Ninja games — who doesn’t like them?
We had more of these back in the 8-bit / 16-bit days with Ninja Gaiden (the series that arguably started the craze), Shinobi and Legend of Kage. I suppose you could broaden the definition of "ninja" a little and include the TMNT beat-em-ups and Strider, too.
Today, most of these have been replaced with newer series like Tenchu, Muramasa, the Naruto (sorry, they get off on a technicality) games and more. So, my question is, which one’s your favourite? Which one did you find the most fun and why?
Mine’s Shinobi, but not the Genesis games. While I dearly love Shinobi III, I think my favourite is probably Shinobi on the PS2, with its amazing wall-running feature. Running on walls, jumping across rooftops and constantly moving around enemies this way made you feel like a total badass. I always thought of a ninja as someone that’s fast and efficient, as opposed to brutal, and Shinobi does a great job of blending that concept with the pop-culture definition of a ninja.
Oh yeah. Shinobi on the PS2 is my favorite too. I actually went and cleared it with an average of S rank – I don’t think I’ve ever clicked "retry" so many times in any other game. Unfortunately, Hard difficulty is beyond me. It was also a pretty straightforward experience, with only really two buttons for attacking and no weird combos, and no puzzles whatsoever. Great stuff.
It also had one of my favorite gameplay mechanics in an action game. You know how today’s titles have bosses with a truckton of health, and you have to hack away at them little by little until they die? NMH, NG, GOW, etc. all spring to mind. But not in Shinobi. if you wanted to suffer, you could do it like in those other games. But if you knew were good, you could end it in a minute and with a single blow. If you were bad, you’d suffer, and if you were good, you’d end it quickly. Now this is what I call "rewarding the player’s skill".
If we’re grouping TMNT games in the "ninja" category, then I’m going with TMNT 2: The Arcade Game for the NES. I actually prefer it to the actual arcade game. XD Aside from that, I also really like the NES Ninja Gaiden games. They were tough as nails, but also a lot of fun!
Ninja Master’s would also count then? Well, it isn’t really my favourite anyways, ahaha. Pretty good though :D
My favourite would probably be Nikujin, I wrote an article for it on hardcoregaming101.net a while back, and I’ll be writing more for the creator’s other stuff.
In any case, it really made me feel like a ninja, with it’s acrobatic levels, and high difficulty. When I won though, I felt DAMN good. It is definitely worth coming back to as well! You guys should check it out… if you don’t mind some nudity, ahahahaha.
[Next week: Who is your favorite new video game character of 2009?]