- Total Score: - 8/108/10
Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is a fun adventure and a great collection for those that love action games! Excellent opportunity for someone looking to get into the series for the first time!
Developer – Team Ninja
Publisher – KOEI TECMO
Platform – Playstation (Reviewed), Xbox, PC, Switch
The only Ninja Gaiden games I have played are the ones on the NES. I never came anywhere close to beating those. To be honest, I was a little scared about taking on this collection because I know how hard it was. I started on normal difficulty, and while I beat levels, I knew that I was going to die A LOT. Due to me wanting to beat all three games for this review, I was on a time crunch. I swallowed my pride, and I reset the game. Even after selecting Hero Mode, I still really enjoyed the games even if it was mostly impossible to die. Eventually, I will play through again to prove to myself that I can do it on normal. Who knows, maybe even one day I will attempt the hardest difficulty if I really want to punish myself.
I didn’t have an idea on what Ninja Gaiden was really about, outside of being an awesome ninja and killing a bunch of people. To my suprise, the game is absolutely off the wall! As the chapters go on, and even as the next game started, the realm of possibilities break. I was attacking everything from soldiers, dinosaurs, demons, dragons, and giant statues. To give an idea, an early boss in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is a possessed Statue of Liberty! Honestly, I thought I was just going to be fighting regular ninjas and soldiers the whole time.
Throughout the three games you play as Ryu, the Dragon Ninja, at least for most of the levels. He has different close combat weapons such as his sword, a two-handed sword, claws, and a scythe. You can upgrade these weapons to unlock new techniques and looks. He also has different ranged weapons that you unlock throughout such as shurikens, a bow, and a spear gun. Finally, he also has Ninpo which are basically magical attacks. All of the weapons are pretty solid and, especially in NGS2 and NG3, the combat is flashy. You slice and dice enemies, severing limbs and heads, performing combos and counter attacks. It’s actually pretty addicting. You also get access to a few other characters with their own abilities and weapon, but this is for a level or two of each game.
Technically, the games ran flawlessly. I didn’t notice any bugs or dips in framerates in any of the three games. The graphics are updated nicely and look clean and crisp. The cutscenes are bit blurry, however this has come to be expected with most remasters so its a bit to be expected. It didn’t really distract from the story or any of the action. Sound and music are also good, especially in Razor’s Edge as the soundtrack went well with the action.
Gameplay wise, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 1 definitely felt a bit stiff and the camera angle doesn’t really help. This gives the game a heavily dated feel. Sigma 2 opens up a bit more and the combat is a lot more fluid and faster paced. This was nice as the combat really begins to flow well. Razor’s Edge takes it to an entirely new level, and turns it more into a fast paced action game. The downside to this change is the level design in the Sigma series were more open than Razor’s. Also the game’s length takes a drastic hit compared to the Sigma games. The Sigma series took me about 12-15 hours per, where as Razor’s Edge took about 6 hours. Razor has long segments of nothing but action, where Sigma 1 and 2 have alternate paths and secrets to discover. While it feels completely different than the rest, it was somewhat refreshing after 25 hours of one style game. Of the collection, I definitely prefer Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. It had the right amount of action, mixed with a bit of exploration, and smooth combat.
Overall, I think the collection is worth the price point. There is a lot of content included with the game such as trials, challenges, difficulty modes, and DLC. If you were to buy these games seperately for the original systems, you would be spending about $30 anyways. As someone new to the series, I would recommend it to people looking to try the series. It might be easy to be dissuaded from giving it a try due to its difficulty, but don’t be! Every entry in this collection has an easy mode, that basically makes it impossible to die. This allows any player of any skill level to enjoy the series!