Ninja Gaiden III-The Ultimate Challenge of the NES Trilogy
This is Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. This game perfected the formula of the trilogy with fine-tuned mechanics, fast pacing, and a level of difficulty unlike that of any other game in the series. This game is, as of the date of me making this review, my favorite NES game and I definitely see it as the best in the NES trilogy. I'm here to review the game and hopefully give you a better understanding of why I like this game so much. So without further ado; ladies and gentlemen, Ninja Gaiden 3.
Graphics-9- I feel that the graphics of Ninja Gaiden 3 surpass that of its predecessors. The environments are much more detailed and they are complete with animated backgrounds. Some of the levels also take on a very organic look to them (I.e what looks like aliens growing in the walls of the level). I love this look. It looks very well done and provides a lot of atmosphere. That's not to say that the non-organic levels look bad, though! All of the environments are well made in this game and each one fits each level in a unique way. The sprites of enemies in this game have much more variety to them than the second one, whereas the second one seemed to rehash sprites from the first one. As fitting as the environments are for every level, the enemy sprites are also very fitting. I also love the amount of different enemies this game has to offer. This game did a lot of new things for the trilogy, and variety is one of the most significant. The "Fist of the North Star"-esque cutscenes are still present in this game and they still look as good as they have since the first one; they may look even better! With that said, I think it's time to move on to the next aspect: sound.
Sound-10: The sound in this game gets a solid 10 from me! Ninja Gaiden 3 brought back the upbeat, adrenaline-charged music that the first one is loved for, and it's just great! I think I have more favorite songs from this game than I do from the first one! Aside from music, the detailed sound effects remain present from the second one, and the developers even went out of there way to add VOICE CLIPS! Do you understand? They really put voice clips in this NES game! This was a very uncommon thing at the time, with not many games utilizing the voice capabilities of the NES. (I can think of a few games: Sesame Street Countdown,Day Dreamin' Davey, and.... Action 52.) Ninja Gaiden 3 makes a lot of use of voice clips, having Ryu speak upon attacking, getting hit, throwing an item, etc.
Addictiveness-10: What is there to be said about the addictiveness? Is it fast-paced like the first two games? Check. Does it keep you on your toes? Check. Is it still an intense side scroller with respawning enemies and a killer soundtrack that's sure to make you happy? Duh! This game still has the speed, the sounds, and the stabbing difficulty that the first two games have. It's just as addicting as the predecessors, and maybe even MORE addicting!
Story-7: The story in Ninja Gaiden 3 is my favorite of the three games. The game opens with your lady-friend, Irene, being chased down and ultimately killed from falling off of a cliff by none other than Ryu himself! Wait, maybe I was a bit incorrect there. Irene is killed by someone or something that looks exactly like Ryu and when the real Ryu catches wind of this he sets out to find and kill the fake Ryu after being framed for killing his own girlfriend. Just like in the games before, Ryu will meet many new characters and face many new enemies all in search of one goal: clearing his name. It might seem cliché, but it's really a very interesting story that makes you really want to beat the levels and be treated to another cutscene to advance the story.
Depth-8: This game has a little more to offer than the first two games. There are more enemies to kill, the levels are longer, there are items every where (Including one of my personal favorites, the longer sword power-up. No penis jokes, please.), and the game has new mechanics to make the game have a better appeal. The wall-crawling mechanic from the second one has been fine-tuned to make climbing snappier and easier to maneuver. The game also introduces a new mechanic that allows you to grab on to certain platforms and navigate them like monkey bars. This is a very useful mechanic and you will find yourself using it a lot. Another very important innovation that this game made is the use of vertically scrolling levels. This adds a new level of difficulty to the game that the first and second ones couldn't do. For example, there is a part where you have to keep moving or else you will fall victim to the rising lava. The vertical scrolling provides for some very intense moments.
Difficulty-10: I always see people on the internet claim that Ninja Gaiden is the hardest game on the nes, or that Battletoads is the hardest game on the nes. It begs the question: have they ever tried Ninja Gaiden 3? You better watch yourself when you play this game; it doesn't pull ANY punches.Ninja Gaiden III is definitely the hardest of the trilogy. If you and I were taking turns playing this game, I wouldn't blame you if you just started crying from frustration. Remember those awesome infinite continues that the first two games had? They're gone. Just like Elvis Presley. Just like the dodo bird. Just like the controller you just smashed in frustration. Just like the small sighs of relief that you got when you were given the choice to restart from the beginning of the level in the first two games. You are never safe in Ninja Gaiden 3. You have a limited amount of lives to work with and you had better hold on to them. This game will destroy you. Oh, and how about those enemies? There are so many flying and jumping enemies in this game that it makes you bust a vein in your head from anger. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but you get my point. Not to mention the fact that you take nearly double damage from enemies, you are harder to control in mid-air, and the shadow clone power-up is gone. On the bright side, though, they DO give you 3 continues. You can also jump farther and you don't get knocked back as far when you are hit by enemies. To completely screw up an old hit song: every thorn has its rose.
Here we are at the end of my review. Honestly, I had myself excited for the day when I'd finish my reviews of the ninja gaiden trilogy. I hope you now understand why I think this is the best in the NES trilogy. If you don't understand, well I'm sorry. The story kept me interested, the difficulty made me come back for more, and the game overall just makes me so happy, despite the massive difficulty. I encourage you to try this game for yourself. Please do not be turned away at first by my explanation of the difficulty, you'd really be missing out if you didn't play for that reason. With that said, this closes my review of Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom as well as finally finishing my reviews of the NES trilogy. Peace out.
My Reviews of the Ninja Gaiden Series (Click one):
Graphics 9 Sound 10 Addictive 10 Depth 8 Story 7 Difficulty 10
Ninja Gaiden III Description: This is the third entry in the series of fast-paced ninja action games, and is the last game in the series to be released on the Nintendo Entertainment System.Some time has passed since the defeat of Ashtar and the resurrected Jaquio, and Irene Lew has received a new mission to complete. She is to observe a strange factory that has been constructed recently for an unknown purpose, and investigate it. She proceeds to reconnoiter it, but is intercepted and apparently assassinated by her friend Ryu Hayabusa...except it isn't Ryu. It is an imposter. The real Ryu, angered over her death, and the subsequent false accusation that he murdered her, continues her mission and proceeds to investigate the factory.As stated, this was the last game in the regular series produced for the NES. It had many features the previous games in the series did not, such as a power up to extend the length of your sword, a new vertical "wave" attack and vertically-scrolling levels. The US version of the game is reputed to be the hardest in the series, due to the extra damage incurred when hit, slightly shorter regular sword length, limited continues and more enemies.The Lynx port is the second Ninja Gaiden game on the platform, the first being a port from the Arcade Version. This port is identical to the NES game, but the in-game picture is compressed for the smaller screen of the Lynx.