NINJA GAIDEN / Tecmo / Sega Genesis

The Ninja Gaiden game for Genesis is a leaked unfinished beta from Tecmo, thus the lack of rating. As is it is it seems to be nearly complete, but there's stretches of levels that are unfinished and unplayable, and to see all that's in the game you have to either hack the rom or cheat.

It looks like the approach Tecmo took for this one was to try to rework the old arcade game into something more palatable. The gameplay style is very similar and you still have hockey mask goons attacking you, but it's a hell of a lot easier than the arcade game was, and Ryu now has the benefit of a roll that can be used to get behind enemies or approach them without getting hit.

There are cinematics, but the story seems to totally ignore the NES games and possibly the arcade game as well. There's some new story in place that's pretty silly, some whitey ninjers stole the magic scroll of Ryu's clan or whatever, so he hitchhikes on an airplane to America to track them down. What cut scenes are present in the game are rife with grammatical and spelling errors, and the whole thing looks like they didn't expend a large amount of effort on it.

The level 1 background graphics look nice, and there's a couple of later levels that look decent as well, but the sprites by and large just look crappy. The music is also ridiculous and overly boppy, clearly not composed by the same dude that did the awesome NES soundtracks.

I really don't know how close this was to completion at the time it was abandoned. With a LOT more polish it could have been pretty decent, if a rather standard beat-em-up. I suspect it would have come out without a lot of changes, however, and as such we didn't really miss out on anything.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video