Head to Head

Ninja Gaiden

Woosh, Slish, Slash--Ohh that sword; you must be playing Ninja Gaiden. In this installment we will be discussing that infamous series Ninja Gaiden. No, not the new Genesis vs. old NES version (That wouldn't be much of a competition), but rather the Lynx vs. GameGear versions. Yes, this issue we roam into the portable market. Well, I suppose I might as well dive right in.
Well, the first and foremost thing about these games is their entire setup. The Lynx version tends to be most like the arcade, while as the GG version leans more to the fast actioned NES version. For those of you who are not familiar with the arcade version, it is a slower paced fighting game, much in the same light as the Double Dragon series. Which do I perfer? Hands down, the Lynx. Why? No, not because I'm a fight game lover, but rather because of the poor execution of the GG version. There tends to be so little "slashing" characters that the action in this title is lost. The "collision counter" in the GG version was so far off center that you could actually walk on top of the bosses and not get damaged, yet if you stand back (way back) you get hurt. This answers the gameplay question. The Lynx is fluid, smooth, and easy to control.
There has long been a controversy as to which unit, Lynx or GG, has better graphics, but in this game there is NO controversy. Once again the Lynx wins. Detail, detail, detail. That sums it up. The Lynx has lots of detail, in both character and background graphics, and the GG has none. I was dissapointed with the GG. Come on folks, your machine deserves more. The Lynx version, however, was awsome. The match to the arcade was nearly perfect. This is truely an example of how good portable games can be.
How about sound? Well, this was pretty much a toss-up. The Lynx had better background music, but fell short in terms of sound effects. The opposite was true for the GG. And what about fun? The Lynx once again wins. Wow, seems like there hasn't been much of a competition here! How about overall--Do I even need to answer that? Yup, you got it, the Lynx. Now go out and get it! I'm sure not too many people will disagree with my opinion on this one. However, word out on the street is that the Gameboy version is a force to be reckoned with. If this is true, I'll have to check it out. I decided to leave it out of this installment because of its lack of that o' so illustrious color. Well, till next time--this is Ferrari Man signing off and saying farewell!!

-Ferrari Man

Originally appeared Vol 1, Iss 4 (10-11/92)

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