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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ninja Gaiden, 'Skilled Gamers only'
Before I get to my main rant; the game is as good graphically as Halo and Splinter Cell, and I especially liked the music on some levels.
Reading the reviews some people have left here, I am puzzled at whether or not we were playing the same game. Ninja Gaiden is Harder than average, but not 'insanely difficult', certainly not on normal mode. The control system is...
Published on 12 Aug. 2004 by steve-pro

versus
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so much a game as an act of torture
Like many people, I have been looking forward to this game for months, and wasn't put off by hearing how difficult it was because difficulty is such a subjective thing; I hoped I would be able to plough through it with a bit of effort. Techically, this is a masterpiece. It's truly BEAUTIFUL, and leaves the PS2 and Gamecube's best graphical efforts dead in the water. Your...
Published on 22 May 2004 by M.D. Smart


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ninja Gaiden, 'Skilled Gamers only', 12 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
Before I get to my main rant; the game is as good graphically as Halo and Splinter Cell, and I especially liked the music on some levels.
Reading the reviews some people have left here, I am puzzled at whether or not we were playing the same game. Ninja Gaiden is Harder than average, but not 'insanely difficult', certainly not on normal mode. The control system is fine, and flows like liquid, I wouldn't have it any other way. The camera is so essentially simple, look around in first person, or centre in third person behind your character, nuff said. The first two levels and their bosses, believe it or not, actually do 'ease you in' compared to later levels and bosses, and the plot at first is not completely apparent, such is the beuty of its development.
The gameplay is a mix of platform, which can be difficult the first time, fighting with Soul Calibur style combo's and different weapons, and levels and 'temples and dungeons' like Zelda: Ocarina of time (N64), though thankfully without the childish side.
The A.I in the game's enemies and bosses, is probably among the best in any X-box title, you couldn't use the same techniques over and over again, or sometimes even the same weapon, very challenging, but probably the cause of many people's frustration, also sometimes you must be patient, wait for the precise time to strike, not just hack away wildly.
I enjoyed this game emensely, and felt refreshed with a game that actually takes 20-25 hours to complete, on normal, the thing that draws you on in the game is hard to describe. But by the end of this game you will be spraing your ankles trying to wall run or bird flip on your garage wall, and you'll be weilding that old plastic sword you had when you were 5. A must have for any accomplished platfrom gamer with an X-box, but not for kids.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Life of a Ninja is a Painful One, 22 Aug. 2004
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
If this game teaches us anything, it's that ninjas don't have an easy life. It would seem that even a brief jog outside will cause you to be attacked by all manner of monsters, all before breakfast.
The original Ninja Gaiden series was known for being extremely hard, and that's certainly something this latest version takes to heart - if you don't like replaying levels numerous times, then I wouldn't suggest playing this game. You will almost certainly die frequently, but rarely will it be down to anything but human error.
The game is extremely well crafted, and the controls are tight and responsive, reminiscent at times of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The graphics are detailed, if a little bland in some places, punctuated with some very lavish FMV sequences.
Also a nice touch is the inclusion of the original NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy, unlockable under certain circumstances. The Xbox Live features are also a nice extra, allowing you to enter tournaments and download new weapons and such.
There are a few places in the game where the camera will cost you your life due to focusing on the wrong area. This undeniably can become extremely irritating, though it is a rare occurrence. The previously mentioned Xbox Live downloads include a new camera mode where you can manipulate your view with the right thumbstick, which goes some way to solving the problem.
The game is lengthy and does have good replay value, but is in no way forgiving - this game is limited by the fact that many will find it inaccessible. If you don't like to be frequently beaten, sliced, burned, electrocuted, chewed or swallowed, then perhaps this isn't the game for you. However, if you laugh in the face of defeat and enjoy a solid challenge, then it's certainly worth a look.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing!!!, 23 Aug. 2005
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
Before I start this review let me sum the game up for you - this game is probably the best action/adventure game I have ever played.
The game revolves around ninja Ryu Hayabusa (from the DOA series) as he seeks retribution against Doku, the mystical warrior who burned down Ryu's village and took the dragon sword.

The weapons you use to achieve this mission are varied in all respects. There are over ten different weapons to wield, ranging from the heavy and powerful to the light and quick (ideal for racking up huge combos!) with all manner of weapons lying in the middle (did someone say huge windmill throwing stars?). These weapons lie at the heart of why this game is so great. There's no better feeling than slashing up your opponent with a large pair of nunchucks which have huge blades on the end of them.

The enemies in the game put up a tough fight indeed and range from swarms of blood-sucking bats to ninjas similar to Ryu all the way to "Fiends" - strange-looking demons that will not hesitate to disembowl you. The difficulty of the enemies gradually increases throughout the course of the game. However, this is not to say that the enemies of the first level are easy. Indeed, don't be surprised if you find yourself dying early on in the game. You must quickly come to grips with the demanding combat system in order to stand a chance. This is helped in part by the upgrade system. You can upgrade each of your weapons at special shops throughout the game to make them more powerful and unlock more moves, and hidden collectibles allow you to extend your health and magic bars.
You are also given four different magic spells throughout the game called Ninpo. Three of these can be upgraded to be more powerful. They include fire, ice, and wind attacks and are very impressive. They are usually reserved for those tight spots in the game you find yourself in.

If you are having extreme difficulty despatching the regular enemies, then you will be disappointed to hear that the bosses are, in true gaming fashion, even harder. This game is infamous for the ridiculously hard boss fights. They require a skilled proficiency with weapons, a good sense of timing, and most importantly of all, PATIENCE. There are some particular bosses where you will find yourself dying dozens of time, and I can assure you that is no exaggeration. These deaths are not cheap like in other games however, and you will see there are ways of finding holes in the enemy's defence.

The graphics in the cutscenes are quite simply the best graphics I've ever seen, probably equal to Final Fantasy games. The cutscenes at the end of the second level really flaunt the game's graphics and help to progress the story. In terms of the plot, the story is nothing spectacular, and its main purpose is just to serve as a bridge between the chapters. In other games this may be considered a weakness, but with Ninja Gaiden all you want to do is hack and slash and then slash some more, without having to deal with those pesky cutscenes.
The soundtrack is very good, and I especially like the music when Ryu returns to his village later on in the game

As you kill enemies throughout the game, they drop little misty orbs that are known as "essence". Once the essence has been dropped you can either collect it or you can hold down the Y button. Holding the Y button will allow Ryu to absorb the essence allowing him to unleash a powerful "ultimate attack". These ultimate attacks produce a close-up view where you completely go to town on any enemies that happen to get in your way. Each weapon has a unique, but equally violent, ultimate attack. Combos and ultimate techniques give you more essence than a regular kill so you should try and use them as often as possible, both to make your life easier and just to stare at the attack sequences in awe.

The essence you collect will either be yellow, red, or blue. Red restores your Ninpo meter, blue restores your health, whilst the yellow is the game's currency and counts towards your score. This scoring system brings a very arcade-type feel to the game which I found very refreshing. At the end of each level you are assigned a score based on essence collected, enemies killed, time taken etc. This in turn assigns you a rank for the level (ninja dog, ninja warrior, ninja master etc). This system gives a real sense of nostalgia and is a good throw-back to all those old arcade side-scrollers. Incidentally, the original Ninja Gaiden arcade game can be unlocked for play during a certain portion of the game.

Once you complete the game, you can start a new game and have a brand new costume with a new sword which is called a plasma saber, which looks identical to a light saber. It has to be my favourite weapon in the game, purely for aesthetical reasons. Like many other people have said, this game is HARD. So hard, that it doesn't even feature an easy difficulty. Only normal, hard, and very hard - and believe me, normal will be more than enough for your first time through.

The hurricane packs available through xbox live bring a whole new level of difficulty to the game. They are specially designed levels which require you to climb a large tower, fighting wave after wave of enemies. As a result, this game has incredible replay value.

This is one of the best games I have ever played and deserves to be known as a true great over all consoles, so I would definitely recommend buying this game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating in a fun kind of way............., 7 May 2006
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
Ninja Gaiden has been dubbed as one of the hardest games of recent times. but this is something i welcome, i think recently games have been fairly easy and thus killing off the play time of potentially great titles. NG is really a shining example of how to mix hack and slash with action adventure. However i think the era and atmosphere of the game also adds to its charm, maybe its just me but i just love ninjas and all the rest of it.

So you start off as Ryu Hayabusa an upcoming Ninja part of the Hayabusa clan who defend the Dragon sword a weapon of immense power capable of destroying its evil counter part the Black Dragon Sword. Some bad ass dude gets a hold of this sword in search of its untapped power and its your duty to slay him and avenge your fallen clan members.

The game has a nice introductory level teaching you all the necessary techiniques needed in the game which makes the game pretty easy to get used to. However the game itself is immensely difficult. The first level boss alone i thought was one of the hardest in the entire game, it really just throws you into the deep end with support. The vast aray of enemies are also well made too, you have the usual goons and then the more difficult enemies. Later in the game you get thrown into a mix of all these enemies to slice to shreds which is really satisfying. The fighting system is really the games strong point, at times it actually feels as if your playing a beat em up when you perform the huge list of moves. Good thing is Ryu doesnt only have the dragon sword he acquires more weapons as you progress through the game all of which can be upgraded to make them stronger with the points you acquire in the game, this adds an RPG element to the game. Visually the game is gorgeous, huge enviroments with awsome lighting and lush textures are a real eye candy.

This game is seriously difficult but for some reason you always wanna play it again thinking you can beat that one boss who you've tried to beat 7 times already. Frustrating yes but really adds to the replayability factor. That brings me to the online mode, the game allows you to download 2 expansion levels for the game which you must complete in a certain time with a high score which gets posted on the online leader board. NG has some cool unlockable content which includes the old Ninja Gaidens, locking them however is almost impossible.

This game really is the kind of game where you can say "its good enough to buy an Xbox for" make sure its in your library (and make sure you dont break your pad after you lose to the end of level boss's)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best Xbox purchase since the console itself, 29 Jun. 2004
By 
Mr. C. Fitzgerald (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
I avoided this game for a while when it came out, despite friends and reviews telling me how good it is. But i also listened to the hype about how difficult it is and i hate difficult games, simply because i find them unnecessary and unfair. So it suprises me to agree this game is supremely difficult, but i love it!!
Ninja Gaiden may be difficult, but it feels totally fair when you die because you honestly do feel like you didn't perform to the best of your ability. It drops you right into the action and the first level is one that will put an uncommitted gamer off. But when you get to grips with the controls you feel so powerful. The normal enemies are just as good as you and the bosses are even better. However, if you're good enough, you have the abilities to be the master.
The camera niggles a little, but only a little, and the controls are so well implimented you can be darting from floor-to-wall-to-wall-to-floor and wall again, unleashing devastating combos, throwing shrunkens and taking on a room full of bad guys without having to take a break for a milisecond. What makes it even better is the graphics and sound are so good (and smooth) you feel like you're watching a real Ninja at work. And because the difficulties at the level it is you feel like a real Ninja for getting places.
I honestly think this is currently the best game available on the Xbox, or any console for that matter. Believe the hype, it's that good. But if you don't have time to sit down for an hour each night to play a game, don't bother, since you won't get past the first level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BE a Ninja, 28 Sept. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
Having previously rented the game and died (before the 1st boss) I was nervous about venturing back into the world of Ryu Hyabusa. However I persevered and was soon loving every minute.It's hard but far from impossible; it seems that we as gamers have become used to easy games(myself included). Every level is different and although some levels are harder than others, you soon get used to being challenged. As to the camera issues, it never bothered me: all 3D games have problems with the camera.Be patient and you'll love it. Every level where you die repeatedly and then beat makes you feel like you've conquered the world. I truly love this game and I'm only half way through. roll on ninja gaiden 2 on the xbox 360!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNFREAKINBELIEVEABLE, 9 Jun. 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
I feel pround of myself as I write. Why? I managed to finish Ninja Gaiden, even if it was only on normel. This game is the height of my beloved hobby. The graphics were the best around when the game came out, and somehow only blockbusters like Oblivion have topped it since. If you want to see how good they are, then look at Ryu's eyes in any of the cutscenes. Somehow they have captured the shine that eyes give off. The music is fantastic too. Go into settings and listen to "Alma Awakened," it is some of the best music ever. The story is also nice. It's interesting, and keeps your attention. It also has some unexpected twists. The actual gameplay though is where the beauty of this game lies. Well, you get to be a Ninja, how cool is that? You basically run around using various weapons, both melee and projectile, and you kill things. There are plenty of moves available to all weapons, some easy to master, some tough. The ability to use walls and the environment in general to jump and hop around is simply superb, and you'll enjoy hours of your life trying to backflip from one wall to another just to spin around and land back where you started. Magic in motion. The camera is a bit annoying, but since you can pulll the right trigger at any time to re-centre it, you'll get use to it. Basically it's sheer pleasure. However, the only niggle is the infamous difficulty. Even on the easiest level, this is a tough challenge. Even the first boss is going to be tough at first. However, you will soon get to the stage where Murrai and his nunchucks prove to be no trouuble (at least on normel). From there it's just perseverance and maybe a little luck. After a lot of cursing and shouting, you'll finish it. If you want something a bit easier though, go for Ninja Gaiden: Black. Anywho, that's enough from me, if you've been patient enough to read all this, then here's my recomendation. Unless you're not a serious gamer, then you really must get this. In the words of the Halo 2 voice-over: UNFREAKINBELIEVEABLE!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing, 26 Sept. 2005
By 
Paul Phillips (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
This game is definitely in the top 5 games I've ever played. The graphics are incredible throughout, sometimes I'd just stop and take in the scenary.
The fighting engine took some mastering, if you've read any of the other reviews you'll know it's hard. Please don't be put of by the first boss though, he is hard but not impossible. I found the subsequent bosses a little easier but I think that was only because of the way the game teachs you to move. The learning curve is steep but when you get the hang of it, it's truely amazing and you will be astounded at the relfexes and complexity of attacks you're capable of. You'd jump into a crowd of 5 bad guys and take them all out with minimal health loss and go wow! Did you just see that?...I rock ;o) I think this is where the fun really begins, but just when you think you're unstoppable for a few chapters, along comes another bad guy to teach you some more cool killing strategies.
This game took a long time to complete but I've never felt the sense of achievement with any game before. If it was easier I think it would take this away and it wouldn't force you to learn the new fighting moves which are really rewarding when you pull them off.
I'm currently playing through the new Ninja Gaiden: Black which is essential this game but tweaked slightly and although it's still tough, it hasn't lost any of the enjoyment factor for me!
Definitely recommended but not for the impatient!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Game!!!! Very Challenging But Very Fun!, 18 May 2004
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
I know that some people are moaning about the difficulty of this game but there is no need. This game just takes a little bit of time to get used to. People who are dying instantly need to block effectively and that could not be easier, because there is just one type of block which blocks virtually everything!! Press L!! For those who complain that all you do is button bash X, it won't get you much further than the two ninjas before the first boss. The amount of combos are almost limitless if you take the time to experiment. As I said earlier it just takes time.
Gameplay: The gameplay is so smooth and rewarding. As soon as you kill a boss you feel very relieved!! The amount of combos is almost limitless and all the attacks are so fluid.The only bad point about the overall gameplay is that the English version has had the violence minimised quite a bit in comparison to the NTSC version. Yes there is blood but not the decapitation and other extreme scenes that can be found in the other version. I would fine this perfectly reasonable if games such as Soldier of Fortune 2 were banned or toned down in this country. But they are not!!! Plus Soldier of Fortune 2 is far more violent. I am confused!!
9/10
Sound: The sound is brilliant. All the different interactive items make perfectly realistic sounds such as the wooden crates and when your sword bangs off metal. The only drawback is no in game speech.
9/10
Graphics: Outstanding!! Best on any game yet. There are tons of varied environments such as old villages to airships. Everything is brilliantly polished and runs fluidly. Really uses the Xbox power.
10/10
Difficulty: From reading other peoples reviews they are all complaining about this and saying it is a bad point. Well its not a bad thing!! You will definitely get your £40 worth. The difficulty is not frustrating difficult as the game is so fun. All you need to do is find effective attacks for each type of enemy. For example the first boss Murai will not be beaten by walking straight upto him and trying to go head to head. It just wont work. Aerial attacks are a definite win against him, it makes it a breeze. People who are doubting over whether to get this game due to its difficulty should stop worrying about it. I promise that this game will be worth your money. Don't be put off by difficulty!
Overall: This game is honestly the best game I own and I know that other people feel the same. Yes the game is harder than most games but not frustrating. Those worried about this should rent it first just to see how enjoyable it is to play. So overall, this game is worth the money and I promise that you will not be disappointed.
10/10
Just play it and you will see what I am talking about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is that all you got?, 29 July 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) (Video Game)
Ninja Gaiden has a badass reputation, being the hardest game ever, and for a long time this put me of getting it. Psyched up and ready for the worst, I saved my potions and braved the first boss. I beat him on the first evening, got to level 4 on the second night. I'm not some gaming guru, Ninja Gaiden isn't that hard.

The combat is superb. Jump into a group of eight ninjas, block, block, roll, cut, cut, kick, finish and come out clean. You will feel very formidable, very quickly. Concerntrate, and you'll be fine just remember that this game punishes predictable play.

It's pretty and the music's nice. But the puzzles are not the best and the exploration is a bit iffy. The village and town levels are the least successful with invisible walls and doors that can't be opened. It would of been a better game if it focussed on set pieces purely.

Why five starts then? Because the combat is so profoundly satisfying, it's like a martial arts version of Halo.

Truly superb.
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