Ninja Gaiden made its debut in 1988 and the title quickly became popular for its action gameplay and high degree of difficulty, which continued later on for the Xbox release.
The game first appeared for NES and was brought back for the SNES in 1995. Team Ninja then worked on the version for the Xbox, which featured the difficulty from previous releases.
But before the series was super realistic, Ninja Gaiden (1988) was an arcade game that featured a nameless ninja trying to find and defeat the bad guys. The game gave players a variety of moves to use them against enemies and the character had to fight mostly with his bare hands. A sword was available as a power-up.
Ninja Gaiden returned two years later with Ninja Gaiden II: The Sword of Chaos, which now featured the ability to climb walls and invincible copies of the game’s main character, Ryu.
In 1991, Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom was released. The gameplay remained almost the same and more about the characters from the previous release was revealed. It is the first Ninja Gaiden to have limited continues and also the first to make your opponents attacks stronger. Like the first two releases, the game was ported to other systems.
Collection and Other Games
Four years later, the game had become popular, so a collection of the three games was released for the SNES. The games were almost the same, but a few things were changed, including parts of the music for the cutscenes. The Ninja Gaiden trilogy is now difficult to find as many gamers collect them.
The series would continue to make appearances for the Game Boy and many other systems. The Game Boy version was actually a prequel for the original game while the following games for other systems featured new storylines and characters that were not part of the first games. A Ninja Gaiden game for the Sega Genesis was in development in the early 1990’s but was never released.
The series then took an eight year break after the trilogy, coming back in 2004 for the Xbox. The story did not continue the events from the previous releases, instead, it was a prequel to the first NES games. The game brought back Ryu Hayabusa, who is out to get revenge and retrieve the Dark Dragon Blade from the bad guys after his team was taken out. The game received great reviews, sales were good as well.
Ninja Gaiden and Updated Versions
A second version of the game called Ninja Gaiden Black was released a year later. The second game brought new content, game modes and a few other features. A port for the PS3 called Ninja Gaiden Sigma was released two years later. This version brought a new playable character and a few other improvements. The updated versions would continue, this time for the PlayStation Vita. Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus added a number of costumes for the playable characters and a new trophy list.
In 2008, Ninja Gaiden was back to Nintendo, this time for the Nintendo DS. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword story is set six months after the events of Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. It features a new playable female ninja character and 3D graphics.
Ninja Gaiden II was released in 2008, this time for the Xbox 360. The story takes place one year after the events of the 2004 release and comes with four difficulty levels. The PS3 and PlayStation Vita would later get their own versions called Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus.
The series continued with a third game called Ninja Gaiden III. Koei Tecmo announced it at the Tokyo Game Show but it would be a little different as its director left after the release of the 2008 game. The game, released for the Xbox 360 and PS3, made a number of changes to the gameplay.
A second version called Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was released eight months later. This game was first released for the Wii U, but it arrived to the PS3 and Xbox 360 a few months later.
The latest game, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, was unveiled in September of 2012. The game was released for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2014. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z featured a lot of the things from previous titles, but did not have good reviews.
Rumors Since The 2014 Release
The reviews for the latest game were not good but fans have not forgotten about the series. Since the 2014 release, rumors and posts from many fans requesting a game for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 have appeared. Some fans have asked for a remaster version of the latest games. A few gaming sites have mentioned that the studio has PS4 only game in development, meaning that if they announced a Ninja Gaiden game, it would be an exclusive for the console.
A remaster or collection for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 makes sense as we have seen many updated versions in the past but nothing has been confirmed. Fans would love to see a new game or even a remaster and we hope that the studio talks about Ninja Gaiden soon.
What is your favorite Ninja Gaiden game? Would you like to see a remaster for the PC, Xbox One and PS4? Let us know in the comments.