Ninja Gaiden (universe)

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Logo from 1988-1991.

Ninja Gaiden is a fictional universe initially developed by Tecmo. It takes place in the modern setting, but with ninja clans lurking in the shadows. The series began with two games in development at the same time and both release at the end of 1988; one was made for the arcade the other for the NES. They were both beat 'em ups, but the arcade game is a mere footnote in history while the NES title was a big success and gave rise to several sequels which were notorious for their extreme difficulty. After the initial trilogy, Tecmo outsourced development of additional games to other companies, who put out lack-lusted titles on minor platforms. It wasn't until 2004 that Tecmo decided to revive the franchise and began developing new titles. The franchise is still active today.

Personal

I remember seeing Ninja Gaiden around 1990. I really liked the idea of the game and though it looked cool, but, because my family never owned it, I could only play when friends had it, so I played very little of it. I remember seeing the sequel not too long after it came out and thinking it was even cooler than the first. I think I knew of the third game, but never played it at the time, and never followed the series after that. As an adult, I find the games to be attractive looking, but terribly made. They have awful controls and obnoxious level design. I haven't played much of the minor games in the series or any after the reboot. One thing that bugs me about the series is how so many different games are simply titled "Ninja Gaiden" rather than coming up with interesting subtitles.

Works

Video Games

Released Title Platforms
1988-10-?? Ninja Gaiden Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum
1988-12-09 Ninja Gaiden PlayChoice-10, NES, PC Engine
1989-??-?? Ninja Gaiden LCD game
1990-04-06 Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos Amiga, MS-DOS, PlayChoice-10, NES
1990-??-?? Ninja Gaiden Lynx
1991-06-21 Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom Lynx, PlayChoice-10, NES
1991-11-01 Ninja Gaiden Game Gear
1991-12-13 Ninja Gaiden Shadow Game Boy
1992-07-?? Ninja Gaiden Master System
1995-08-11 Ninja Gaiden Trilogy SNES
2004-03-02 Ninja Gaiden Xbox
2004-??-?? Ninja Gaiden X Mobile phones
2004-03-02 Ninja Gaiden Xbox
2005-09-20 Ninja Gaiden Black Xbox
2007-06-14 Ninja Gaiden Sigma PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
2008-03-20 Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword Nintendo DS
2008-06-03 Ninja Gaiden II Xbox 360
2009-09-29 Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
2012-03-20 Ninja Gaiden 3 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012-11-18 Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360
2012-09-20 Ninja Gaiden Clans Android, iOS
2014-03-18 Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360

Film

Books

Media

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (Europe) Shadow Warriors
English (USA) Ninja Gaiden
Japanese 忍者龍剣伝 Ninja Ryukenden Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword

Links

Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-MobyGames.png