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.
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: