On The Level

Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden (2004): “The Way Of The Ninja”

In the 2004 reboot of its flagship series, Team Ninja created tension by shedding its boobs-and-blood excess—briefly.

By Anthony John Agnello • January 2, 2013

Team Ninja’s games are ridiculous. These are the guys who decided in the mid-’90s that what was missing from fighting games was gravity defying boobs. Later on, they decided to do away with the fighting altogether and make Dead Or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball. These are the guys who said the biggest draw of Ninja Gaiden II was how it let you remove people’s limbs in hundreds of ways. Team Ninja are cheese peddlers first and foremost, but the first level in the 2004 release of Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox, “The Way Of The Ninja,” is a marvelous anomaly in the studio’s canon. Stripped of excess, “The Way Of The Ninja” is a thriller in miniature that teaches you how to play by telling the story of a novice warrior.

Ninja Ryu Hayabusa’s first adventure is Hitchcock by way of Bruce Lee, a slow build of tension and aggression as Ryu fights evil hordes while ascending a pagoda fortress. He doesn’t look like a badass as the game opens, what with his plush purple pajamas, sitting at the bottom of a bare, rocky ravine. This first area is designed to make you feel like a bit of an ass, as well, while you figure out how Ryu moves. He’s more fleet than the average action-game character, requiring some forward thought as you jump and climb up the rocky slope that’s the only way forward. When you push forward on the joystick, Ryu moves a little farther than you expect him to. As you jump out of the ravine, you learn to anticipate the next moment.

Ninja Gaiden

Make it to higher ground, and a pink flower tied to a knife flies into the wall from out of nowhere. It’s an unnerving moment even though the flower simply holds a message telling you how to move properly. Someone with a penchant for lacy weapons is watching you. That first lick of apprehension pops just a few seconds later, when you’re attacked for the first time. Two ninjas in far more intimidating jumpsuits than yours leap out from the cliff above and start slashing away. They aren’t pushovers, and if you don’t figure out how to use that sword hanging from your back—fast—you can die just moments after the game starts. These scrubs will even kick you back down to the ravine floor where you started, and finish you off down there, humiliating you in the process. The message: Be afraid, because you aren’t safe, and be aggressive to survive.

Ninja Gaiden uses that cycle of confrontation—a moment of atmospheric calm followed by a sudden, silent attack—as you climb through the ninja fortress. A room of banana-yellow sliding doors full of hidden enemies is just one of a few clichéd scenes waiting in the pagoda. There’s a hallway with a creepy old suit of samurai armor that holds a key, a dojo room with a hidden exit, and a trap door that sends you down into a bat-filled cave. You know when you walk into each new area that a murder of ninjas is going to burst out from somewhere, but you never know when.

There’s always a second when Ninja Gaiden allows you to think you’re safe, and when the next wave surprises you again, it’s always harder to overcome than the last one. Every time the cycle of surprise and release comes, Ninja Gaiden demands more deft acrobatics. If enemies surround you, you better start using that block technique you’ve been neglecting this whole time. Rather than bludgeon the player with instructions, it just plain bludgeons you until you succeed.

Naturally, there’s a boss waiting at the top of the pagoda. Gaiden lingers before this fight, letting the dread set in. The walk up takes you outside, over a bridge, with a burning sunset view of the valley accented by falling autumn leaves. When you get to the Inner Sanctum, as the game forebodingly calls it, it’s hard not to pause: Do I really want to go inside? I’m just going to go in there and get my ass kicked by something, and it’s going to be brutal. And it’s so nice out here.

Ninja Gaiden

The boss inside is a musclebound giant with nunchucks, and just the fact that he’s the first person you’ve seen who doesn’t hide his face is intimidating as hell—this monster has an identity. He can knock you down, punch you in the chest, and send you halfway to your death a single moment. Whittling him down takes all the skill you’ve built up during this introductory chapter, but also a degree of luck.

When you finally gain the upper hand, the fight stops. The bad ass steps back and bows. The whole thing, the pagoda and the enemies and the boss at the top, was just a training exercise for Ryu. You’ve succeeded, though. Now you’re a real ninja. Congrats. A stiff dialogue between the boss and Ryu about his family’s legacy, his training, mystical swords, and blah blah blah ensues. By the time the scene stops and the village below the pagoda is under attack by actual killer ninjas, the tension built over the course of Chapter 1 has been entirely dissipated. From here, Ninja Gaiden’s just another action game with swords.

Toward the end of Ninja Gaiden’s third level, master ninja badass Ryu Hayabusa happens upon a broken window held together with packing tape. After examining the window, we get a little text on the screen, “What a careless job! Are they trying to make fun of ninjas?” It’s a funny moment, an acknowledgement on the part of Team Ninja that their games are indeed pretty silly. By this point, Ryu’s moved from purple pajamas to a leather catsuit, and he’s fighting stormtroopers on a zeppelin—no more Hitchcock, just cheese. At least for that first 15-minute level, Team Ninja made something legitimately ferocious.

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  • Staggering Stew Bum

    Happy new year, all.

    • Electric Dragon

      I also offer felicities on the successful commencement of the current solar orbit.

    • HobbesMkii

      I’m terrified by the word-to-like ratio you’ve garnered with this comment.

  • PaganPoet

    I just feel like they should give us butt-jiggle physics for Ryu Hayabusa. Yes, watching Hitomi’s boobs jiggle-jaggle is very titillating for most of your customers, Team Ninja, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF US? DON’T WE DESERVE PERVERTED GAME MECHANICS AS WELL?

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      The thought of characters running around with Team-Ninja-boob-style ludicrous bobbling silicone+helium butt implants has made my day.

    • stakkalee

      Nah, butt-jiggle is passé; what they really need is cock-bouncing.  Get a programmer to put together the physics to have your avatar’s comically oversized penis langourously waggle around in half-gravity like you’re styling the Eldridge de Paris collection.  I can just picture the cutscene now – Ryu races down the hall, towards his final test and Destiny, and as he runs the camera pans down to flappa-flappa-flappa-flap-flap.  I’m hypnotized just thinking about it.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard
        • Chum Joely

          What the fuck is up with that video (hint for others: “Die Antwoord” with inside-the-pants dick jigglery). Nice pick.

        • http://gameological.com/author/mattkodner/ Matt Kodner

          @ChumJoely:disqus Boing Boing ran an interesting blog post that broke down what the heck is going on everyone in the video. 
          (The full story is in the comments from Xeni, who wrote the post) 
          Basically, it’s this giant rebuttal to an outdated form of adult ritual circumcision in a small part of Africa, told in a ton of languages and with terrifying imagery. Also Yolandi raps about ghosts or something. It’s pretty awesome. 

        • http://gameological.com/author/mattkodner/ Matt Kodner

          @ChumJoely:disqus oh woah! totally wrong Die Antwoord video. I thought we were talking about Evil Boy for some reason. Still worth checking out for how crazy it is. (And, as seemingly everything I like to link to, is extremely NSFW)

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          @MattKodner:disqus : I considered posting Evil Boy, but a.) the dongs in it are more tumescent than flippy-floppy, and b.) without explaining the context of the ritual circumcision and cultural stuff going on, there are parts of the video/song that might read as homophobic, and distract from the silly joke I was making.

      • The Grand Galactic Inquisitor

        Advanced feminist studies!

      • lokimotive

        Did Saints Row 3 have a little bit of cock bouncing, insofar as the maxed sex appeal bulge would waggle a bit?

        That’s really not good enough for me, though, I would really appreciate full-on unencumbered head to balls dick dangling. I want that thing somehow flying around circular like a windmill. That’s the only type of tit for tat gravity defying naughty bit physics that would work. I’m just imagining some ox like fellow, standing arms crossed, stock still, with his willy windmilling.

        • stakkalee

          Now you know what the ‘Helicopter Mode’ setting is for on the Display Options screen.  It’s like everyone has a desk-fan strapped to their waist.

  • http://shadowfilter.blogspot.com/ Xenomorph

    Excellent article. The modern Ninja Gaiden games rarely get this kind of thoughtful insight, and I think it could be an awesome feature; take a game not taken seriously for whatever reason, but actually does have a moment or two of something worthy of this kind of analysis. Doing it that way works better than the tons of articles over-thinking about games that don’t have a single reason for doing that, except for as an intellectual wank for the writer.

    • Chum Joely

      Indeed. But some unexpected games do deserve the ridiculous amount of discussion they get, like (in my opinion) Hotline Miami. Here’s a good one from Kotaku:

      Can We Talk About The Joy Of Violence Without Sounding Like Complete Psychopaths?http://bit.ly/V5F9cQ

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      “On the Level” is probably my favourite feature on this site (that does not feature Mr. Gameological). It allows for the perfect balance of depth and brevity.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      I think it has more than a moment or 2, as does Dead Or Alive.  He packaged real gameplay with cheese, even if he was largely working off of the back of Virtua Fighter and, to a lesser extent, Shinobi.

      However, it’s fascinating to connect the earlier subseries (which was initially unrelated) with his 2 console and 1 handheld contribution.  The earlier was nothing BUT moments like the one described above, stupid pit birds or not.  I always preferred Shinobi, but I love the storytelling in Tecmo’s games.  Compare Hideo Yoshizawa (that, console Klonoa, Mister Driller subseries) to Itagaki, and you see why Tecmo’s identity will always be a bit trashy.

      • http://wpham.com/ wpham

        For me, the phrase “Ninja Gaiden” is inextricably tied to images of birds, snow, and death — and to some of the best NES-era soundtracks.  I haven’t played any of the new Ninja Gaiden games for fear that they would never be able to match up to my memories of the original series; should I rectify that lack?

        I also agree about Tecmo’s storytelling. Playing Ninja Gaiden during my formative years probably contributed to my affection for pulp fiction and noir.

        • Someguy2323

           Ninja Gaiden birds: More damaging than a jaguar, human, or demon; has homing capabilities; can respawn; can be found outside or inside an ancient demon temple.

  • Chum Joely

    Happy New Year, everyone! What are your gaming resolutions for 2013? For me, 2012 was the year I really became a gamer (again; I played a lot of Amiga and PC games back in the 80s and 90s), so in 2013, I hope to make strides to catch up on what I’ve been missing all these years.

    I think I have a good chance at finally, finally finishing New Vegas this week– I’ve been chipping away at it in fits and starts since late October (!!!), but this week the kids are staying an extra week with their grandparents in the U.S., so I have something approximating unlimited time to play games, especially today (wife’s back at work but not me).  After that, I’ve got an even bigger hill to climb: My brother bought me the entire Mass Effect trilogy, on which I’ve only just barely cracked open the first cinematic in the first game (before realizing that I’d better finish New Vegas first)…
    Happy gaming to all in 2013!

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I finally needed a break from Minecraft and EVE over my second long holiday weekend, and bought The Walking Dead game.  Holy crap!  Finished Episode 1 in about 2-3 hours and loved it.  The combat scenes are intense, as are the choices of who to save.  If the rest of the episodes are this good, I’m going to have a hard time not finishing them all at once.

      My daughter is still as of yet not born, but if she doesn’t come by Monday, we will be having labor induced next week, so she’s at max 7-10 days away!

      • The_Misanthrope

         Pre-emptive congratulations to you on the new child! 

        I just started TWD myself and I’m loving it too.  I try to limit my playtime, though (“try” being the operative word here), because that shit is just so emotionally draining; It’s quite a manic-depressive rollercoaster ride.  My only real complaint is the standard adventure-game one:  you, as the lead character, is always doing all the important, plot-moving work while the other characters sit around on their lazy asses.  The big difference with TWD is that the lazy other characters will often complain and yell at you to do something (while not contributing anything themselves).  I probably should pick up a mouse for my laptop,  because those combat sequences are really hard with a trackpad. 

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          The babysitter scene had me gasping for breath when it was finished.  SO awesomely done!

      • Chum Joely

        Wow, congrats on the forthcoming kid! I forget, is this your first? Either way, those first few weeks are intense (and intensely great)…

      • caspiancomic

         Eeeeh! Congrats on the kiddy-wid dood! I feel like you could get a lot of Gameological brownie points by naming her after someone here. Maybe @Fluka:disqus? Or Steve Heisler…ina?

        Also: The Walking Dead is one of the games I meant to have finished before returning to classes, but I haven’t even bought it yet. I think I’m going to have to delay Dishonored (argh, omitting that “u” is killing me) until Summer, and get TWD in this week.

        • Fluka

          If he names his child Fluka, I can die knowing that my stupid choice in cat name resulted in someone’s child being named after a particle transport simulation software package

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          That’s what I did, but for cost reasons due to the aforementioned impending child.  (She will be our first, Chum.)  I was trying to decide between Far Cry 3 and Dishonored, and then remembered TWD, and it was only $25.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      Mine is probably: Play more old stuff. I’ve only played the horrid C64 version before, but now that I’ve got the 3D version of Space Harrier I figured I wasted most of my gaming time in 2012. Which means I’ll spend a lot of time pondering important questions like “Why isn’t Strider on PSN?”

    • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

      Finish my now enormous backlog, and also dick around in Unity or Gamemaker if I ever get the time.

      But seriously  with Humble Bundle’s and the Winter sale I now have a back log of games that should keep me busy until 3013.

    • Fluka

      A few vaguely half-hearted ones:

      - “The usual one”: not buy any new games until I’ve worked on the massive pile in my Steam account.  Goddamn Steam sales.  First up, Dishonored!

      - Finally introduce some minor multiplayer into my life.  Primarily by doing co-op with Mr. Fluka in Torchlight II.  Which we both picked up in the goddamn Steam Sale.

      - Stop reading blogs that make me angry, particularly gaming sites with terrible comments.  Stick to this blog, and heavily-comment-blocking-edited Rock Paper Shotgun.

      • Fluka

        (As a side note, my main NY’s Resolution was to waste less time aimlessly wandering the internet.  It took me less than 48 hours to break this.)

      • Captain Internet

        Minor multiplayer would be much easier- or at the very least, more refined- were you to join the Gameological Steam Group.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          We should definitely get TF2 nights going again. I know it’s a pain to organize as a weekly thing. Maybe we could do it monthly or twice a month. We could also alternate between TF2 night and co-op night.

        • Fluka

          Someday I will, I swear!  When I finally overcome my crippling fear of A) Multiplayer and B) People.

        • HobbesMkii

          @Merve2:disqus I was thinking the other day what a complacent and thoughtless group administrator I’ve become since finding part-time employment. The most I’ve done to promote group cohesion has been to schedule a Secret Santa event for the 2013-14 holiday season. 
          That said, if everybody is comfortable with the idea of me not necessarily being there (it’s a long train ride back home from Boston each day), I will happily reprogram weekly Teamwork Tuesdays and TF2 Thursdays.

        • Captain Internet

          @Fluka:disqus - don’t be scared. Everyone’s friendly, and you’ll get updates that say “@HobbesMkii:disqus is now playing The Sims 3- Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats”

        • Fluka

          @Captain_Internet:disqus *Hisses and scuttles to her hiding spot underneath the couch!*

          (In all seriousness, that sounds cool – I shall perhaps consider it!)

        • HobbesMkii

          That’s not true. You may get 5,000 alerts about me playing Skyrim as I individually test each mod, though.

    • HobbesMkii

      My gaming New Years resolution is to stop purchasing things from Steam sales on impulse. We’ll see how well that goes.

      • Fluka

        Your comment reminded me to go check today’s sales oh hey there’s a LA Noire flash sale for $5 I should probably get that WAIT NO.

        *Trigger warning on the above for Awesome Steam Deals!*

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          You can’t resist the pull of SEXY COLE PHELPS.

          (An aside: a Google search for “cole phelps underwear” doesn’t turn up anything relevant. I have no idea why this makes me sad.)

        • HobbesMkii

          @Merve2:disqus Of course you can’t. Sexy Cole Phelps is apprehending you for a crime you didn’t commit and then interrogating you while doing a one-man Bad Cop/Good Cop routine.

        • Citric

          Did I just buy 4 games yesterday for $10, including the first two Max Payne games for some reason? Uhhhh… maybe

        • Fluka

          Aww you guys.  I can’t say no to Serious Noir Ken Cosgrove! Accounts!

          *Cat sits on wallet hand to block another poor decision.*

        • Raging Bear

          Fun SEXY COLE PHELPS STORY:

          There’s some country club-like site somewhere on the map, where a staff member is on his knees polishing a car door. I wandered past this point, and wandered back. The car had disappeared, but the staffer was still going through the motions.

          It was possible to position Cole and the camera such that juuust enough of the staffer was visible to make it look like he was administering one or more sexy acts while Cole stood there looking vaguely distracted. Obviously, this was hilarious.

          I took a video with my phone but didn’t have the heart to do anything with it, and deleted it. I’m sure the scene could be reproduced, though. In fact, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if someone has this on YouTube.

    • Citric

      Same as every year, actually finish stuff. I actually probably will finish Romancing SaGa this month (just unlocked the endgame quests. It’s harrrrrrrrrrrrrrd) and Persona 2: IS will probably get finished pretty soon too.

      I used to pretend I’d finish my backlog but then I buy 5 games in a steam sale and find some neat stuff in a bin at a store and realize that’s just futility.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

      My gaming new year’s resolutions:
      - Finish the games I’ve currently got on the go: Assassin’s Creed II; BioShock 2; Costume Quest; Far Cry; Frozen Synapse; Max Payne; Prince of Persia (2008); RollerCoaster Tycoon 3; Saints Row: The Third; and Worms Reloaded.

      - Make a dent in my backlog: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood; Assassin’s Creed Revelations; Containment: The Zombie Puzzler (thanks,  @Effigy_Power:disqus!); Fahrenheit (a.k.a. Indigo Prophecy); Gravity Bone; Just Cause 2; Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning; Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne; Max Payne 3; Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands; Q.U.B.E.; realMyst (thanks, @The_Forgotten_Quill:disqus!); Thirty Flights of Loving; and Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers.

      - Do a second playthrough of Alpha Protocol. Also do a male renegade playthrough of the Mass Effect trilogy.

      - Play the Fallout: New Vegas DLC (mainly to get dj.subversive off my back :P). Also play the Quantum Conundrum DLC (though that may cause some rage-quitting).

      - Clean the fan on my graphics card. It’s seriously dirty.

      - Play a greater variety of games. I never got into the strategy genre, for instance. XCOM: Enemy Unknown seems as good a place as any to start. (I’ve heard it’s brutally difficult, though, so maybe not.)

      - Buy Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, Watch Dogs, The Cave, and the Double Fine adventure game. Enjoy them all because they’ll probably be awesome.

      - Stop buying so many games I’ll never play in Steam sales, GOG.com sales, GamersGate sales, GameFly sales, Amazon sales…you get the picture.

      - Learn to let things go. If I can’t get past a particularly difficult section in a game, I should just go to bed and come back to it some other time. There’s no need to stay up until 4 AM getting frustrated. A little bit of lost progress is no big deal.

      Probability of fulfilling all these resolutions: close to zero.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      -Get my graphics card situation under control – as soon as I get back home, I get to send in for RMA the broken card they sent me when I RMA’ed the broken card they sold me. If this third time still isn’t a charm I may just bit the bullet and get a new (NOT AMD) card with some XMAZ dosh.

      -Once that’s sorted, I’ll try to set aside some of my meagre free time to finally play the Mass Effect games, which I just picked up for like $5 on Steam. I haven’t been crazy about BioWare stuff, and am generally bored by AAA titles, but I’m sick of talking in abstractions whenever it inevitably comes up in discussions of player choice and agency in games, and figure I should do my due diligence and work through the series myself.

      -Apart from that specificity, there’s just the general “work on the backlog.” When cleaning/transferring some old files, I found a text file which was a “to-play” list I composed about 4-5 years ago before I had Steam or whatever, and found I still had more than half of that unfinished, on top of all of my un-played Steam sale games and various bundles and things, and all of the to-play games that have come out since I made the list. Ugh. Anyway, yeah. No time. And there are books and films and actual un-mediated real-life experiences that also require attention.

      -Also on the “no-time” front, I have some game-related project ideas (squirreled away in another txt file) that I’d like to flesh out in earnest. I’d like my productive literacy to be given as much attention as my receptive literacy. I have no idea when this can actually happen, though.

      I’ll just keep telling myself that in a year’s time when I’m done with grad school I’ll have all the time in the world

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        Oh, but first an foremost on my (and, really, it should be on everyone’s) gaming resolution list is to play through the winners of the most recent Interactive Fiction competition.

        Tomorrow I have a very, very long bus ride back to VA, and I’m planning on passing the time with these. (Assuming the bus-reading doesn’t make me urpy, in which case it will be time for movies or Deponia or Picross 3D).

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          YES.  Worth it.  Do it.  Fun times.

      • Captain Internet

        What’s missing most from your Steam experience is not games, but membership of the Gameological Steam Group.

        You know, unless you’ve already joined and you’re just hiding under an alternate pseudonym.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          Oh, I’ve been a member for a while now, I just haven’t had any time to participate in any meaningful way with it beyond Steam notifying my every time @Effigy_Power:disqus  opens a Photoshop document.

        • Effigy_Power

          You’re welcome.

    • caspiancomic

       Rather than being specifically game related, my gaming New Year’s resolutions are to add more entries to Game Theory (could I do a dozen in a year!? Maybe!?), and start working on some games of my own.

      Non-gaming resolution: Eat a lobster. I’ve never done it before!

      • PaganPoet

        What is Game Theory? I’ve seen you mention this before. A quick google search brought up some very academic looking topics and I just can’t deal.

        • caspiancomic

           A little project of mine, is all. Work has slowed to something of a crawl with school starting up and all, but I’ve got another couple of articles already in production, and several topics I want to explore down the road. I’d like, if I can, to publish something once a month, at least.

        • PaganPoet

          It looks quite in depth. I’m about halfway through TWEWY post, but I’ve never played the game so I’m afraid much of it is lost on me. You mentioned before you’ll do an entry on Persona 3, no?

      • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

        Lobster is more affordable than ever!

    • Chum Joely

      @Merve, nice post on your resolutions. I see what you mean about shortening your posts ;)

      Re “letting go at 4am”, do try that one– it will be easier than you think. Usually you will solve the problem instantly or in short order when you come back the next day.

      Also, it’s funny how everyone knows DJ Subversive as a New Vegas freak. I am also quickly acquiring that habit.  I have been playing with Veronica as my AI “companion” for many hours now, and I think I might be falling in love (NB: y’know… within the game! I’m not some kind of freak, ha ha! Ha…) She saved my life at Black Mountain, twice– the second time in a situation that was so cinematic and exciting that it instantly became one of my Big Gaming Moments– and I was just able to give her a dress, her heart’s desire, as we paused from the violent action vs. the White Gloves at the Ultra-Luxe. She was so happy… and paid me back by teaching me a special punching technique, “the gift that keeps on giving”.  Man, I love this game.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        I think I developed the bad habit of staying up late to get past frustrating sections when I was playing through the Prince of Persia trilogy. Checkpoints in those games are spaced very far apart, and I didn’t want to lose progress by giving up near the next checkpoint. Now, I realize that if I put down a game for a few days, replaying lost progress doesn’t seem so bad; in the meantime, I’d probably have forgotten how exactly to make it through that section anyway.

    • Moonside_Malcontent

      My resolution is more of the tabletop variety, and that’s to finally get a campaign that I’ve had in the works off the ground.  I’m using roll20.net, which seems pretty cool so far.  On the electronic gaming front, I’m resolving to get back into multiplayer games, probably starting with ME3′s multiplayer co-op mode.  I haven’t really played games online much since Left 4 Dead 2.

    • http://shadowfilter.blogspot.com/ Xenomorph

      I’ll be moving to the U.S., so coming from a PAL territory, my resolution is to whittle my sizable collection of games down as I can’t trade in the crap ones I have in America. Also, to figure out how one can play games when one becomes a father; my daughter will be born in February, and I have no real idea how much time I’ll have left to game.
      EDIT: Woah, I didn’t see @Aurora Boreanaz’s post. Congratulations, man!

      • http://shadowfilter.blogspot.com/ Xenomorph

        Woah, I didn’t see @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus ’s post. Congratulations, man! Here’s hoping fatherhood is amazing, but still leaves us a little time to game!

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          Congrats to you too!  What’s bringing you to the US?

        • http://shadowfilter.blogspot.com/ Xenomorph

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus My wife is American. We were both writing for the same website for a bit, and that site also had a Facebook fan group where we’d hang out. A romance developed from there, and we starting ‘dating’, even though she was on the other side of the planet. After a few months of that, we thought we had the real deal, so I went over to San Antonio, we got married, and shortly after she was pregnant. Now I’m back in Australia because my visa ran out, and we’re still waiting for USCIS to process the paperwork. They accepted my case for review, but it takes anywhere up to six or seven months, so I’ve got my fingers crossed I’ll be back in time to be present for the birth of our very first child.   

        • Fluka

          @Xenogamer:disqus Good luck with the immigration process!  We just went through the same USCIS deal last year (for my husband).  It can feel completely hopeless at times, but my god, it can be done.

  • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

    Ninja Gaiden boss battle’s were real ball-busters, (that weird butterfly naked lady in 2 comes to mind… but that might be because she was naked).

    It is amusing that their rather generic tutorial level comes across looking tasteful when compared to the ridiculous game that follows, though I prefer the cheese personally.

  • Effigy_Power

    After spending about 250 bucks on Steam sale games, I say it’s good that yet another forum for my wisdoms and opinions is back open.
    How good for you all.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      Over the holidays, my IQ probably dropped a solid 50 points without my daily Effigy_Power infusion! Thank God, the drought is over!

    • Chum Joely

      It’s like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. The bratty-ass, lesbian, rural-Ontario sun.

      Good to see you back on the boards, Eff! Still blazin’?

      • Effigy_Power

        Bratty-ass might be pushing it a little, and it’s not rural either, otherwise not bad.
        And no, no more blazin’ for a while. Brain activity is soon to become a required thing again.

        • Chum Joely

          Obviously I was too emblazoned when I wrote that post, I had no idea what I was talking about. Mostly.

          My condolences for having to re-engage with brain activity. I’ll totally have to try that sometime.

  • Captain Internet

    From here, Ninja Gaiden’s just another action game with swords.

    “Just another” is a bit of a disservice- it’s definitely one of the best. 

    It’s like God Hand and Viewtiful Joe- very hard, but with controls that are expressive rather than simply prescriptive. I love those games, but convincing other people can be a little tricky due to how hostile they are initially. It’s a bit like unpasteurised French cheese in that regard.

    • PaganPoet

      Gotta agree with you. This is no mere button masher, you’ve really got to learn to fight efficiently and defensively quickly because this game will not hold your hand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JamesMauriceAlexander James Alexander

    It is really sad how much class this game looks like it has compared to many modern video games

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IVHKBD7PV6FYLRC3GYCNLR4EO4 Fordatkace

    @Author:twitter
    : Bullshit, dumb fuck. You’re clearly NOTHING but a dumb fucking piece of shit; an ignorant little bitchass incapable of doing much anything but spouting utterly inane bullshit=both fact. I’ve only read a handful of sentences from this above article(and not necessarily the first handful), so I know not the true extent of the idiocy found therein, but from the little I HAVE read, it’s all to easy to confirm for a FACT that the entirety of this piece i complete and total pathetic, idiotic, and blatantly untrue bullshit spouted by a stupid-ass piece of shit making an utterly futile attempt at sullying the action masterpiece that is Ninja Gaiden(and it’s various subsequent reversionings, ala Sigma+Sigma Plus). Contrary to the ignorant bullshit a worthless shit stain such as Anthony would naturally be wont to spout, though the first chapter of the game is indeed a well-executed tension building delight, Ninja Gaiden is not “just another action game with swords” from the on in the LEAST. In fact, the game manages the incredible feat of maintaining that extremely high tension level through every last one of its masterfully-crafted 19 chapters, and never once even comes CLOSE to approaching that lame-ass status. Rather than being “just another action game,” NG sets the bar from action games across the board with its incredibly intense, involved, and endlessly challenging gameplay, gorgeous graphics(in those aforementioned reversionings), and raw, unadulterated action and suspense that so many other action titles strive to replicate but so few even come close to. It’s UNDOUBTEDLY one of the greatest straight-action games ever created, and any suggestion otherwise(such Agnello’s earlier “just another action game” comments) as well as the suggestions made of the alleged dissipation of the high-level of tension, that this game is “silly” in the least, or the utterly unamusing bullshit spouted in regards to  Ryu’s excellent crafted character design’s clothing(both practical for a ninja and not cat/pajama like by ANY stretch of the imagination had by those who aren’t ignorant shit stains on the populous) are completely and utterly untrue and just more off-mark idiocy from this dumb fucking piece of shit columnist.

    The same goes for the suggestion Team Ninja games are all “ridiculous.” Some of the definitely have moments of ridiculousness, but the suggestion that they’re constantly all so at ALL times is total fucking bullshit. NG alone maintains a fittingly dark and somber tone throughout the entirety of its amazing adventure that I can’t expect a dumb fuck like this dipshit to appreciate, and games like DoA(though often nonsensical in their stories) are hardcore fighters that–like any other game in the genre–are perfectly sensible and grounded in that sensibility more often then not, especially in their gameplay. In truth, their game aren’t “ridiculous” in the least, and they’re one of the best developers around, despite their missteps with NG3. Shut the fuck up and educate yourself before you spout such stupid-ass bullshit again. But in the meantime, go fuck your slutty-ass bitch mother, contract her MANY stds, and die you pathetic piece of shit; do us ALL a favor. :D

    This is a fake email that I’ll be abandoning permanently after I’ve sent through this mass of factual statements, and I’ll likewise not be returning to this shit article or shit site after posting this. As such, whatever utter undoubtedly bullshit reply any of you dumb fucks send my way will NEVER reach me. This is our last contact; deal with it, dipshits: you and your ignorant bullshit have lost, I and the FACTS I state+the superior, fully tension-maintaining, not silly or “just another action game” in the LEAST, greatest straight-action game of all time Ninja Gaiden have won. Another FACT for your sorry little bitchass.