I can remember when I first played Ninja Gaiden. It was shortly after the US launch in 1989, and I received it as a gift. I had actually never heard of it, so I was not sure what to expect. As I powered on my NES, I can still see the stains on the top from using it as a coaster, the title screen blew me away. If it was any indication of the game itself, I knew it would be an instant favorite. The cut scenes were something I had not really seen in a Nintendo game thus far, they drew me deeper into the action.
With a game that looked this great, how could I have any complaints? Well, for starters it was quite possible the hardest game I had ever played! The weapons were magnificent, but the enemies were ruthless. I think that I can honestly say I died more in that one game, than many other games combined. I probably spent a month just trying to pass level 6-2.
The difficulty made the eventual defeat of the game all the more satisfying. I think that is why it is still one of my favorite games, even today. Now, for those of you that have not yet had the chance to experience the agony of the game, Ninja Gaiden will be available for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console. For now, it is expected to be released only in Japan, but I am hopeful for a North America release, especially since the 3DS version will include a save feature!