Ninja Gaiden review - Sega Master System
Being a Dragon Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa is naturally a man of honour. Imagine his horror and disgust then, when he receives a message telling of a massacre at the Dragon village where he lives. Rushing home he finds his family and friends reduced to kit form! To rub salt into the wide variety of wounds, the sacred Bushido scroll has been stolen. The gang who have seized it now have the opportunity to turn its immense power to evil ends - and conquer the world!
Realising there is no time to lose, Ryu has thrown on his all-in-one black pyjamas and headed straight for the forest to begin the first leg of his journey. Armed with his Dragonsword, Ryu must make his way through eight stages, tackling gunmen, evil Ninjas, birds, bats, and end-of-level guardians. Fortunately for Ryu, there are weapons to collect along the way, like the Shuriken and Super Shuriken, enabling him to kill enemies from a distance. There are even fireballs which home in on the nasties leaving Ryu's hands clean. However, in order to use these weapons plenty of combay points are essential. To gain access to combat points and weapons, Ryu has to cut open scrolls which litter the eight stages. There are bonus points, health restorers and time bonuses to collect as well.
For Ryu to ensure a triumphant conclusion to Ninja Gaiden he must master the many weapons at his disposal, learn how to scale walls, and seize the Bushido back from the evil hands that hold it. Vengeance satisfied and honour restored, Ryu can get out of his all-in-one pyjamas in the hope of sparing himself the reputation as a walking fashion disaster!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Decent platform game have been a bit scarce on the Master System recently. Apart from Prince of Persia, there has been little else. Fortunately, Ninja Gaiden more than makes up for the relapse. It boasts excellent graphics, full of colour, with a detailed attention to backdrops. I was also impressed by the animation which, like Prince of Persia, manages to fulfill its potential. The controls are responsive (perhaps a little too responsive at times) making the gameplay easy to get into, and largely free of frustration. On occasions my suspicions were aroused about the collision detection, but it is rare enough to be hardly noticeable, and doesn't really effect your enjoyment of the game. The range of weapons and moves give the game a variety that keeps it interesting, and I kept coming back to experiment with new weapons to find out which worked best and where. The addictive quality is fuelled by the large size of the game which means it won't be a one day push over. While Ninja Gaiden doesn't have much in the way of new ideas, it does prove very successful with the old ones, and it's this fact that makes it a game well worth a look.
I must admit there haven't been many games of late that have caused me to power up the old Master System for a quick play. Domark's Prince of Persia was one exception, and this game is the other. Ninja Gaiden has loads of appeal. The graphics are excellent (sometimes rivalling Megadrive visuals, believe it or not) and the scrolling is super-smooth. The speed of the game is also quite remarkable, it really moves at a fast and hectic pace, making for some great play. Perhaps the game is a little easy in places, but it's just so goo to play that even after you've completed it, you'll be coming back for more. The selection of weapons adds even more variety to the proceedings. Ninja Gaiden is a great slash 'em up, essential for Master System owners.
Have your say about this review
Geo - 06 Dec 2009, 01:46 GMT
SMS version of ninja gaiden rocks! This game goes right with the NES Ninja gaiden games, If not better!
Andreas Åkermark Wernlund - 24 May 2015, 21:03 GMT
Ninja Gaiden is more well known on the Nes. And yes, that version have better music, but the Master System game have better graphics. The difficulty is more well balanced also I think. If you liked Ninja Gaiden on the Nes be sure to look up this version which is equaly awesome! Overall score: 90%