s death, a cult, and a statue that possesses the spirit of a demon. Just the kind of thing you might see in a b-grade ninja movie.

The game is one of memorization and reflexes. Enemies appear in the same place every time and you need to perform a precise series of maneuvers to advance. Enemies are placed in just the right locations that they’ll hit you and knock you into a bottomless pit, forcing you to start the level over again. Little cheap tricks like that just kind of make the game seem longer. It’s kind of OK, though. The story segments are cheesy enough that they kind of make it worthwhile.

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