Ninja Gaiden (1988)
Ninja Gaiden, known in Japan as Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword, and known in Europe as Shadow Warriors, is a 2D sidescrolling hack and slash platforming video game created and published by Temco for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PC Engine, and mobile phones on December 9, 1989 for the Japanese, March 1989 for North America, August 15, 1991 for the PAL Regions, and January 24, 1992 for the Japanese PC Engine version.
Why It Rocks
- Great graphics for their time. In fact, many graphics look like they are in a 16-bit game, despite Ninja Gaiden being an NES game.
- Excellent music which compliments the gameplay very well.
- Incredibly fluid and responsive controls; this is especially important because, due to the game's insane difficulty, if the controls weren't perfect then nobody would've liked it or been able to beat it.
- The level design is very creative, diverse, and challenging.
- Great cinematic cutscenes which were pleasantly comparable to Karateka and other computer games by Cinemaware. The animation in these cutscenes was very well done for their time, especially in terms of close-ups and body movements. While the cutscenes were not fluid, they were effective and entertaining and gave important information as to what the player was supposed to do.
- The presentation and gameplay are favorably very similar to Castlevania.
- It has unlimited continues, which was a huge step up from most similar games at the time and helps with the game's extreme difficulty.
- The entire Ninja Gaiden series is notorious for its overwhelming difficulty, which either prevents a lot of people from playing them all together based on reputation or prevents them from actually completing it.
- The game had overly detailed background art, especially during the indoor levels, which tended to camouflage bottomless pits.
- The Game Genie codes for this game doesn't really help.