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Ninja Gaiden
Contributed by Falcon

      Fingers hurting... eyes burning.... must sleep... must eat... must finish level first... This is exactly how you feel after the addiction to this game takes over. From the moment you grab your controller to the moment you turn the power off on your NES, Ninja Gaiden courses through your veins and grabs hold of you like an opiate. You will get angry. You will get frustrated. You could very well get to the point of snapping your controller in half, because of the head-throbbing difficulty of that last hard jumping part. Yet even after all of these frustrations, there is always something that makes you play again and again. It could be plain and simple love for the game, or it could be that you're so pissed off at it, that letting it get the better of you would be as detrimental to your ego as getting the shit kicked out of you by Michael Jackson. Whatever the case, this game will get you more hooked more than a vile of crack and 10 bottles of caffeine pills.

      The game opens with the lead character, Ryu Hayabusa, remembering his father's death at the hands of an unknown ninja in a mysterious duel. He is perplexed as to who killed his father and exactly why he chose to partake in the duel that cost him his life. After his father's disappearance, Ryu discovers a letter in which his father instructs him to take the dragon sword which has been in their family for generations, and travel to America. Once in America he is to contact an archeologist named Walter Smith. I don't want to go into too much more detail on the game's story because I want you to play through it, so to make a long story short this meeting with the archeologist leads to Ryu's quest to save the world from an age-old evil.

      The gameplay NG is pretty typical side-scroller style gameplay. It consists of run, jump, kill, run, jump, kill, get powerup, kill, run, jump. The one thing that separates this title from most other side-scrolling twitch fests is the involving storyline, and it was the first NES game I played that actually had cartoon style cut scenes! The only thing that may deter some gamers is the game's difficulty level. I must admit even with all the time I've spent playing this game, I've never been able to get passed the final level. This difficulty arises largely from the fact that you get knocked back when you get hit, coupled with all of the hard jumping parts. Regardless of how cool a gamer you are this game will, at some point, make you controller smashing, hair pulling, chair throwing, NES smashing, window breaking, mime beating, wall punching mad. Even with all of its frustrations I highly recommend you stick with this game. Just play a little at a time if you feel yourself getting to irritated, and always remember to never keep a loaded gun in the room when you're playing :) Overall I give this game a 9/10, go out and get yourself a copy right now!!