Known by many young punk kid modern gamers as a hardcore (as in ball-kickingly tough) third-person action series, or to us old fart old-school gamers as a hardcore (as in ball-stompingly tough) platforming trilogy on the NES, the Ninja Gaiden franchise actually got its' start as a hardcore (as in ball-squishingly tough) beat-em-up that's now available for download on the Virtual Console. So grab your Classic Controller and a nut cup and get ready to join in the ball-neutering festivities.

Thankfully, unlike back in the day where you had to beg your mom for another couple of bucks so you could head back to the local dingy bowling alley or 7-11 to give the game another go, only to leave minutes later with your head held down in the 1980's equivalent of getting an online teabagging, the Virtual Console version of Ninja Gaiden allows you to tweak the settings so that the game is at least somewhat manageable in terms of difficulty.

And that's a very good thing, because even with an arsenal of classic ninja weapons and acrobatic moves at your disposal, you're going to be seeing the iconic continue screen quite a bit, as even the shempy enemies here have apparently been eating their Wheaties chased with fistfuls of steroids. For many, this sort of thing will be the genesis for many a rage quit. But for the more hardened gamers out there, Ninja Gaiden is still a fun trip down memory lane.

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