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Ninja Gaiden Shadow

(aka Shadow Warriors)

Game Boy

Temco 1991





Ninja Gaiden is one of the best series you can find on the NES, and the GB version does a good job.

There are some little differences between this game and the NES games. Ryu can't cling onto or climb walls anymore, and only has one powerup (the diagonal fire wheel.) As in Ninja Gaiden III you can cling to the bottom of certain platforms and shimmy hand over hand. You also have a grappling hook that you can throw out to out of reach ceilings. However you can only shoot it up, and it only grabs onto the climbable ceilings. You do get a decent amount of use out of the grappling hook (as there are several areas where you need to use it to advance) but it's abilities could have been put to better use. Why not make it so you could grab on any ceiling?

The game plays exactly like the console versions, although it's a lot easier. Bosses are of the shoot-you-and-run-into-you-type and aren't very hard to figure out. They do have some imagination though, like in the lower left pic there where the big guy beats you up while the little guy grabs onto you to slow you down.

Graphics look better in motion than they do standing still, with lots of animation. Ryu's run seems to be a little bit choppier here (probably done to keep the el-cheapo GB screen from blurring too bad.) Lack of powerups and challenge put this game a notch below console versions.

Graphics: Very nice animation, and lots of it. Small characters make it kind of hard to tell what's going on.

Sound: Very good, with distinct sounds for every action. There is a kind of "boing' noise when you jump though when the normal "swissh" noise would suffice. Kind of annoying.

Gameplay: Interesting, but very easy. Any decent player could probably beat it in their first sitting.


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