Ninja Gaiden is often considered one of the essential NES games. The game was praised for its fast, fun gameplay, amazing cutscenes for the time and extremely difficult level design. So difficult in fact that many would actually call it cheap.

But that’s not the game I’m here to talk about. My introduction to the Ninja Gaiden franchise didn’t come from the NES, after all, the NES was a mostly unknown system is most of Europe with the exception of a few countries like Germany and Norway.

My introduction to the series came from the Master System, with a game simply called Ninja Gaiden. Now, despite what the name would have you believe, Ninja Gaiden for the Master System is not a port of the NES game. This is actually a spin-off of the original trilogy though it is implied it takes place after the three NES games. Even more surprising, is that this game was actually developed by Sega but was only released in PAL regions.

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