Back in 1988, Tecmo released a game that would end up achieving international fame: Ninja Gaiden. Also known as Shadow Warriors, this side-scrolling fighting game became a smash hit in arcades and also on the Nintendo Entertainment System console, bringing a big smile to the faces of action game fans.
It was remade in 2004 as a third-person action game, in which protagonist Ryu Hayabusa had to cut down hordes of fiendish enemies in order to save the world from chaos. And given the game’s success, two more versions of Ninja Gaiden followed.
Ninja Gaiden Black came out a year later on the Xbox and PS3. The “Black” version of the game also reminded people why the Ninja Gaiden games are renowned for their difficulty, as this is arguably the hardest game of the 21st century.
There was also Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the PS3 in 2007, with a graphical upgrade to high-definition visuals and a playable female character. This was also well received, with one gaming website calling it “the greatest action game ever made”.
And now Koei Tecmo America is gearing up to launch Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, a compilation of three games which not only includes Ninja Gaiden Sigma, but also Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and the more recent Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.
Regarding the other two games, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was a well-received PS3 exclusive (itself a port of the earlier Xbox 360 game Ninja Gaiden II), which continued the adventures of ninja Ryu Hayabusa. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, meanwhile, debuted on the Wii U in 2012 to a mixed reception, and definitely isn’t the best game in the series. But thanks to its inclusion in Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, people will be able to decide for themselves this June whether it cuts the mustard or not.
Aside from launching on the PS4, Xbox One and PC on Steam, Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection will also be coming to the Nintendo Switch. This will definitely be good news for owners of Nintendo’s console, meaning people will be able to enjoy the adventures of Ninja Gaiden’s protagonist Ryu Hayabusa while on the go, and not just in the comfort of their living room.
There’s also a deluxe edition of the game, which aside from featuring the aforementioned games, also packs a digital art book (great if digital art books are your thing) and a soundtrack comprising more than 180 tracks of music from the series.
Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja (Team Ninja being the developer behind Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection) also revealed that you’ll be able to play as four female characters that have made an appearance in the Ninja Gaiden series. These are Ayane, Rachel, Kasumi and Momiji, the latter seen in the image which accompanies this article.
This means you won’t be fighting Ninja Gaiden’s fiendish enemies as Ryu Hayabusa all the time, which definitely is a good thing – variety is a good thing – although according to Team Ninja’s website the female characters “will appear as they did in the original version of the games”.
This means that Team Ninja has not upgraded the character models and that the playable female characters will be looking like they did in the PS3 version of the game, which is slightly disappointing. Presumably protagonist Ryu Hayabusa has gotten a thorough makeover, although this remains to be seen.
At least we already know that all the games in Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection will run at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second on the PS5, Xbox Series X (and S), PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and also on PC if your machine is beefy enough. The game will likely run at 1080p on PS4 and Xbox One. On Nintendo Switch meanwhile, 1080p resolution while docked and 720p in handheld mode is a good bet.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection will be released on June 10, meaning fans of action games will be looking forward to enjoying the series’ fast-paced, action-packed battles and ninja gameplay on modern consoles and PC come that day. It would be a great thing if this turned out to be a good remaster of some of the most renowned action games of the century when it arrives this spring then.