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Practically Perfect - Ninja Gaiden for Original Xbox

On 06/25/2019 at 10:05 PM by Matt Snee

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Ninja Gaiden for Xbox is one of my favorite games of all time. I played it a lot, and then bought the "Black" edition released later for the system, and played that a lot. In fact, I've bought pretty much every version of the new Ninja Gaiden, including the PS3 updates AND the Vita versions. It is a game I truly love, and am constantly challenged by. Like its NES predecessor, it's epic and difficult, but not nearly as cheap (most of the time). I kind of see this Ninja Gaiden as a pre-Souls game before the Souls games, where skill and patience pay off... but you have to always be vigilant. 

The Ninja Ryu can obtain and upgrade a variety of weapons, so like Dark Souls, you can grind for money to spend on upgrading your attacks and your items. You'll have to. 

I've never beaten the game. It's very long and very difficult. I've gotten probably about three quarters of the way through, back when I lived in NYC. I don't know if I could do the same again... I don't have that sort of patience with games anymore. 

The level design, graphics, music, and furious bloodletting are feasts for the senses and the soul. I particularly liked the staff weapon, which you can eventually upgrade so it has blades on the end. That shit fucks enemies up. 

If this was remastered for newer systems, I'd buy it again. In a minute. 



Super Step Contributing Writer

06/26/2019 at 12:54 AM

I can agree with the Souls comparison in that I remember this game being praised for its difficulty ... and just like the Sould series that immediately made me not care about it. Tongue Out

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/26/2019 at 07:17 PM

Yeah... it can be pretty tough!


06/26/2019 at 01:40 PM

I bought the game for the original Xbox, made it to the first boss, thought I was beating him but then I was dead. 

That was as far as I got. I think I have all the games that came out afterwards but I've never played them.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/26/2019 at 07:18 PM

Ha ha, that boss is like the hardest in the game!

Cary Woodham

06/26/2019 at 09:08 PM

Well I've played the old 2-D NInja Gaiden games, but not the 3-D ones.  Not my cup of tea I guess. Do they still play the same tune when you die like in the NES games?

Do you play the Dead or Alive fighting games?  Ryu from NInja Gaiden is in those, too.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/27/2019 at 09:24 AM

Ha ha, no, it doesn't have the same music unfortunately!

I like those Dead or Alive games, actually. I had one for the Xbox 360. 

Cary Woodham

06/27/2019 at 09:09 PM

I reviewed a DOA game on the PS3.  If you can get past the fanservice, it's actually a pretty good fighting game.  And one of the characters has purple hair!

The DOA Volleyball games aren't very good, though.  If you want a good volleyball game, play SEGA's Beach Spikers on GameCube instead.


06/28/2019 at 10:24 AM

I remember trying Ninja Gaiden on Xbox. I respect it, but it demanded too much from me. I tried Ninja Gaiden Black too and did better, but I still have no patience for it - repeating battles annoys me. 

I also remember Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword for the DS. I always wanted to play that because the graphics looked so great - never did though. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/28/2019 at 12:34 PM

I’m gonna write about Dragon Sword next. 


06/28/2019 at 07:02 PM

Oo, great!


06/29/2019 at 12:45 AM

Ninja Gaiden/Black were the only games I would have considered getting an original Xbox for. I played the Sigma versions of the games on PS2. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/30/2019 at 12:44 PM

Ninja Gaiden Black was definitely perfection. I loved that game. I played the Sigma versions, but I never got as far as I did in the Black edition. 


07/04/2019 at 11:49 PM

I managed to beat the Black version on Xbox back in the day. It was a grind but pulling it off is one of the very few group of gaming accomplishments I can be proud of. It just isn't messing around. 

You brought up the Vita versions. Sigma Plus was pretty decent but Sigma Plus 2 was a nightmare for me, full of slowdown at the worst times.

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