Ninja Gaiden (Video Game 2004) Poster

(2004 Video Game)

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A video game for purists
seanyc1238 March 2006

Console: XBOX Publisher: Tecmo Developer: Team Ninja Genre: Action Platformer Price: £10 Rating: 15

"Ninja who?" you may be asking yourself confused as to why I have labelled this a classic and you've never even heard of it (I wrote this as a review for my school paper, I know all you lot have intentionally searched for Ninja Gaiden and are fully aware of what it is). This never really made it into the mainstream. Perhaps it was the total lack of an advertising campaign or, more possibly, perhaps it was because this game was so fiendishly difficult that people just didn't get what is was about. You see, this game wasn't made for the majority of the gaming community. It was made for a very small collection of hardcore gamers who truly appreciated video games. This was gaming at its fullest. Only true gamers could understand what made Ninja Gaiden such an addictive, pure and rewarding cult classic.

I, for one, am glad that this didn't catch on to the general public. You see, this game separates the men from the boys and will get you taken seriously by fellow seasoned gamers. I call this a game for the hardcore for a reason. This has got to be one of the most demanding games ever spawned. To get past the first level you have to have lightning quick reflexes, the patience of a saint and a logical mind about you. The first boss who you encounter around fifteen minutes into the game seems like he should be saved for the end of the game as he is so damn hard to kill. Don't think it gets any easier either. Most of the time you have to take a deep breath and plunge into the line of fire hoping for the best, it isn't determined by luck whether you come out in one piece though.

Any button bashers who attempt this game will either need to fix their act up a bit or look for the receipt as there's only one way forwards, the tough way. The button layout seems simple enough, two attack buttons, one for throwing shuriken and jump but the combat system has a mind boggling level of depth. The combat works so smoothly with such fluency that it soon becomes intuitive, just don't forget to block with the left trigger. It's at this point, when you finally take understand the combat system that the game picks up. You have to at least make it to level 4, in the city, where you are released from the narrow corridors of the Hayabusa Village and the gigantic airship into the wide open streets that you can truly start to appreciate the game. If you give up before that point you cannot say that you tried and you're not a serious or passionate gamer.

The level design and outstanding graphics remain consistent throughout the game, each environment looking fresh and inviting, backed up by authentic sounding oriental background music which quickly switches to a pumping techno soundtrack whenever you get into a scrap. The enemies are well designed, each different type of enemy having a different attack pattern and requiring a new technique to kill. The story's pretty decent as well, told through gorgeously detailed pre rendered movie sequences.

Although it might not sound like it from what I've told you, this game is good to pick up and play. Rather than having to save progress one level at a time each level has a small scattering of save points, each about ten minutes away from each other. This means rather than having to devote hours at a time you can just see whether you can get to the next checkpoint which makes this such an addictive experience. You will get stuck though, many times. I gave up on the game for half a week at one point after I defeated this giant, electric eel worm which was so far the toughest boss I had come up against. I was frustrated to behold that half an hour onwards I came up against another boss. It was the same as beforehand but this time there were two of them. After about fifteen continues I killed them though and I was instantly hooked again.

This game is almost flawless and one of the best games ever made, ever. Pick this up as soon as possible as it goes pretty cheap these days and if you don't pick up this fantastic title then it's your loss.

Gameplay: ***** Sound: **** Graphics: ***** Lifespan: **** Overall Rating: *****
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best ninja game ever!
mpanagiotis26 October 2006
I love this game! I have never played a more action packed game on the XBOX.

The acting is very good. I can't actually believe these are the same people who made Dead or Alive: Beach Volleyball. The only way I can tell is because of the amazing graphics.

The voice acting very good, from the little bit they talk, and the enemies are very smart. Enemies even know when you block, so they know how to break through your block.

This is definitely one of the best games for XBOX for these reasons.

A very strong 10/10 on my review.
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Revenge Never Looked So Good!
benjamin-ryan8 December 2004
Ninja Gaiden follows the story of Ryu Hayabusa. Ryu's clan has been slaughtered and now he is out for revenge. Ninja Gaiden is a excellent remake of the classic. Ninja Gaiden's graphics are mouth watering and it feels like you are watching a movie. The villains are no pushovers so it will take a while to finish it and the bosses just get bigger and harder each level. there are a huge variety of weapons and costumes.the villains are cool, the bosses are amazing and the combos are fascinating. Ninja Gaiden 1, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3 for nes can be unlocked. Plus with being online enable you can vs people, you can get more costumes and weapons . What more could you want. Ninja Gaiden is a Great game and should not be missed!
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A video game that tells a bloody decent story!
antra_chief1 November 2006
OK first off I'm not comparing this game to any of its predecessor. The reason being is that I haven't even played them before. So I'm purely reviewing this game alone without having to make comparisons.

This game itself, does not rely on just plain good old graphics to keep gamers happy. In fact NG has a good deal of other elements incorporated into it which makes the overall game that absorbing to play. For instance the story telling. Storywise this has got to be one of the most engaging, and adventurous type of story I've ever set my eyes upon. The presentation and the delivery of these story sequences are beautifully presented with little flaws seen. Its amazing how Itagaki can build upon that sense of anticipation when watching one of the cut scenes. The CGi sequence itself are amazing to watch. Not only does it look good but it also presents the story in a rather fashionable and elegant form. Again this captivates the audience's attention and urges them to play more.

The combat and gameplay itself is rather fluid with little restrictions imposed on the main character. When I say restrictions I mean the whole movement of the main character, is it fluid and 'free' enough so that you as the player have complete control over Ryu's movement? When I play NG I feel that I have complete control over Ryu. It almost feels like I am him. In some games that I have I played the main characters are stiff, feels like they are controlling themselves rather than me controlling them. However this is different. It really is a tantalizing experience. The combat itself is fast with little framerate drop. I didn't notice a huge framerate drop when I play the game, even when the battle heats up it still maintains that constant speed, and this is what I want to see in other video games. I want to play a game where I can see everything clearly, have an idea of what to do next without having to suffer these kind of framerate drops. NG shows little signs of these drops and again it makes the experience of playing a video game that more exciting and refreshing.

However the problem with this game is that it is way too fast even for the camera to catch up. Camera angles and the positioning of them is an issue in this game. You would want to have a visual perception of your enemy. So that means I should be able to see my enemies around the screen. Having the camera looking up at you doesn't really help. However I'm glad that they implemented the camera centering function which enables you to center the camera in whatever position you are in. This is a very useful function as I've used it many times in the game. I can see what Itagaki is trying to do. He is trying to maintain the balance between camera gameplay and camera cinematography. In other words he wants to have camera angles that are in good position just for you to be able to play the game efficiently, as well as maintaining the overall style of the game. He wants to actually make the gameplay experience a cinematic experience as well. Which is a nice idea, a refreshing idea however in terms of gameplay it fails in that area.

There are complaints about the game being just a bit too hard even for casual gamers. True there are people with different level of skills however I found the difficulty just right for an enjoyable experience. It enables you to play the game fully enough so that you understand how the combat works, the different combos that you should use in certain situations and it helps your mind to adapt to the environmental and situational changes in the game. This game, to me, is a good way to hone your skills and be prepare for any games with such depth in combat.

I have yet to play Ninja Gaiden Black but I heard there is added features into it for example, new cut scenes, new weapons etc. I would suggest playing that version instead as it is an enhanced NG game. Gameplay should be the same I hope but that game is mainly for the new added features. Overall imo NG by itself is a game that all xbox owners should feast their eyes upon and play it at least once in their life. It is absolutely astonishing and I can't wait for NG2. This time with enhanced graphics.
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One of the greatest action-hack-and-slash games you will ever play
Samuiljackson24 November 2005
One of the greatest action-hack-and-slash games you will ever play. Well,at least until the sequel of course.What can i say I shall start with the graphics,which are a pleasure of the eye. Even the simplest texture is so well used, that you will think is real. The FMV sequences,are equally compared to the ones of Final fantasy. The character models are smooth,and i can say some of the characters are realistically sexy. : P. The levels are nicely built,Atmospheres vary from creepy, downright scary, tranquil,and simply beautiful. The music is pro,lots of memorable pieces.Starting from orchestrated music,to traditional Japanese music, to drums and toms,Drum-n-Beat,that will pump you full of adrenaline before you finish. Gameplay simply sweet.Each chapter is a whole new experience. Each level is a whole new game.
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Best ninjaaction ever?
jackg-37 July 2005
Definitely so, indeed.

This is one of the best 3rd person action-games ever. And totally brings the Ninja Gaiden-trademark into the 3d-world of gaming. The controls are smooth, the story is sufficient and the action is great. Ryu Hayabusa is back and whipping. The game has great replay-value, and it's difficulty is just right. It's hard, but aren't games supposed to be quite hard? (At least I think so, though many may disagree).

Anyway, this is the game for you if you seek a fast paced actiongame for the X-box, with great controls, decent camera and a superb grafical presentation. Oh my god! Ninjas are cool again... who thought that would ever happen since the Turtles stopped airing.
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Had to rage-quit because of it's difficulty but... That aside it's actually pretty good
WakenPayne25 September 2016
This may sound like a completely schizophrenic review but I have had... probably the most extreme love/hate relationship with this game as possible. On one hand it's extremely fast paced, the sword combat is very high octane and it just gives you this rush of adrenaline and enjoyment through it's own game-play that when you do beat a difficult section it is immensely satisfying, the boss fights are excellent wherein the fast paced game-play continues along with having to be strategic. If there's any game wherein I would say immerses you into feeling like a Ninja with the reflexes it would be this one... Then there's the difficulty, not only does this game have you feel as though after a while you have the reflexes of a Ninja but also the patience of one as well. Some of the standard enemies take a lot to put down because of their durability, strength or speed. The health power-ups you can only buy at fixed points, you can only save at fixed points and the game seemingly never gives you the health orbs (the game when beating enemies gives you orbs of currency, magic and health) when you desperately need it, and yet hands them out like candy when you haven't taken any damage. The point where I gave up is where after fighting an entire building full of enemies I only had one health power-up left, then there's a portal where you fight 6 enemies, a boss, 6 enemies with someone throwing fireballs at you, another boss then another boss that throws fireballs at you while spamming enemies all in one perfect marathon. I also saw that that ISN'T the final boss and going back re spawns the enemies you just fought beforehand. I'll also say I HATE the camera on this game, while the camera is moved as you pull the right thumb-stick into whatever direction you want, it fixes you on a first person view unable to move without being unable to move the camera. The only way to move the camera in a way that doesn't involve that is pulling a trigger which pulls the camera to be directly behind Ryu. It's awkward to say the very least. I'll also briefly touch on the story, There's 2 swords, one of extreme evil and the one that can stop that evil, Ryu Hayabusa holds the latter and must protect the evil sword from falling into any hands as demons are rising and trying to take the famed sword away from the Hayabusa clan. I'd recommend it to those with a high tolerance for difficulty, it can actually get fun and I mean really really fun and when you take down some of the bosses it's so satisfying. The best way I can describe it is that I have a very love/hate relationship with the game.
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One Of The Worst Games I Have Ever Played
chicagopoetry14 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I recently bought an old Xbox system because I always played Playstation 2 games, so I never got the chance to play the Xbox games such as Halo or Ninja Gaiden. EB Games and Game Spot no longer sell Xbox games, not even used, so I had to order Ninja Gaiden online through Amazon. I had read nothing but fabulous reviews about it and was highly anticipating playing it. Having played just about everything else so far, I really hoped for an awesome experience that I missed.

Right now I am about halfway through it and I have to tell you, I am seriously considering abandoning it. For the last few days I've simply felt like throwing my controlling into the screen of my TV. There is no plot to speak of, just our Ninja dude fighting his way through one confrontation after another, with some limited puzzle solving. There is no fun in the fighting because you just get ambushed time and time again and only survive if you are lucky.

The camera is just awful. You can't look around your environment effectively, especially during battles, which makes battles not so much challenges of strategy but just shear luck on whether or not you hit something while you blindly flail around. The camera wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to struggle with it while bombs and laser beams are being lopped at you as you try to maneuver difficult platforms. The camera is so bad it could take you an hour just to jump across some lousy platforms. And then, if you survived that without pulling a glob of your hair out, after you spent that hour jumping the platforms you will be cast into an immediate boss battle without the opportunity to save your progress or replenish your health, and you will be killed, only to have to jump all those stupid platforms again and again.

And for a Ninja game there is absolutely no stealth involved. You can't creep up on your enemies and take them out. Instead you will turn a corner and instantly be attacked by three or more enemies, some of whom have machineguns, who will no doubt kill you several times before you are lucky enough to take them out. And each time you die, instead of just sending you back to the last save point, it is game over time and you will have to spend another few minutes rebooting the game. Oh, for crying out loud! Furthermore, there is no way to make enough currency to buy anything useful without cheating by spending hours and hours going back and forth into the same room to kill the same bats or whatever in order to store up yellow essence. A spell that brings you back to life when killed costs 15,000 essence, for example, an amount you will NEVER EVER acquire by simply playing the game. It is completely stupid.

The controls are just terrible as well. When you try to do this, your Ninja will do that. You will find yourself running across walls when you intended to jump at an enemy. In fact, for a Ninja, this guy doesn't know his left foot from his right. As I said, there is no strategy involved at all. You just have to jump around and press your buttons and hope for the best as you are attacked by countless foes who often respawn over and over. Soon you will wonder if it is worth it as you once again die and once again have to reboot the stupid game.

After wasting hours trying to get through a few minutes of a level you will finally resort to the online walkthrough that will give you the answer that you would otherwise never have a chance of discovering. Oh, I see, I'm not suppose to shoot at the helicopter at all, but instead just run around like an idiot until it gets bored with me. Huh? Finally you might just say, who cares already? It's not worth it. Being a "challenging game" is one thing, but being unnecessarily frustrating is another thing.

So far I'm not seeing what all the hype is about. I think the reason this game got such praise is because those who actually played all the way through it just couldn't admit that such a large portion of their lives was wasted on something as mindless and pointless as Ninja Gaiden.

Ninja Gaiden is crazy flawed and it makes you want to pull your hair out of your head.
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Worst thing ever
repo_jake-117 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
What to say with this game? It is without doubt the most ridiculous and stupid thing ever - and I played Men in Black on PS1. To look at it - graphics are superb - crisp, sharp and perfectly rendered. The cut scenes are one of the best I have seen in a game for a long time. But any true gamer knows, graphics mean zero to how good a game is - their not a factor - some of the best and hardest games are from old school - Amstrads, Sprectums, Commodores etc. They didn't have decent graphics even for their age. Its game play, game play game play - that makes a game. Anyone who has played Elite and Frontier will know - low graphics - High game play. Ninja Gaiden has none of it. Within a few hours of it I had realised I wasted my money. But was determined to finish it and least get access to the classy original. First and one of the most annoying elements in the game is the camera angles - they are awful. They randomly jump around, not fixed behind (considering it is a 3rd person game), and no depth perception making it very difficult to judge distances. Not having the right thumb stick as a camera control which would eliminate this, they have gone for center camera with trigger. This makes it hard when camera is wobbling all over the place in a critical fight and you have to keep tapping it. The enemies start of fantastic - being a ninja game - fighting ninjas. Then as you progress you move onto soldiers with rifles - again good. The soldiers gradually harden with rocket launchers etc. Then suddenly the soldiers and counter your blocks, grapple you every 2 seconds and slice your pointless energy bar down in a few hits. It gets worse - you start fighting so called zombies with swords for arms, who can infinitely keep re spawning. The main way to combat them is to use the counter attack when parrying - if this actually works - you could spend a stupid amount of time on them. Then there are bats, dragons, mini choppers - but the one I hate and find the most annoying and stupid is - The Ghostly Fish. Fish that infinitely re spawn, that can home in on you and have thousands attacking you in a split second, you would be lucky to hit them and when you don't the counter - and your dead. With a save point system in uses where save points appear hardly ever or grouped within inches of each other when you don't need them.

The games difficulty is also a factor, it is extremely hard, and not hard where its a challenge, like first person shooters (red faction, doom3 et al) its impossibly hard, I swear through glitches and the crazy random camera I have fluked through some of the weird jumps and wall running with fire spouting at you etc. Enemies that go form being vulnerable to invulnerable within a hit, the re spawning enemies, being out numbered 50:1 etc.

This game has all the factors I find poor in a game. There is no real challenge as you are in the AI's hands to whether it will beat you. You can execute every move and magic at your disposal, parry, dodge, jump and then - glitch and your dead. It was clearly meant to be a eye feast to boast the Xbox's graphics and main game play has been forgotten. Its a game a refuse to return and play again for the sheer anger factor it brings up. There is no replay value in this game.

Its a shame really because you could see where the programmers were going, but something happened and made it this game? If a bit more attention to game play had gone it then this would be a superb game. But as it is - it fails miserably. With a sequel apparently on the way, I honestly hope these horrible flaws can be fixed. A few suggestions would be get rid of ghost fish, if not how how having killer vindaloo beasts or any other crazy things?
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Tecmo's best
Star Wars Lover31 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Ninja Gaiden is one of the best Xbox games ever made.The graphics are even better than Halo and Fable. The voices are good and the musics too. The game tells about Ryu Hayabusa in his seeking for revenge against Dark Dragon, who destroyed his village. The game is very difficult and challenging.Even in the Easy difficulty you will suffer a lot. You will like this game if you're fan of games like Zelda and games like Shinobi. The only problem is the load time, that is very long.

The Best: Amazing graphics and difficulty!

The Worst: The load times are very long

Xbox Live: Put your ranking
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A good game, but hardly Ryu's return to form.
SSJAniFan17 April 2004
Ninja Gaiden was originally an arcade beat-em up, then became a side-scrolling action title, and after sequels and spinoffs, simply disappeared after 1994's Ninja Gaiden trilogy, which was a collection of the three NES games. Afterwards, the main character, Ryu Hayabusa, became one of the fighters in the Dead or Alive games. Now, a decade after his last solo title, we finally see Ryu in another game of his own. Is it worth the wait? Somewhat, but not really.

First the good. It's obvious that the graphics are winners here. After all, Tecmo's Dead or Alive games are are quite graphically impressive. The story is also quite good, those who expect stuff on par with the NES trilogy's cutscenes will not be disappointed. It's just that when it boils down to the actual gameplay, the game falls apart. It seems simple enough, as it's similar to games like Devil May Cry and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, with exploring huge areas in 3D, as well as gigantic bosses, but in the end, things fall apart for the reasons that can plague many action games: 1., the controls, especially the faulty XBOX ones. They're just screwed up, for example, the main attack button also happens to be the same as the action button. Not only that, but the controls themselves can screw up. You may try to make Ryu run across a wall, but instead he'll try to run up the building. Second, the one thing that haunts about 99% of all 3rd-person games: The camera. It's just AWFUL. It will often screw you up in the direction you don't want to go in, or make it impossible to tell what enemy is hitting you at what time until half your lifebar is depleted.

So in the end, we have a decent, at best, action game, but far better than the horrid NES original. But it's not perfect. People wanting something to rival Ninja Gaiden 2: Dark Sword of Chaos will be disappointed. Proceed with caution.
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