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|Reviewer: Jedi Questmaster||Date: Dec 9, 2002|
|Tecmo Presents 1995; unfortunately this is not what you'll get in the intro to Ninja Gaiden Trilogy. Infact, there is no impressive intro whatsoever, except the title that says "Ninja Gaiden Trilogy." Only previous Ninja Gaiden players will get a rising feeling when looking at that screen. This is a game that should attract those who haven't played the series. Someone who played Ninja Gaiden Trilogy told me it was exactly the same as the others, that was a big crock. But sadly, if it were, it would improve in some stages.
The scenes are improved with added color, the gameplay backgrounds are improved as well. At some times during the scenes there are sudden "skips" in the graphics that aren't in the previous Nintendo ones. When there is a Game Over in Ninja Gaiden (NG1) or Ninja Gaiden 3 (NG3), the screen doesn't flash or make any interesting effects like in the originals. After beating NG1, it was nice to see that there was added detail to the destruction of the Temple Of Darkness. Even the lousy backgrounds of NG1 were improved!
Ninja Gaiden 2 (NG2) kept most of its shining glory. The backgrounds still have all the exciting movement (thank goodness!). But what happened to the flashing red to pink, pink to purple, purple to violet, violet to blue colors in the inventory screens?! Also, during one or two scenes, Ashtar appears in front of Irene as opposed to the way it looked like: Irene transforming into him. Why the change? These were just minor compared to what Tecmo did in stage 3-1. Yeah, that stage where you could pause the game and wait for the lightning to come back so that you could see. Well that's not necessary anymore. The stage is visible all the way, not a good change.
In Ninja Gaiden 3, the astounding effects that took advantage of every aspect of the NES were taken away. During bosses, there is no flash when attacking them, which makes it harder to tell if the enemy is struck. Now the worst part, in Stage 7-1 there are no moving clouds (John W. Niver was right!) and Ryu still gets blown back! How's that for unrealistic? But we can't blame Tecmo, there had to be exceptions when being limited with just so much space.
OK, now we can blame Tecmo for this. Every song, just about, was remixed. For a SNES game, you would expect decent arrangements. The only really good arrangement was the "Twist Of Fate" theme. It seems that for almost every song in this trilogy, the composers were off beat, no wonder there is no Sound Test that can be accessed.
The SFX are also different, they sometimes sound loud and distorted. Some of the sounds improved, luckily.
In NG1, some incidental event sounds were removed or altered, and someone screwed up "Masked Devil".
In NG2, there seems to be one incidental sound that lags (comes late). There were also songs taken out during some scenes. During the scene after Act 5, when Ashtar says "To the one who releases Darkness with the immortal blood," there isn't music (Going Gets Tough) playing. If you thought the sound was distorted enough in NG1, wait till Ryu gets hurt in NG2. So my conclusion with the sound, being deaf gives one an advantage, not having to hear or get distracted by the sudden loud noises.
NG3 does better than the other two, there are good remixes (sorry): Stage 2-2, Stage 4-1, Act 6 scene (into subspace?), and stage 6-2 were my favorites. One that I found terrible was stage 3-1. By the way, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE STAGE 4-2 THEME? The sounds are still strange, even when the bosses are attacked. Good thing Ryu has an improved voice.
The gameplay is precisley identical, sweet! Except in NG1, there is one part in Act 6-3: Temple Of Darkness - Hall Of Judgement where Ryu has to jump onto a ladder. The player can jump higher than normal. In NG3, Ryu still glides. Running out of time still sucks in the last Act if you survive all the way. Surviving is also easier in NG3, Tecmo seems to have fixed the health glitch (read John W. Niver's review). That still doesn't excuse the fact that enemies still knock Ryu off platforms.
What really helps is the password function.
Replay Value: Extremely High Fun: 9 (out of 10)
Tecmo improves the graphics in some ways, but at the same time, degrades them. Ninja Gaiden Trilogy features better sound quality, but worse use of sounds. The gameplay is identical to each of the installments. Ironically, the third Ninja Gaiden is the best to play of these in the trilogy. Although still lackluster.
It's disappointing that there are NO ending credits whatsoever, now we can't tell who composed this horrible slop.
If you have an NES then PLEASE, play the originals, unlss all you have is a SNES.
Hint: In NG3, on Act 7-3B, DON'T enter back through the door you entered.
When fighting Basaquer in Act 3, stay in the middle & attack when he lands. He doesn't have the same pattern of ninja stars as in the original.
When fighting Kelbeross in Act 4, there is only one that needs to be killed.
When fighting Bloody Malth in Act 5, make sure Ryu's health is near full. The easiest way to win is to just keep attacking him.
When meeting up with the "Masked Devil" in Act 6, destroy the purple ruby BEFORE it generates a defense.
The semi-final Boss, Jaquio, use the walls to your advantage, but not always.
The final boss, the demon, continue to attack the shield. When it falls, dodge it and attack the interior.
Act 2, Baron Spider, use the Art Of Fire Wheel and let him jump down before going to the top to attack him.
Act 3, Funky Dynamite, after attacking, it will stop and fire objects in the air.
Act 4, Naga Sutuva, to harm this boss, attack its face in the middle of the screen. Beware the claws!
Ashtar, simply dodge the balls that cross Ashtar and attack at the right time. This isn't as easy as it sounds.
Kelbeross, same as last time but this time there's no weak one, & you'll need to move around a bit.
NG3- You'll need every help with this one
Act 1, Mantiss Warrior, when he opens his mouth to blow fire on the ground, jump & attack. Be ready to move when it shoots.
Act 2, Night Diver, Pay close attention to his pattern, never stay under him when he shoots. Stay a safe distance when attacking him.
Act 3, during the twin boss, Koganel, Find the right one & attack it only. Always be moving when they are firing at you.
Act 4, Sandeater, Hit it a few times when it pops up. Ahead of time, go to the top. It will return to the ground & fire Art Of Fire Wheels all over but shouldn't hit you. Be ready to move out of the way when it pops up (after five fire wheels). This can be a synch.
Act 5, Bio-noid, if you have the fire wheel, use it when the bio-noid jumps. Attack & jump the shurikens at the same time. When he starts to swithch sides, stay near the middle.
Act 6, Supreme Bio-Noid, Cling onto the wall behind you, After the Bio-noid fires & crashes into the wall, jump off & attack it 3 or 4 times. Don't get hit by the things that fall. Repeat the process.
|Reviewer: John W. Niver||Date: Apr 3, 2002|
|What do you get when you take Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom, and squeeze them in to a SNES cart and improve the graphics sound to SNES quality? You get Ninja Gaiden Trilogy! While I can say that this is perhaps the best idea I've ever seen a gaming company come up with, the results are less than you would expect.
To Tecmo's credit, I must say that the games do look pretty cool with SNES graphics. However, some of the new colors they choose for things (like power-ups) is just terrible. Oh, and another thing, what happened to the lightning in Stage 3-1 of Ninja Gaiden II? The level is now completely visible all the time, and you don't have to wait for a ligntning flash to advance or see where you are going (I personally thought the idea behind this level was very cool when I played it on the good old NES). Also, what happened to the scrolling clouds in Stage 7-1A in Ninja Gaiden III. On the NES, the clouds scrolled, and in this version, they don't. This, of course robs this stage of any realism whatsoever. Oh, well.
Oh, my. I though the music for the NES version of Ninja Gaiden III was bad. Tecmo remixed all the tunes from the original three games, so they would sound "more 16-bit". This sounds like a good idea, but that was their biggest failing. Most of the remixed tunes are horrible, even if the music was good on the NES version. Also add to the fact that the timing of many of the sound effects during the story scenes are off, you get the feeling they got to the point where they just gave up on this game.
Thankfully, the gameplay in all the games, for the most part, remains unchanged, except Tecmo finally fixed the double damage problem that plauged the NES version of Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom, along with many other flaws in that title. So if you want to play a FAIR, GOOD, AND NON-SCREWED UP version of Ninja Gaiden III, play it here, and not on the NES. Seroiusly, I feel Tecmo should have recalled Ninja Gaiden III for the NES when it came out, that double damage error makes the game nearly impossible to beat!
Overall, Ninja Gaiden Trilogy is a great game(s), and deserves a place of honor in a Ninja Gaiden fan's collection, but it lacks the fine tuning that would have made the game perfect. Still that's not saying much, and nothing's ever perfect.
OK, here's the lowdown. Play Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden II on the NES if you like better music, but play them on the SNES if you would like to play with enhanced grahpics and can stand the terrible sound. However, always play Ninja Gaiden III on the SNES, that way you may actually beat it.