Ninja Gaiden. What can I say about Ninja Gaiden on the NES? The original NG in the arcades (also available on the Virtual Console) was a beat-em-up in the same vein as Final Fight, in which you played as Ryu Hayabusa, a ninja with an arsenal of three different moves and who could only use his sword for a limited time after grabbing a power-up. Awesome, right?
Tecmo didn't seem to think so either. And so when it came time to bring the game to the NES, which had no hope of ever running a decent post, Tecmo decided to instead make a completely new original game, an action platformer instead of a brawler. The game has a strange resemblance to Castlevania: close range weapon, sub-weapons activated by holding up when attacking, having to hit candles or lanterns to find these weapons and ammunition... even the HUD bears a resemblance. But Ninja Gaiden is a much faster-paced game, and its hero is much more agile: he can run, change direction mid-jump, grab on walls and, if you are dexterous enough, climb them.
The game has a reputation for being balls-hard. The "problem" here is that as agile as Ryu is, the enemies are not limited to close-range weapons and some of them, such as birds and bats, are even faster than the hero. Plus, they respawn immediately should you backtrack even a millimeter when you kill them. But victory is nonetheless possible, if only by memorizing the levels as you get pushed into the omnipresent bottomless pits over and over again.
Oh, I almost forgot: the story in this old NES game is actually worth talking about. Ryu is not on a quest to save a princess from some villain, but is trying to elucidate the mystery surrounding his father's death. This story was told through cutscenes which were simply amazing at the time. They were detailed, well directed, and full of intrigue. Negative Worlders, you may just play through this game for the story.
Heh. I'm resigned. And really, playing for the retro club is the only way I'm ever gonna finish this game, which I already bought long ago on the VC, so this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Actually the funny thing is I have the cartridge. One of the 7 NES cartridges I still have. But it wasn't mine, it was my cousin's, he gave it to me a few years back when he was cleaning his room to move out.
But what I don't have is a working NES.
Actually maybe not downloading quite yet, I want to stick with Wonder Boy for now.
When you actually look at the story of the NG trilogy, it's like a whole mess of WTF. But the storytelling was groundbreaking. Also, I love the music in this franchise. The pain of dying is always slightly ameliorated by that toe-tapping death jingle. I was so happy when Team Ninja brought back the Stage Complete music in Ninja Gaiden DS.
Yeah, we discuss, wherever it leads us. The first one about StarTropics was mostly about how weird the game is and how stupid we were to not play it back in the day.
The second was mostly about what a pleasant surprise Wonder Boy was, and bitching about the difficulty of Adventure Island.
I have a feeling this discussion will be mostly bitching, save for the occasional post from someone with a massive e-dong bragging about beating the game in little over an hour, before anyone else even got started.