UNITED STATES—This was a videogame as a child that was a major challenge for me. I recall it being that one game that I would get frustrated with because I would ALWAYS find myself getting to a certain point at the game and then I would get stuck or for a sake of words lose. You have those games where you can keep playing until you’re successful, then there are games after you die so many times that is it, you have to start back from the beginning. I am referring to “Ninja Gaiden.”

This is a game that uses storyboards to explain to the player what is going on and what has transpired. It is like a comic book where you are flipping thru each page to see what is going to happen next, while you actually get the opportunity to fight and journey through each level. Here is the thing that makes “Ninja Gaiden” a challenge: you have a timer. Each stage you are given a distinct amount of time to complete. Yeah, it’s like “Super Mario Bros.,” you cannot just play around and burn time as if it doesn’t matter. If you do that, it will indeed cost you a life or two.

I also realized that the timer moves a lot quicker than you think. So don’t mess around. There are a total of seven levels and each level becomes progressively more difficult. Usually one swap or two with your sword and those pesky enemies are dunzo. However, you have those annoying enemies like flying birds or little monkeys that pop out of nowhere and one strike and you fall and you die. Yes, it is indeed that frustrating America and you see this as you enter stage 2 and so on. I will make the argument once you reach stage 4 things become a challenge.

I especially love stage 5 that pits you each a few challenging bosses before you enter the dreaded stage 6 that is the most challenging of them all. Why? You fight a boss and then another boss and you don’t get the opportunity to regenerate your blood. So that first battle is a damn challenge; the second is just as challenging. So you have to be perceptive to the pattern of the boss and his attack modes. Once you figure that out, it is easy to dodge those attacks and be successful.

I cannot tell you how many times I died on level 6. I was able to defeat the first boss, but that second boss EVERY SINGLE time I would lose because I didn’t have enough blood or lives life to continue the journey. Yeah, there is strategy to videogames. More than people actually know or think. So once you have accomplished “Ninja Gaiden” you can tackle the task of “Ninja Gaiden II” which is just as fun as the first one people.

Written By Davy Jones