From villages to cityscapes and futuristic labs Ryu Hayabusa is back in a trilogy that originally defined Ninja action.
From Team Ninja comes the collection of Ninja Gaiden, remastered for current-gen consoles, bringing both the nostalgia to us who played the original back in the mid 2000s to the last entry in the series – Ninja Gaiden 3.
Over the top and non-stop Ninja Gaiden follows a lone Master Ninja Ryu Hayabusa as he originally tries to save his village then sets out on a path of revenge… which then kinda becomes a bit, well, SciFi.
Armed with the legendary Dragon Blade a weapon so powerful that it eventually begins to consume him.
Ninja Gaiden games also have an RPG element, while basic.
Collecting up Essence from your foes or throughout the environment will enable you to purchase additional melee and projectile weapons aswell as upgrading, or rather ‘strengthening’ your existing ones.
Finding Gold Scarab Beetles reaps even better rewards.
You will also learn new moves – this can vary a bit via the game you’re playing but ultimately these can be learned through new scrolls you will acquire.
Then you have a super move by venting all of your frustration and might via Ninpo. You’ll also play as differing characters as the narrative allows. They too have their own skills and weapons.
While none of the three games are open world, there are many areas that are worth exploring – and explore you should as there can be goodness just around the corner.
The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection, if you hadn’t gathered by now, has all three games; Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II and III.
Arcade action at its finest – you get ranked on how well you did (or didn’t) do at the conclusion of every Level.
Perhaps showing it’s age, playthrough of the games is short, around 6 to 8 hours per game, but given that you have all three titles in one bundle there’s more than enough Dragon Blade slicing and wall running to keep marathoning through.
Replayability is a bit light. Once you’re done. You’re done.
The only replayability factor is to replay on a harder difficulty. This will gain you more Achievements or Trophies, if you’re a trophy hunter.
In all the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is a satisfying play and for gamers like me who played the at the time groundbreaking Ninja Gaiden on the first Xbox it’s a series you should smash your way through.
Released: July 2021
Platforms reviewed: PlayStation 4
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Team Ninja