5 Things That Make No Sense In Ninja Gaiden

At one time, Ninja Gaiden was considered one of the premier action game franchises that were pushing the genre forward. For a while, it was even a major selling point for the Xbox and Xbox 360. These games were fast, flashy, and unrelentingly difficult in all the right (and some of the wrong…) ways, and most of them still hold up to this day.

The series has been in a bit of a rough patch after releasing a few bombs, and we haven’t seen much of Ryu Hayabusa since. Well, that is until the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection, of course. This set once again thrusts Ryu into the limelight, and shows just how good these games were, and still are. That doesn’t mean these games make sense of course – because they don’t.

5 Ninja Gaiden’s Opening

One of the weirdest aspects of the first Ninja Gaiden was the idea that Murai – seemingly a friend of Ryu Hayabusa – sent wave after wave of ninja after you. This was jokingly laughed off as a bit of friendly joshing, but people died doing this. A lot of people. From the moment the game starts, you are assailed by ninja. By the time you finish the tutorial, about 100 people are left dead – probably decapitated.

Not only that, it’s not like Ryu wasn’t in any danger either. These guys weren’t using training swords – they likely cut chunks out of you as you played, making this one heck of a brutal game of tag. Then you have Murai himself, who is actively trying to cave your skull in. All if forgiven for seemingly no reason. Somebody should have died here – either Ryu or Murai because this wasn’t child's play. It was a bloodbath.

4 Why Did The Butcher Ninja Gaiden 2?

Ninja Gaiden 2 is a game that is flawed in many ways – most notably its framerate on the Xbox 360. Despite this, however, it was a gloriously gory action romp that hasn’t been emulated since. Arms, legs, heads, torsos, and just about everything else you can imagine, are flung around the room with every swing of Ryu’s sword, and it is outlandishly satisfying to play.

The game eventually got ported to PS3 in the form of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and this “enhanced” port would have been a travesty had the underlying gameplay of Ninja Gaiden 2, not shone through. Sigma 2 has been tweaked to oblivion, with the gore dialed right back, the enemy count dropped, and the satisfaction of playing the game irrevocably changed. Unfortunately, the neutered port made its way into the Master Collection, and it’s a crying shame.

3 Ninja Gaiden 3’s Story

Ninja Gaiden 3, and its enhanced port, Razor’s Edge, has an unusual focus on story – a feature the previous two entries mostly sidelined. This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but the execution is awful. Why? It makes no sense. The overall idea is that Ryu is cursed because he is the Japanese equivalent of a ‘murder hobo’. He killed too many people, and now he is going to die because of karma.

The game plays into the idea that Ryu has always been this mass-murdering force of nature, who relishes in violence. The thing is, that has never been the case. Ryu has killed hundreds of people, demons, monsters, and abominations, but he has never been portrayed as bloodthirsty. In fact, unlike, say, Doomguy, Ryu is very professional, reserved, and calm. He doesn’t just kill innocents – he kills people who are trying to kill him after they went and killed all his friends. Make it make sense.

2 Ryu Forgot He Was A Weaponmaster

Not to beat on Ninja Gaiden 3 some more, but in that game, Ryu randomly forgot that he was, in fact, a master of just about any weapon. We’ve seen him use everything from magic to bows, and katanas to huge scythes – this guy knows his stuff. A true master. In Ninja Gaiden 3, he just forgot he could do that. Well, he forgot until you greased his palms a smidge.

When Ninja Gaiden 3 was first released, the only weapon Ryu could use was his Dragon Sword. A fantastic weapon, sure, but it left the game feeling a bit stale. Rarely, if ever, do action games limit you to one weapon, but that didn’t stop Ninja Gaiden 3. Of course, Ryu remembered he could use all sorts of cool stuff eventually, you just had to unlock them with your real-life wallet. Keep it classy.

1 The Wooden Sword Does What?

If you are the kind of player who keeps worthless weapons around and upgrades them to see if there is anything the developers hid, then you probably played Ninja Gaiden back in the day. The Wooden Sword is the most powerful weapon in the game, you just have to put work into it to make it worth using.

You may think that big swords, sharp claws, or bludgeoning staves would top the list, but no. A training sword takes the cake here. Once buffed up, the Wooden Sword becomes the Unlabored Flawlessness, and under the right circumstances, it will out damage everything else in the game. Why does it do this? No idea. How does it do this? Ninja magic? It’s a mystery to this day.

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