When it comes to challenging action games, Ninja Gaiden has always delivered so let's revisit the 3 modern games in a new collection.
For starters, Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection includes the 3 remakes of the rebooted franchise: Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge. I remember being jealous of Xbox owners back in the day after Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden Black released for the console because I love action games and Dead or Alive was one of my favourite fighting series at the time which was made by the same developer. Years later, I finally got an Xbox and it also released for PlayStation 3 and since then, there have been a couple sequels and remakes of those sequels. I remember playing Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge on my brand new Wii U when that console came out and it was a blast. Well, you can now play all 3 of these games on even more modern hardware so that's cool, right?
What makes the Ninja Gaiden games fun is their level of challenge where regular enemies can easily end your life if you're not diligent enough to dodge, block, and counter their attacks. Playing these games aggressively will likely end in your demise so you really have to give it your all to master what it takes to be a ninja. Once you find yourself dashing across the screen while slicing limbs off and executing brutal finishing moves with finesse only to emerge unscathed from an overwhelming situation; it feels awesome! Thankfully, each of these games has held up beautifully and they're still great fun to play. Well, Ninja Gaiden Sigma's visuals haven't aged all that well as it looks like a 15 year old game but the other 2 still look great. Not that graphics matter all that much when the action is as fun as it is.
I love video game compilations. In fact, I'm probably the most excited for collections to release than anything else because I already know that the games are actually good. However, when a compilation comes out, I expect a certain amount of supplementary materials and Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection doesn't really include anything. Each game is essentially a better-performing port without any noticeable differences. That being said, you can get the Deluxe Edition which includes a digital art book and soundtrack but having to pay extra for that just doesn't sit well with me. I wish each game had an extras menu or gallery to help flesh out the package more.
On the plus side, you do get DLC included which allows you to change some of the characters' appearances with a collection of cool-looking costumes. Making Ryu look like a demon is pretty badass. However, is that really enough? This is called Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection after all so why not include the trilogy of NES games? While you're at it, throw in the nifty beat 'em up arcade game from '88. Then again, Koei Tecmo might release a collection of just those games and if they do, I'll happily play that but I'd hope they'd put more care into offering an assortment of extra content unlike with this compilation of ports which ultimately feels lacking.
Ninja Gaiden is awesome and this Master Collection includes a trilogy of intense action games that'll keep you on the edge of your seat. However, the fact that the featured games are basically ports with no extra content is kind of disappointing.
- + Contains 3 excellent action games that have mostly stood the test of time
- + Solid sense of challenge throughout
- + Includes DLC with cool-looking costumes
- - The first game looks quite dated
- - No extras or museum-style content
- - Why not throw in the retro games, too?