Recently I purchased Ninja Gaiden Black, on the advice of a friend. I had heard of this game before, described as ridiculously hard, but also supposed to be pretty fun. Well, what I had heard was wrong. It’s not ridiculously hard, it’s impossibly hard (and the fact that it’s Ninja Gaiden Black and not plain old Ninja Gaiden doesn’t help). And it’s not pretty fun, it’s ridiculously fun. I played it for about an hour after I bought it, but when the boss of the second level (the first being training) kept whipping my butt with incredible ease I put it down. Two days ago my friend started playing it, and yesterday he finally managed to beat the boss (after spending a lot of time trying). So, knowing it’s actually possible, I picked it back up again today and not only beat the boss, but spent probably about 4 or 5 more hours playing it and beating the next 3 levels. I only put it down because my roommate wanted to watch TV.
Not only is that game a lot of fun, it’s also a really visually appealing game (surprisingly beautiful for an Xbox game - I can only wonder at how it would look if it took advantage of the Xbox 360). All the moves look great, all the attacks have a lot of style and flair, and Ryu (the main character) is an incredible badass.
Usually when games are really hard and I can’t seem to progress past a certain point, I get discouraged. But ever since my success with that first boss, the seeming impasses in this game only drive me to try harder. There are points in this game where you have to do the same segment of the level over and over, and over, and over, ad infinitum. Again, such repetition would normally discourage me, but instead I use it as the chance to practice and hone my fighting skills until I can breeze past the previously-impossible segments with nary a scratch.
If you have never tried Ninja Gaiden, and you have a chance to (say, you or a friend own an Xbox), you owe it to yourself to purchase Ninja Gaiden Black and give it a try.