Ninja Gaiden
Genre Action -> Platform
Today's Rank 5015
Homepage N/A
Date 2004-06-01
Publisher Tecmo
Date 2004-05-14
North America Retail Box ArtUnited Kingdom Retail Box ArtThe ways of the ninja aren't something that the majority of us are familiar with. Yet Tecmo's new action-adventure Ninja Gaiden offers a fairly rigorous schooling. We'll forgive it that, though, because it's all in the name of one of the Xbox's finest, most enjoyable games. From the off, it drips with detail. Viewed from the third person, it creates a completely realistic 3-D environment for you to explore, and it pushes you along with an old-fashioned narrative of vengeance and retrieval. It's all an excuse of course to put you in the shoes of a ninja, with a big sword to boot. And heck, how you'll use it. That's because as you explore the game world, you'll find yourself continually having to fight off the numerous enemies that are in the way of your task. This is where the game really hits top gear. The fighting engine is outstanding, and few games pull off the marriage of intuitive controls, breathless action and variety of moves that Ninja Gaiden has. If you've ever found yourself complaining that gameplay often gets pushed too far down the priorities list for developers, then Ninja Gaiden is not just a welcome breath of fresh air, it's set to take pride of place in your gaming collection. One word of caution though before you sign up for the mission: this is a hard game--make no bones about it. Chances are you'll spend much of the first hour cursing yourself, as this is a game that requires skill from the off, and decent quantities of it. Random button pushers will not feel at home. Of course, in the long term, it's all the better for being so challenging, and crucially, it's entirely fair. When you die, it's simply because you're not good enough. It might be harsh, but you can hardly complain. With plenty to explore, upgrades to acquire and a very long lasting challenge, though, Ninja Gaiden deserves to shoot straight up the wanted list of the Xbox gamer. They really do still make them this good. --Simon Brew

- Platform: Xbox
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB Rating: Mature
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