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Ninja Gaiden

by Neal Ronaghan - December 19, 2012, 9:08 am EST
Total comments: 4


Eagles do more damage than bullets. For real.

Ninja Gaiden has a very fair reputation for being brutal, unforgiving, and extremely challenging. The Tecmo-developed action platformer isn't for the faint of heart, but thanks to the save states present in the 3DS Virtual Console version, more people than ever will be able to push their way through the game’s unfairly difficult sections.

For me, Ninja Gaiden has always had a rhythm and cadence to its movement and combat, and while that rhythm gets thrown out of whack when a super-damaging eagle flies from off-screen to send you plummeting to your doom, the experience loses very little in the transfer to the portable screen. The only problem is that it is sometimes tough to differentiate platforms from the background in certain levels on the smaller screen.

Especially with the benefit of save states, the game holds up extremely well. If you’re up for an often-brutally challenging experience with some cheesy dialogue and awesome music, then Ninja Gaiden on the 3DS Virtual Console might be perfect for you.

What's a Review Mini? It's a new article type for Virtual Console games and smaller downloadable titles. It allows us to deliver you our thoughts on smaller or older games in a concise manner.


  • Brutal yet splendid gameplay
  • Great presentation for its time
  • Save states reduce challenge
  • Spectacular music
  • Flying animals are evil
  • Still damn hard even with save states


Pixelated PixiesDecember 19, 2012

The mini review is a great idea for retro games, particularly if you have a very clear understanding of your readership. There are enough sites out there which review retro games in great detail. However, for people who have already played the game or are at least familiar with it, those more in-depth reviews are of limited value, because for those people the primary question they want answered is how this particular version of the game fares. For games like Monster World IV I wanted to know what the game was and how the mechanics worked as it was a game I had never come across, but there are definitely instances where I'd prefer an abridged review.

Using the Review Mini format is at the discretion of the reviewer. I would assume that in the case of a game like Monster World IV, being made available for the first time outside of Japan and for the first time on Nintendo hardware, a longer review would be written.

But for eShop games like Dress to Play: Cute Witches!, well, one could spend way more time in a review telling people why they shouldn't get the game than is really needed.

reneponcecarrilloDecember 19, 2012

I just would like to state that the game should not be called unfairly difficult. I would say it is deviously designed. I find the difficulty right.

I have the save states but I go back to play it the old way. Since the 3DS is emulating the NES hardware, when I loose and must go, I reset it.

Save states are GREAT for whomever would like to be able to get the whole story without mastering it before.

It is now possible.

About the mini review. I like the format. The picture you put in there is also very well selected, I like it. Maybe more pictures could help the mini review. Not necesarily pasted in between the text. But maybe, for example, where you say unfairly difficult, one could fly over the word and get a screen about what you are talking about.

Thats it.


Sorry, but when an eagle respawns constantly every time you move slightly left or right, that's unfair. I love this game to death, but that has nothing to do with devious design (which this game is rife with) and has everything to do with being unfair courtesy of the limitations at the time.

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Genre Action
Developer Tecmo

Worldwide Releases

na: Ninja Gaiden
Release Dec 13, 2012
jpn: Ninja Ryūkenden
Release Aug 29, 2012
PublisherKoei Tecmo Games
RatingAll Ages
eu: Ninja Gaiden
Release Nov 15, 2012
PublisherKoei Tecmo Games
aus: Ninja Gaiden
Release Nov 15, 2012
PublisherKoei Tecmo Games
RatingParental Guidance

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