Ninja Gaiden

Review by John DeLuna
Ninja Gaiden...two words burned into your memory if you were a gamer of the eighties. It was an institution on th NES, and a classic arcade beat-em-up. But many don't realize that the arcade game and the NES franchise were two completely different games. They bore little resemblence to each other. While the NES Ninja Gaiden was a side-scrolling adventure, with a deep storyline. The arcade game was a more traditional, Final Fight-type game. With heavy emphasis on action. And it's the arcade game that made it's way to the Lynx. In fact, this might be the *only* place you can play arcade NG outside of an actual arcade. And if you've never played it your missing out. Cuz once again the Lynx handles arcade action beautifully.

GRAPHICS: Graphics on a portable shouldn't be this good. The Lynx works overtime here, producing graphics faithful to the arcade. Everything moves smoothly and the colors are vibrant. The frame rate is a little on the choppy side, but nothing offensively bad. And the still-pictures between each level are little bland. ***3/4

SOUNDS: This is some of the best stuff you'll hear from any Lynx game. It's probably the most *complete* soundtrack on any Lynx game. There are distinct tunes for every level. Each boss has a theme. And all the usually POWS and POPS of one-on-one fighting are here in spades. ****1/2

CONTROL: There's more to do in Ninja Gaiden than any other beat-em-up on the Lynx. You have a standard punch, punch, kick combo. Plus, you can backflip off walls, bodyslam thugs, and even hack your way through enemy ninjas with katanas! ****

REPLAY: As much as you can expect from this type of game. Like most beat-em-ups, once you beat the game your drive to replay greatly diminishes. But NG has a way of drawing you back. The levels are diverse and FUN. Each one has it's own enemies and challenges. Plus, in order to beat the game, your looking at about 15 minutes of continous gameplay. So beating this sucker will take some disipline. ***

Ninja Gaiden in widely accepted by Lynx owners as the best beat-em-up available. And there's little doubt why. Fun gameplay, great sound and graphics add up to a solid game. And unlike some *cough, Batman, cough* the level of difficulty is just right. So if your in the mood for action, you can't go wrong with Ninja Gaiden.

Reviewer's Score: 9 / 10