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Forums > Submission Feedback > spaceworlder's Ninja Gaiden review

This thread is in response to a review for Ninja Gaiden on the NES. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (07:20 AM)
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Many enemies meander back and forth, like they’re trying to decide what flavor of ice cream they’ll pick up at the Dairy Queen.

Heh, heh, heh.

I'm glad you took the road less traveled here and gave such an immensely popular game such as Ninja Gaiden a low score. I think it's a good game myself, but I do have to agree with most of your points. Yes, a large part of the challenge is artificial and cheap. However, I don't see Ryu's inability to climb as a big deal. I also don't recall any serious issues with the bosses' size, save maybe the last three, who are challenging in spite of their girth.


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Author: drella
Posted: July 05, 2009 (12:57 PM)
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I didn't like this review because spaceworlder's case that Ninja Gaiden is bad hinges on being convinced Ninja Gaiden is dumb (well done) but also that having dumb and absurd qualities equals a bad game (not always). I get that sparrows would never behave like they do in NG and that being able to stick to walls but not climb makes no sense. But I also don't think it makes any sense for a mayor to fight a million street thugs... and that made a terrific game, and there are countless other non-Final Fight examples. Ninja Gaiden isn't a game for everyone, but I wouldn't peg its unique absurdities as the reason why. Otherwise the entire NES catalog is atrocious.


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (01:18 PM)
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Agreed. Peronsally, I play video games largely because it offers experiences that are way out of the ordinary. I like pelting little guys with hoods and masks with giant veggies. I like slicing up thugs and mutants while frantically trying to save my hot FBI girlfriend. I like exploring the countryside and taking out the evil forces of the night with nothing but my trusty whip and bottles of water. Heh, that almost sounds like one of those football commercials. I like refs who yell first down. I like making quarterbacks cry...

However, I am impressed that he's willing to show some guts and challenge Ninja Gaiden's popularity. When I was involved in the NES community, we would have an annual tournament where NES fans would vote on their favorite game, done in psuedo NCAA basketball tournament style. Ninja Gaiden won the very first one, and has consistently done well every year. Hardcore NES fans generally love this game, so giving this a 3/10 is really going out on a limb.


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (01:15 PM)
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I don't think I said that dumb and absurd qualities equal a bad game. Hell, I gave "Back to the Future" a 6/10 and that game embodies dumb and absurd. The point of the review is that "Ninja Gaiden" is not only dumb but lazy. The programmers were too lazy to implement a proper wall-climbing feature, and they were too lazy to create interesting enemies and bosses. Too put it another way, the real dumbness comes from the lack of thought needed to make a game like this.

One point that I did neglect to mention in retrospect are the constant re-spawns, which are definitely going to be a subject in my "Ninja Gaiden II" review.


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (01:26 PM)
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Then I think you should edit that into this review. I think only including it in Ninja Gaiden 2 would be a mistake, since I found that one MUCH easier than the original.

But maybe that's just me.


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (01:29 PM)
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I would, but I hate going back and making major edits to reviews I've already posted. I'd rather just use that energy to write a new review. As it is, I'm satisfied with this one and the way it covers most of the things about the game that annoyed me.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 05, 2009 (01:30 PM)
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The respawns were hella worse in the original than in the second, so unless the plan is to do a curious reversal, I'd balk at claims that respawns mess up the second game.

Also, I don't see much difference between the Ninja Gaiden enemies/bosses and the enemies in most other NES games (including the Castlevanias). I'm not sure I buy the "laziness" argument, so much as it being a missed opportunity to break away from the pack. Look at the Mega Man games -- they seized the opportunity to make unique enemies and I'd say they've held up way better than the original Ninja Gaiden. Tecmo seemed to care about Ninja Gaiden enough (by way of the weapons, cinemas, music) to avoid being "lazy"... I would say they just weren't as creative as a scant few of their peers.

I'd also say they got more daring with the second game.

//Zig


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (01:38 PM)
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I tend to dislike games that have re-spawns, and the sequel had one level that magnified the problems with this mechanic. I will admit that part two is better than the first, but I'm still not liking it too much.

Tecmo seemed to care about Ninja Gaiden enough (by way of the weapons, cinemas, music) to avoid being "lazy".

You seem to be considering it from a standpoint of presentation. The cinematics and music don't mean anything to me if I can't get into the game. When I look outside of the things people liked about "Ninja Gaiden" (power-ups, music, story, etc.) I see an annoying NES game.


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (02:05 PM)
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Hm, I suppose that's a good point to consider. If not for the cinematics, would all the fans like it as much?


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 05, 2009 (02:05 PM)
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I'm not disputing the claim that it's annoying, just the claim of developer laziness.

//Zig


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 05, 2009 (02:11 PM)
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don't take this as the rantings of a deranged fan, I couldn't stand Ninja Gaiden, but dude Joseph what action games do you actually like? haha


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 05, 2009 (02:08 PM)
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In response to Randxian:

If not for the cinematics, I know I wouldn't have liked it as much. But those cinematics are an integral part of the game; they provide backstory to the action that other NES games weren't doing at the time.

People sometimes try to separate presentational elements (whether story, music, visual effects, whatever) from gameplay, usually under the assumption that one is more important than the other, but the combination of the two is what creates an entire experience. Excising the cinematics from NG is like muting the sound on Mega Man 2. It would sour the experience.

EDIT: I would also classify enemy design under presentation.

//Zig


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (02:22 PM)
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don't take this as the rantings of a deranged fan, I couldn't stand Ninja Gaiden, but dude Joseph what action games do you actually like? haha

Ironically, I think I might actually like "Ninja Gaiden III". :-O

Beyond that, I've liked a lot of the "Shinobi" games, "Sunset Riders", and the first two "Contra" games. I'm not sure what the common thread is between these titles.

I'm not disputing the claim that it's annoying, just the claim of developer laziness.

I dunno. The general impression I got from enemy behavior and placement was that anyone could make this game. Like I said in the review, in a game where the tiniest of creatures can send the character flying, it's easy to create obstacles. Most of the action doesn't come from observing the enemy and striking at the right moment, but from mindlessly charging forward and flailing your weapon. It takes little thought to make a game like this.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: July 05, 2009 (02:47 PM)
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The responses in this thread are the responses that I would expect if someone posted a rant about Ninja Gaiden instead of an actual review. That's hardly surprising, as that's precisely what has happened. Spaceworlder, you've been doing a nice job reviewing some old games, but there is an important difference between reviews and rants. Slapping a score on a rant doesn't suddenly make it a review.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (03:21 PM)
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What bothers me the most is your refusal to go back and edit this one. I understand where you are coming from; I used to have the same mentality. I felt when a game was published, that's it. But this TT has completely challenged everything I previously thought about game reviewing.

Take it from someone who has been through the change. You'll be MUCH happier if you take other people's criticisms seriously and edit your prior reviews. It makes a huge difference.

I still feel it would be a huge blunder to bring up respawning in Ninja Gaiden 2 and not in this game. Zig said the same thing, so it's not just me.

On the flipside, I still admire your stance of challenging such a popular game. The fact you are coming under such heavy fire here proves this is one of the all time greats. I think you have the right train of thought on some of your ideas, but I agree your review could use some tweaking here and there. It can still be a good review despite being an unpopular opinion.

You have a chance to write a really good review that would also be really unique given your stance. I hope you don't squander that chance.

When the TT is over, I WILL go back and edit all of my older reviews so they are up to snuff.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 05, 2009 (03:28 PM)
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Going back and editing old stuff isn't for everyone. Edits do result in a more consistently level quality of work, but there's also something to be said for staying forward-focused and just taking all feedback into account for the future.

Some people may also view their writing as "once it's published, it can't be changed". That mentality was born due to limitations with print media, but on the internet, it serves more as a historical reminder of "when I wrote this, these are the things that were on my mind." Some people like to look back and see how they've changed, and that can't happen if you keep going back and editing old work.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (03:58 PM)
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Well, here's my thoughts on that:

1. As far as looking back to see how you've changed, you could simply copy and paste the review onto word pad or some similar program and save it on your hard drive.

2. If I don't edit all my reviews, someone can read one of the ones I elected not to edit, arrive at the conclusion I'm a sub-par reviewer, and never read any more of my stuff. It's not like we can control what games people read about. I can't tell visitors "Hey, check out my Legacy of the Wizard review first. By the way, don't read by Xexyz review because I wrote it a long time ago and it sucks."

Now I suppose it does all boil down to personal preference and philosophy, but I don't see anything wrong with making sure everything with your name on it is top notch.


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (03:45 PM)
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The responses in this thread are the responses that I would expect if someone posted a rant about Ninja Gaiden instead of an actual review. That's hardly surprising, as that's precisely what has happened. Spaceworlder, you've been doing a nice job reviewing some old games, but there is an important difference between reviews and rants. Slapping a score on a rant doesn't suddenly make it a review.

I don't see how my review is a "rant". The language isn't very heated, and I think the points I bring up are pretty genuine criticisms. People might disagree that they are, but disagreement doesn't make something a rant. I also fail to see why a rant can't be a review either.

As for the whole editing issue, Zig's post pretty much sums up my reasons for not overhauling this review at the moment. Flaws or not, I'd rather just let this essay stand and move on to something else. (On the other hand, I do try to go back and tweak stuff like mis-spellings, sentence structure, and grammer.)


Spaceworlder was able to build this sig IN A CAVE…… WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 05, 2009 (04:26 PM)
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dairy queen is awesome, i love that cherry coating they have for the soft serve ice cream.

there's nothing soft about me when i'm eating it.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: July 05, 2009 (04:34 PM)
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You go for the cherry? I figured you as more of a fudge fellow.

Mmm. Fudge.

//Zig


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (04:55 PM)
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It's all about the Blizzards, especially the Oreo ones.


Spaceworlder was able to build this sig IN A CAVE…… WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 05, 2009 (05:07 PM)
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i'm considering getting a car or something just because there's no DQ near me.


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Author: joseph_valencia
Posted: July 05, 2009 (05:37 PM)
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I'm a half-hour's walk away from one. I can get exercise and a soft-serve!


Spaceworlder was able to build this sig IN A CAVE…… WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 05, 2009 (05:52 PM)
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DQ cakes are the best. Mmmm cake!


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 05, 2009 (06:14 PM)
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i think there's actually one down by longwood here in boston, genj should get a job there so he can get me free shit.

haha, longwood.


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Additional Messages (Groups of 25)

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