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Sort of Okay - Ninja Gaiden for the Arcade

On 06/22/2019 at 03:41 PM by Matt Snee

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You may not be familiar with the Ninja Gaiden arcade game. It's your typical side-scrolling beat 'em up, and only single player. It's not so great. But for a while when I was a kid, it was one of my favorite games to play when I went to the arcade at the local mall. 

Now, in my memory, the graphics look A LOT better than they do in the above screenshot. I recall thinking at the time how good it looked, especially the second level where you're beating guys up on an overpass in the rain. But damn does it look ugly now. 

The best part of this game is a move you can unlock where you leap over dudes, and while backflipping, you grab their heads and throw them across the screen. Good game or not, that never got old. 



Super Step Contributing Writer

06/22/2019 at 05:33 PM

It looks pretty damn good to me, having just watched it on YouTube. Animations seem a bit slow, but otherwise I dig the sprites. I might think differently if the game were from the SNES era, but I get why you were so impressed in '88. In fact, it looks closer to a SNES than an NES game, so color me impressed with the visuals for that time.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/22/2019 at 06:32 PM

yeah I liked it a lot at the time, but I played it on MAME in the late nineties and wasn't very impressed with it anymore. I guess it looks better on a CRT screen with those colors and glow. I never got very far in it. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

06/22/2019 at 10:24 PM

Looks pretty darn good from my laptop playing a YouTube video of the captured arcade content. Gonna chock this one up to either iffy emulation or just difference in taste between you and I. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/22/2019 at 10:36 PM

Maybe I should watch it in motion. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/23/2019 at 12:33 AM

The funniest thing about that screenshot is that Sumo wrestler coming out of that Viking bar. Laughing


06/23/2019 at 04:07 PM

I've had that feeling of arcade games not looking or sounding quite as good as I remember them in a few cases. Nintendo's games tend to hold up pretty well in that regard, as they were among the best in class to begin with. Part of it, I think, is because of how primitive the 2600 and Intellivision were compared to the arcade. Doesn't stop me from loving those games, as I have a great many of the Arcade Archives releases on PS4 and Switch. But the arcade version of Contra, as seen on the Contra Anniversary Collection, is a bit jarring. 

I remember Ninja Gaiden for its opening cut scene, its game over scene (where Ryu has a buzz saw coming towards his chest unless you stick another quarter in), and the breakabld objects in the environment, which were a bit of a novelty at the time. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/24/2019 at 10:52 AM

ha ha, I forgot about that buzz saw scene! That was awesome!

Yeah, I've been a little disappointed when coming back to these games, but it's not their fault... it's me who has changed. These games were certainly more impressive than console games back then. 

Cary Woodham

06/23/2019 at 09:25 PM

I remember playing the arcade NInja Gaiden game before the NES one.  But then, I played Super Mario Bros. in the arcade before the NES, too.  I also know that Ninja Gaiden arcade was two player, because I remember playing it with my friend.  One was a blue ninja and one was a red ninja.  I also remember where we played arcade Ninja Gaiden, too.  It was a place called Fun Factory at the Furneaux Creek strip mall.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/24/2019 at 10:52 AM

yeah, you're right, it was two player. I forgot. I'm not sure if I ever played with another person, which is why I don't remember. 


06/28/2019 at 10:51 AM

I never saw NG in the arcades. Maybe I just was just too distracted by 1943 and Sky Shark.

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