Me, either, Irene. But at least it makes for some great games.
Well, that’s the whole original NES trilogy down. Part III is another awesome game, though it’s not *quite* on par with the earlier installments in terms of overall quality, as I prefer the original’s music and story and part II’s more colorful visuals. It still looks, sounds, and plays great, however. It’s definitely harder than the first two in my opinion, since dying at any point in a stage sends you back to the beginning of that stage instead of letting you continue from the section where you died, unlike in the first two games where this was only the case when you died fighting a boss. You can’t afford to play sloppy and “burn” a few lives making your way to the boss. Instead you have to play the whole level in one go and still reach the boss with enough health left to win the fight. Level memorization is key, as well as farming extra lives every chance you get, especially in the penultimate stage. At least enemies no longer respawn when killed like in the previous two games, although this common complaint never bothered me as much as it did others since just continually moving forward made it much less of an issue.
The shadow clone power up from the previous game is gone, but it’s replaced by a sword upgrade that just about doubles your reach and is so awesome that the tradeoff is more than worth it. It feels like you’re playing Strider all the sudden when you get it.
I’ve heard a lot of people bash the story in this one, but I really don’t get it. It’s about on par with the second game’s, except with extradimensional aliens instead of demons. It’s light and corny, but in a very consistently Ninja Gaiden way.
All-in-all, I’m quite glad I finally got around to playing the Ninja Gaiden sequels I never experienced back in the day, though I’m looking forward to no more super punishing Ninja Gaiden final acts for a while. Next up: Maybe Castlevania: Bloodlines?
(Originally written 2/1/2017)