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Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection Review

by Jingjing Wang 9 months ago in product review
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The "Master Collection" (a.k.a "Legendary Collection") is a compilation of the first three games in the Ninja Gaiden series

The "Master Collection" (a.k.a "Legendary Collection") is a compilation of the first three games in the Ninja Gaiden series, and many say that it's one of the best action titles available for PS2. I'm here to give my opinion about what could have been if Team Ninja had continued developing this game instead of leaving it behind in 2005 with an unsatisfied taste in many gamers' mouths like a dormant volcano waiting for its next eruption. Many people think that Tecmo's motive for stopping development was due to lack of profit, but that isn't necessarily true because they actually made a little bit more on each individual package than if they had sold the games separately in their original state. Now then, let's get started:

In my opinion, when it comes to fighting mechanics and how responsive they feel I'd put Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection up there with titles like Bayonetta or Devil May Cry 4 (4th game in the series). The combat is very fluid, tight and incredibly fun. You can tell that Team Ninja really wanted this title to be successful because they poured their heart into it and made sure that every enemy encounter was unique and exciting. This is something that has been lost in today's modern gaming industry when you raise your shields against a barrage of recycled ideas like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto V or even God of War III remastered. There may be only 25 or so enemies throughout the entire game, but every single one of them was given its own personality and felt like a unique challenge. The boss fights were definitely up there with DMC4's level of difficulty (arguably more difficult than Bayonetta), however they managed to retain that classic Ninja Gaiden feeling where it wasn't completely unfair and still gave you a chance to fight back. In fact if you can manage to get through this title without dying once I'll give you my prized Nintendo Power Glove!

The first three games also included all of their original content; unlockables, special features, cutscenes and endings which made sense for the time being. However one disappointing thing about on-disc DLC is that once you beat the main story there really isn't much else to do besides being able to go back and play as Dark or Classic Ryu. This is where the online co-op comes into play with its ability to give you a chance at some of the unlockables, special features & endings which were previously unavailable because they required a second player (who may not always have been available). In conclusion I think this game was very well executed while still being somewhat flawed. My personal gripes are that originally every difficulty mode was unlocked from start; even if Nightmare has been regarded as one of the hardest games in Ninja Gaiden history, it's kind of lackluster when you're just given all difficulties right off the bat without any incentive for doing well on them. Not to mention the game would have benefited from having a harder difficulty mode that was more difficult than Master Ninja like it used to be in previous titles (this is how easy they've become nowadays). While I'm on the topic of difficulty modes, I feel as if there should have been an option to change difficulties without having to go back to the main menu just to select your desired level. Also, some extra costumes such as classic and normal colored Ryu's were not included which left me feeling somewhat disappointed for Team Ninja; even though their presence didn't really make or break the experience because you can always use fan mods instead.

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Jingjing Wang

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