Magazines: EGM | OPM | CGW | XBN | GMR
Sections: Games  |  News  |  Press Start  |  Previews  |  Review Crew  |  Tricks of the Trade  |  Extra  |  Boards  |  Buy Games
Become a Member |  Sign In Subscribe to Electronic Gaming Monthly -- Save 79%
Electronic Gaming Monthly : Xbox : Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)
Ninja Gaiden
Also On: n/a
Publisher: Tecmo
Developer: Team Ninja
Genre(s): Action, Role Playing Game > Action
ESRB Rating: Mature
Release Date: 3/2/2004 (USA)
 Rate It Yourself 
Overview    Reviews     Cheats & Strategies     Previews     Features     News    Downloads
Slideshow | All Shots
Good: Phenomenal graphics

Bad: Occasionally iffy camera angles

Casual Gamers: Need not apply


Score:9.5 (out of 10)

It's as good as you hoped it would be. Hell, it's actually better. With one stylish katana slash, Ninja Gaiden slices its way to the top of the action genre. And it's not all about the graphics. Well, OK, it is, in part, simply because the visuals are just so awe inspiring. Each of the game's 16 amazingly cohesive chapters offers unforgettable sights—you can run on crumbling monastery walls, swim through flooded tombs, leap over oozing rivers of magma...I've never played a prettier game.

But gorgeous trappings aren't enough to keep me hooked. I need compelling gameplay, and Ninja Gaiden delivers en masse. Control feels tight—once you master your arsenal of moves, you'll be dispatching foes with ease and grace. Well, if you're really, really skilled, that is. I won't mince words: This game is hard. I'm no Johnny-come-lately gamer wimp, but I died...a lot. Normal, everyday enemies will eviscerate you in seconds if you're clumsy, and bosses will reduce players to tears. The challenge is rewarding, however, and motivates you to actually get better at the game.

It's tough to even find faults with such a polished game, but I did suffer a few unnecessary deaths due to occasionally obtuse camera angles. Also, too many of the puzzles follow the absurd "find the handle to turn the crank" mold. Regardless, this is an unmissable instant classic that completely deserves your time and money.


Score:9.5 (out of 10)

"One who is a warrior," says the old proverb, "must keep constantly in mind, by day and by night, that he has to die." Ninja Gaiden doesn't argue. Your enemies will not stand by as you leisurely choreograph combos—allow them the slightest opening and prepare to be skewered. Make no mistake—slipping your blade between one's ribs, sticking shuriken in the skull of another, dealing and dodging death several times a second—you will cross swords in the most electrifying combat this side of Soul Calibur, because your survival depends upon it. Quicksilver pacing, white-knuckle tension, and spit-shined effects put Gaiden among the most remarkable action games ever made, but it's every bit as hardcore. Even for the warrior with unflinching focus and hair-trigger reflexes, the way is found in frequent death.


Score:9.5 (out of 10)

Merriam-Webster, it's time to revisit the entry for "kick-ass" and tack on "also see: Ninja Gaiden." The visuals strike the first blow—they're absolutely stunning. But the minute you decide to stop smelling (or staring at) the flowers and strike back (usually after a trio of ninjas appears to beat you about the kidneys), you begin to see this isn't just a pretty picture. Gaiden's gameplay is equally well crafted, with responsive control that demands fighting-game-caliber reflexes. It's nail-bitingly tough, but it's extremely rewarding, since it forces you to hone your ninja skills. The game's only flaw is its lame-duck camera, which makes battling groups of enemies more difficult than it should be. Even so, no Xbox should go without Gaiden.

All Reviews from Ziff Davis Publications SCORE
Electronic Gaming Monthly
More like...Ninja Goddamn!

scale: 1 - 10
Xbox Nation
Is that a katana or Ryu glad to see me?

scale: 1 - 5
More than perfect in some ways -- less than perfect in one other.

scale: 1 - 10
GMR Magazine
The rubber meets the road.

scale: 1 - 10
Average User Rating
Write Your Own Review!
 meatwad1171 (5/11/2004)
best action game in a loooooong time
I sent an e-mail letter that describes alot, but I'll sum it up: Best graphics ever, silky smooth controls, good story, satisfying length, and a good challenging difficulty level. What makes it a ten ...
...full review
Report offensive messages
 mulelord (5/10/2004)
Dazzling action game
this is the best game ever. The controls are so fluid and you can just run on the walls, finishing off with a huge combo and decapitation. The camera angles get annoying, but thats easy to overlook ...
...full review
Report offensive messages
 Corndog122589 (5/4/2004)
How can you diss this game?
In all of my years of playing, I have never played a game like Ninja Gaiden. How can you diss it? Yes, the camera may be a bit sucky, but who cares when you're chopping off the heads of enemies? My co ...
...full review
Report offensive messages
View More Member Reviews > 
DETAILED INFO for Ninja Gaiden
Release Date: 3/2/2004 (USA) More Info: Official Website
Players: 1

Buy This Game
Track This Game
Message Board
Printer Friendly
Email a Friend

Customer Service | Contact Us | Advertise | Magazine Subscriptions | PC Magazine | ExtremeTech | Buy Games Now

Ziff Davis Logo
Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Copyright © 2003-2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Electronic Gaming Monthly is a registered trademark of Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis Media Inc. is prohibited. For reprint information: click here.