Tecmo's 1995 repackaging of the three NES Ninja Gaiden games does little more than touch up the graphics a tad, remix the music and add a password function to each level of each of the games. Fair enough, as these games didn't really need a lot in the way of improvement anyway, but there's been some mild turns for the worse - certain graphical effects have been removed (like the lightning flashes from level 3-1 of Ninja Gaiden 2), and the music has largely not been done justice with cheap MIDI sound samples and the bass and drums almost completely removed for some reason.

The gameplay is pretty much the same, but Ninja Gaiden 3 seems much easier for some reason - I think due to the viewable play area being widened. There was an opportunity here to add the gameplay improvements of each game - the wall climbing of #2, the ability to forward-flip over a wall corner instead of that awkward "jump back then push forward" manuever in #3 - to the previous games, but Tecmo chose not to.

This one is kind of a tough call to rate, as is any compilation with a game (Ninja Gaiden 2) with a top rating - but I think it deserves a step down in rating due to the miscues in the graphics and music (and also generally weak sound effects that have even less resonance than those of the NES games.) Still quite a decent package for the SNES owner who doesn't have an NES as well, though.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video