Ninja Gaiden - Retro Reflections

Now, I plan to keep most of these pretty light, but for my first Retro Reflections, I was inspired by my News & Notes post on Wednesday. Unfortunately, what starts off as 'light' usually turns into something more for me. So... I have some images mashed together, with a video I made of the arcade game and the intros from the 3 NES games. For the purposes of this post, I figured I would try both the video uploader that Blogger provides and an online embedding option I have, and see which I like better. This is all pretty rough, even if I did spent a bit more time on it than I planned/wanted to, so feedback's certainly welcome on the technical side of things. I'll likely mix things up for awhile as I try to find what I like and don't like.

I found an IGN article talking about the upcoming Ninja Gaiden 3, and this is a series I loved when I was younger, but sort of fell out of love with when I played the Xbox 360 versions. I first played the arcade game when I was pretty young, but I loved it at the time (then again, I enjoyed a lot of beat 'em up games like Double Dragon back then too). It's a pretty basic game with some cheap bosses - it was designed as a quarter muncher, and from that standpoint it did its job well.



Ninja Gaiden for the NES was one of the first games I can recall that used cut scenes to help advance the storyline of a game. I recall several things about this game in particular. I remember at the time thinking that the graphics were very cool - but also that the game was very hard. In fact, I did not beat it after first getting it. I actually did not get through the last area until a year or two later when I picked it up again. I remember thinking the jumping summersault slash special attack was the best boss-killer ever. I remember hating the wall climb system - how you had to jump, press away, press back to inch up a small distance, and that doing this repeatedly was often necessary to advance. The intro is worth mentioning again though - I remember thinking that ninja duel at the beginning was amazingly cool.



Ninja Gaiden 2 was actually my favorite of the series. I think it was probably the easiest of the three NES games, but I enjoyed the story a lot. Something about it really appealed to me as a kid and I know I beat that game dozens of times. The wall scaling mechanic was replaced with a much easier method of just climbing up and down vertically. You still had to do the same trick to get up on top of things if you didn't have an opposite wall to leap off of, but I recall thinking that it just felt so much cooler than the method used in part 1. I included the full intro to this game in my video I pieced together - I was surprised at how I still remembered the music near the end; I recall it like it was yesterday.



Ninja Gaiden 3. This is an odd one for me, because I remember beating it - but it was my least favorite of the 3 games. On a technical level, it was the most advanced of the games in terms of graphics, powers and music. But the story never resonated with me the same way as the prior two games and never made quite the same overall impression. I could recall things I really liked (and disliked) about the first two right away when I played them again yesterday. There were a few things in part 3 where I was like: "Oh, yeah - I remember that." - but it never brought up the same feelings of nostalgia that the first two did.



Now, I made a video up but I have no idea how these will fit, how the embedded one will attack my bandwidth where I have it hosted, how the formats work with Blogger - so this is pretty experimental right now.

The first video is an MOV I am uploading using Blogger:




And here's the mp4 embedded from another site - same video, just a different delivery:


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4 comments :

  1. Awesome job!

    I liked how you kept the information on each game very concise, and mentioned what you did/didn't like, and what you remembered about each one.

    I can't recall ever playing the NES Ninja Gaiden games, but I did play Ninja Gaiden on the original Xbox...the first one to move into 3D I believe.
    I remember hearing a lot of friends say how hard it was on the Xbox...I borrowed it from a friend, and ended up beating the game and really enjoying it.
    The bosses were definitely challenging, but I thought it was a lot of fun when I was playing it.

    As for the videos, I think the second video embed has the brighter colors, which shows off the games better I believe...
    That being said, I currently just use YouTube to upload all of my game videos, and use the "Share to Blogger" button they have.

    I've never even tried using the Blogger upload directly...perhaps I should.

    But yea, the color is better in the second one I think, and I've noticed in some of my videos, that the colors aren't as bright as they could be...so it's possible it's the way the video is compressed to YouTube and/or my capturing means.

    BTW, I enjoyed the writing and text bubble towards the beginning of the video as well!

    Great job on your first "Retro Reflections"!

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  2. Hey there - thanks for peeking in! :)

    I never had an original xbox, but I did play those newer Ninja Gaiden games for my ps3. Like your friends, most of those I talked to complained that they were really hard. I found them both quite manageable, but they never quite piqued my interest the way the older ones did.

    I was really surprised at how much Blogger constrained the MOV I made. It was produced to the same resolution as the second video, but Blogger must really be limiting the size and color depth to keep bandwidth and storage down. I used Screencast.com for my last embed - and have to say I think it looked a lot better (I made an MP4 and uploaded it. Screencast doesn't do any encoding like Youtube does, so I think that helps on the quality of the pixels and color vibrancy.

    I think for my next one, I'll have to do a Youtube and Screencast embed to compare and see which I like better. Thanks for the compliments and checking in!

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  3. Kind of interesting...I did some experimenting last night.

    I used my iPod Touch and visited this link, and I couldn't get the Google direct upload, or the Screencast video to play...

    I could tell the Screencast video was there, but it wouldn't play.
    The Blogger direct upload didn't even show up on the iPod's screen...it was just blank space.

    Then, I checked my site, and all of my YouTube videos showed up, and would play when I clicked them.
    Kind of odd, especially when YouTube is owned by Google...I would think the upload for Blogger would be nearly identical to YouTube.

    I'm think that may be why I stuck with YouTube, due to the portable playing...as I did setup a few accounts on other upload sites in the past, but the quality really does make a difference I think...so I may have to start doing double uploads like you!

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  4. I'm not surprised that screencast had a bit of trouble w/ the ipod - it's basically flash content and we can handle it okay if you visit the actual screencast site to view it, but embedded we don't have the fallback methods built in. For this weekend's, I plan to do a screencast and youtube upload and see what I think. My initial testing is that the screencast still looks better - both from a pixel sharpness and size standpoint, but youtube offers searchability and works pretty much everywhere, as you observed. I'll try both for a couple of weeks and see - and then probably just settle on one format.

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