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Replaying Ninja Gaiden, the game that's (still) tougher than

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Craig Owens revisits the original Xbox's most punishing experience

I remember the first time I tried to take on a tightly-knit bunch of Black Spider Ninjas. I remember it because they eviscerated me. These days, Dark Souls has cornered the market in player punishment - but in the era of the original Xbox Ninja Gaiden was the king of cruelty. Tecmo's action title might look like DmC or Bayonetta - but in those games the challenge is all about racking up high scores and making spectacular combos last as long as you can. Ninja Gaiden, by contrast, was all about trying to survive.... read more

Replaying Ninja Gaiden, the game that's (still) tougher than

Postby RedBelmont » 20 Jul 2013, 13:50

Just last night I was describing this game, and comparing the cruelty of its opening boss fight, to my first encounter with the Capra Demon in Dark Souls... then a feature on it pops up!? :o
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Re: Replaying Ninja Gaiden, the game that's (still) tougher

Postby Dave2123 » 20 Jul 2013, 17:44

I think older games were harder in general than they are nowadays. It seems developers are really dumbing down games. I still have some PS2 games that I haven't completed, but every 360 game I have is easy even on the hardest difficulty. I think that's why I like AC3 so much, because those optional objectives actually made you take a step back and think about how you were going to do a mission. You couldn't just go in wildly; it made AC3 challenging. Also, stealth games obviously have this sort of component to them. AC4 and Blacklist are my top games for this year along with Watch Dogs and GTA5 of course.
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Re: Replaying Ninja Gaiden, the game that's (still) tougher

Postby Baryonyx » 20 Jul 2013, 20:31

I loved Ninja Gaiden Black, and I loved Ninja Gaiden II even more. Especially the level in Venice, slashing through those Werewolves in a beautiful Renaissance inspired landscape. True gaming gold. Finishing it on Warrior was even more satisfying than getting 1000/1000 on COD MW!
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Re: Replaying Ninja Gaiden, the game that's (still) tougher

Postby Bugsquat » 21 Jul 2013, 07:12

The Flying Swallow! USE THE FLYING SWALLOW! :x
Well...to say that it was 'never unfair' is a little bit of an overstatement. There are a number of boss battles where One's first response was often 'Oh for Chrissakes!!'. But I do agree that every challenge had a solution, and that the solution was usually 'Find something which approximates ''Move-Find weak spot-Attack weak spot-Instakilled-Repeat until success'. But Ghost Fish? They move faster than you, latch onto you and stop you moving for others to come, and do very high damage? Are you kidding me?
The way of life is the posture of a tree; rigid trunk for structured and directed childhood, followed by open branches - life choices. Some branches take one higher than others, and some split many times. But never forget...Every branch bears a leaf.
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Re: Replaying Ninja Gaiden, the game that's (still) tougher

Postby Baryonyx » 21 Jul 2013, 16:19

I didn't think Ninja Gaiden Black was too unfair. Ninja Gaiden II got a little bit silly though, every boss you'd fought hard against on the way up, and triumphed over after a long struggle came back to haunt you. Except the next time you fight to boss, there are two of them. :evil: At that point, I felt as though the game had abandoned all sense and was just taking the piss. I still fought on though. For the most part in Black, your demise could be attributed to your own lack of skill, but II really stacked the cards against you and wasn't always playing fair.

The less said about the abysmal NG3, the better. I'd love to see another NG game, with the furious violence and level design of Ninja Gaiden II with a little more of Black's delicate nuance and balance thrown in.
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