When it comes down to older action-adventure that were probably overlooked in the early 00’s one of the few games that comes to mind is the Ninja Gaiden title from 2004. The Ninja Gaiden game from ‘04 was developed by Team Ninja and initially published by Tecmo. Ninja Gaiden ‘04 was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox and the PSVita over the time span of about nine years. Ninja Gaiden ‘04 saw the series reoccurring main protagonist Ryu Hayabusa as the only playable character while the game gave people sixteen chapters to complete within the story mode. The plot for Ninja Gaiden ‘04 revolved mainly around Ryu Hayabusa’s quest for vengeance as he seeks to destroy Doku. After killing Kureha the first Dragon Shrine Maiden of the Hayabusa Clan and stealing the Dark Dragon Blade attempted to murder Ryu arguably before fleeing. Ninja Gaiden ‘04 was also the game where we saw the introduction of a new female protagonist by the name of Rachel. The story involving Rachael and her sister Alma was both dark and tragic since they both carried a blood curse. The curse that Rachel & Alma had gave them the ability humans into animals and was given to them by Doku. The gameplay for Ninja Gaiden ‘04 was pretty unique because it looked and felt different from older games in the series. However, the developers found a way to take a series that was mainly popular in 2D during the NES era and make 3D game that had good storytelling and realistic gameplay that captured the vibe of the Ninja Gaiden series.
In Ninja Gaiden ‘04 players controlled Ryu Hayabusa from a third-person perspective and has the ability to upgrade their abilities as they progressed throughout the game. Players got to explore multiple different regions in order to solve puzzles, discover keys and fighting various enemies while being able to save their progress in the process. One of the few criticisms regarding the gameplay for Ninja Gaiden ‘04 involved the fact that the combat system was a bit tough to master and lacked flexibility. While players are given a large selection of weapons to choose each had their own set of advantages and disadvantages which added to the realism of the gameplay itself. The melee attacks along with the magical spells that Ryu Hayabusa could use in Ninja Gaiden ‘04 made the game fun for many people along with the inclusion cinematic cutscenes for each chapter of the story. Ninja Gaiden ‘04 was special not only because it was set within the world of the Dead or Alive series but it was also supposed to be a prequel to the Gaiden games for the NES as well. Ninja Gaiden ‘04 was great action-adventure game for its time and is one that probably deserves to be remastered high definition for a modern generation game system.