It Came From Japan

Ninja Ryukenden vs Ninja Gaiden

こんにちは!  Afternoon everyone, thought for today we could switch things up a little bit. If you collect Famicom games I’m sure at some point you have asked yourself if it’s worth owning the NES and Famicom versions of a game. I would say in some cases you definitely should as the same game can really vary between the two systems.


The first game I’m going to look at today is Ninja Gaiden 3, Ninja Ryukenden. I have the whole trilogy of Ninja Gaiden games on both the NES and Famicom because of the differences. I’m sure you have heard that in some cases games were made easier when they were brought to the NES – a good example of this is Super Mario Brothers 2. Instead of releasing the real SMB2 (Lost Levels as we know it on the Mario Allstars SNES cart), we got a port of a game known as Doki Doki Panic but made with Mario characters. Or even Super Mario 3 was made easier on the NES. In the Famicom version of the game if you had a power up if you were hit you automatically change into small Mario, not large Mario like in the NES version of the game.

In the case of the Ninja Gaiden games, the opposite is true. The Famicom version of the game is a lot easier than the version that was released here on the NES, the story seems to be the same but a lot of things that were really frustrating about the NES version ended up being changed in the Famicom version. I had made a video a while back showing side by side game play of both games to show you the difference.






Thought it was unfair how there were no passwords in the Ninja Gaiden games? Well the first real difference you notice is that the Famicom version has a password system. No more leaving your system on for days while you try to beat the game so you don’t lose your progress. (I did that with the first Ninja Gaiden game because there was no way I was going to restart from the very beginning!) When you get hit in the NES version you take 2x the amount of damage you get from the Famicom version. You also have unlimited continues in the Famicom version so you can continue right from that stage and you aren’t forced to go back to the first level in that act.

The furthest I have gotten in the NES version was Stage 2-2 before getting a game over, but because of the password system and endless continues, it is a lot easier to just keep going with the Famicom version and not get super frustrated and throw controllers like you may want to do if you play the other version.

I felt that the Famicom version was a lot more fun than just super frustrating. Some people might find it too easy with the changes, but if you happen to be like me and even though I like difficult games I just don’t have the time to constantly keep restarting so the password system is really a god send. Plus even with an easier difficulty you are still going to have to face those evil birds!