I am not a video game person. Nothing against them, but anything after the original NES – which I did play rabidly in Jr. High – and I just never had the time for it. I’d much rather read or watch a flick; write or record. When I was still back in Chicago, maybe about once every couple of years I would dig out that old NES system and fire up one of my favorite games from the past – Shadowgate, Bionic Commando, Blaster Master or… Ninja Gaiden.

Of course they never quite lived up to my memory. It was just too hard to re-acclimate to that mindset and actually perceive the story again when you’re not really into the game itself anymore. That’s why when I recently found these on youtube I was pretty excited.

To be continued… HERE


Sure, it’s cool for a bit – one watch through is definitely enough – but as cool as these are they are hard to re-introduce into the mind of those of us hungry for story who have grown up with all the sophistication of storytelling methods over the years – whether in video games, movies, comics, multimedia… whatever. And because these scenes above are so endearing yet also so frustrating we invariably learn to see them much different types of delivery systems for the story components – the fact that some elements are missing because of course they are the levels of the game take a little something away when watching these. I liken it to the murals on the backs of the boxes of the old, 1980’s Transformers toys or the mini He-Man comics that came with those figures around the same time. However maybe therein lies the magic of all of those toys and why they have lived on with my generation and even into new generations (well, okay, maybe not Master of the Universe so much but it’s due!) while Ninja Gaiden has remained somewhat more obscure. I mean, apparently a new game just came out this month, so it’s not as though Ryu and co. are forgotten, but how wouldn’t the storyline for this video game make an excellent movie in the age of pre-branded material? I know there is an Anime based on the games (Ninja Ryūkenden)but I’m always suspicious of Anime. And I know that even as I sit here and type this, if Ninja Gaiden was to be picked up by an American studio it would no doubt end up sucking (Maybe Michael Bay could do it and make all the ninjas aliens?).

Oh well, in the meantime it was cool to find these clips online, revisit an old favorite and let my imagination fill in the gaps.