The Video Game Review 

Ninja Gaiden Black

During the late 1990s all three Star Wars films were re-released offering people their first taste of remakes and special editions. With new scenes, special effects and “improvements” it left people to ponder: “Was anything wrong with the original versions in the first place?” Team Temco takes on the role of George Lucas this go-around and offers up Ninja Gaiden Black, exclusively for the Xbox.

Grab that Kitana and get to work, as gamers resume the role of the young ninja Ryu Hayabusa. Naturally, the sword you’ve been entrusted with gets jacked, forcing you to slash your way through 16 action-packed levels of story, or count ‘em 50 stages in mission mode. Your kick ass factor and abilities increase as you advance — scope out the opening sequence for a glimpse of the power you will one day possess.

The game offers up deadly graphics and sound with responsive play control that will have you feeling like an assassin in no time. Retro junkies will rejoice as the game is crammed with loads of unlockables including the console debut of the original arcade version.

Imagine a re-release that actually adds improvements to its predecessor without sacrificing the original selling points. Those looking for a textbook example of how to add to a franchise instead of cashing in on it should look no further than Ninja Gaiden Black. With only a $30 price tag, gamers and karate kids will want to do their sensei proud and grab a copy before nightfall.

Best Feature: Learning hot new ways to decapitate foes.

Worst Feature: Having to constantly pause the action to load commonly used items.

Weirdest Feature: No stealthing involved (isn’t that what defines a Ninja?)


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