The original Ninja Gaiden (well, not the original original on the NES) released in 2004 for the first Xbox (not the Xbox One, though the series has made its way onto that console as well). Two console generations later (three if you are lucky enough to have, and play on, a PS5), a remaster of a port that was itself a pseudo-remaster has arrived for the PlayStation 4, alongside its two sequels/remasters/ports. Confused? Don’t be – all you need to know is that our Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection PS4 review is here to clear up if you should drop the money to buy this bundle of classic action games.
Ninja Gaiden Master Collection PS4 Review – A Bit Shinier
All three Ninja Gaiden games are intact in the collection: Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden II Sigma, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. They run in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second on the PS4 Pro and PS5. The performance is consistent no matter how many enemies are thrown at the player, and things remain buttery smooth at all times. Load times have also improved compared to the original releases, though this probably has more to do with today’s modern hard/solid state drives simply being much faster now than they were over ten years ago.
The original game is 17 years old, and the source material is certainly showing its age in more ways than one. Cutscenes don’t appear to have been touched up at all, and are incredibly blocky, especially when upscaled to a 4K screen, though the original master files for the pre-rendered cutscenes were probably not prepared with such high resolutions in mind. The games’ assets appear to have perhaps been given a sharpness pass, but otherwise don’t look overly improved from earlier versions of the games. The newer entries in the collection fare a little better, though even Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is coming up on a decade since its release. Then again, this isn’t a remake collection, so some roughness is to be expected.
Having said that, the decision by Team Ninja and/or KOEI TECMO to exclude multiplayer modes is one that fans are sure to find disappointing. While supporting a game with an online mode cuts into costs, surely the PS4 is powerful enough to allow for same-system co-op. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection has been resigned to feature single player adventuring only.
This collection is rather barebones. The three included games are as fantastic as veterans of the franchise will remember them, and having all three available to play at a moment’s notice is worth the price of admission for anyone looking for a challenge. Easier difficulty modes are also available for players who perhaps don’t have the best reflexes or don’t want to be bothered too much by combat and enjoy the series’ entertaining but occasionally convoluted story. Some time trials and challenges made the cut, and as a whole there is some replayability to be found owing to the nature of the games themselves, but this is basically the Ninja Gaiden series repackaged with some spit shine on, but not much else.
The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is a great value for only $39.99. Three frenetic adventures that represent some of the best action games from console generations of the past are bundled, ensuring a lot of content for almost half the price of some AAA games. While the games stand on their own as fun and entertaining, the collection is rather barebones, and the exclusion of co-op or other multiplayer modes is felt throughout. Still, fans of the series, or those looking to become fans, can hardly go wrong with the purchase of this collection.
Ninja Gaiden Master Collection PS4 review code provided by the publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a PS5. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.
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