It's rare that a game holds up as well as your memory of it does. The "Ninja Gaiden" games, though, are the rare exception in which actuality trumps memory.
Slick, strategic action flows like wind, with a zen-like succession of blocks, jumps and special moves emerging from your reflexes as you face down scores of hooded enemies and imposing beasts. The franchise that was introduced on the original Xbox thrives three generations later in the form of the upgraded "Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection."
The enhanced, Sigma versions of the 2004 and 2008 games are included, and are the main event. The games hold up well, with Team Ninja devs sticking close to the ports while adding minor quality of life improvements and polish.
The QTE-riddled "Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge" (2013) is the black sheep here, but has enough bombastic moments to make it a necessity play-through for megafans.
Nearly all previously-released DLC is there, with loads of costumes, characters and other bonuses to sift through.
Although the saving system sticks to the original way, there's something to be said for the ability to trigger quick resets that autosaves would prevent to help you gear aup for particularly harrowing challenges.
Likely the introduction to many players to a franchise that had been stuck in the shadows for more than a decade, "Ninja Gaiden Master Collection" blows through the doors with brutal, rhythmic fury. It's good to have Rya Hayabusa back in the game.
Publisher provided review code.