With the Ninja Gaiden Black being available on numerous platforms with differing versions, it might be a good idea to know just what the advantages and dis-advantages of each version are before you dive in. Like most games with numerous releases there – sadly – isn’t a clear-cut best version. So let’s find out shall we, what console is best to play Ninja Gaiden Black on?
Ninja Gaiden Black is available as a playable disc on the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox One X, as well as downloadable availability on the latter three systems. Below we’ll show a quick table giving insights in which version offers what exactly and also what other Ninja Gaiden games they support.
The key differences between the versions lay in elements like frame-rate, resolution, input-lag, bugs and support for unlockable arcade games.
|Xbox NTSC||Xbox PAL||Xbox 360||Xbox One||Xbox One X|
|Bugs||Present||Present||Present||Partially fixed||Partially fixed|
|Plays Ninja Gaiden 1||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Supports Ninja Gaiden 1 DLC||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Plays Ninja Gaiden II||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Plays Ninja Gaiden 3||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Plays Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Plays Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z||No||No||Yes||No||No|
So with that information on display, here’s a short piece of information on each version.
Xbox NTSC / PAL
The NTSC release supports 60 frames per second. While some bugs like Eternal Legend’s visual glitch are present in this version, it is a solid version to pick up. Due to limitations, PAL releases are limited to 50 frames per second making the NTSC the superior version of the original two releases. However this version does slow down when things get too hectic.
A very stable version supporting 60 frames per second without many drops, no input lag and a working – albeit slightly glitched – Arcade classic. Due to the system’s emulation certain cutscenes appear choppy while some of the intro logo’s lack sound, on the flip-side the emulation does allow for a crisper image at 720p. It also has the benefit of supporting the most Ninja Gaiden titles around, only lacking the ability to play Ninja Gaiden 1’s DLC packs.
Xbox One & One X
The most modern release, being available via the online marketplace or by just inserting the original disc from 2004. These versions sport clean cutscenes, numerous fixed bugs, no slowdown and a clean and stable image during gameplay. Some also note that the Xbox One version is a bit harder due to higher refresh rate, which means certain things like projectiles tend to a track a little more. The bugs fixed are mostly visual, such as the wall in underworld arena’s no longer having an obscuring effect, great for runs through the game’s infamous Eternal Legends mission. One last tiny advantage the system has is that you can easily make numerous accounts on the system for an extra set of save-slots. The only real mark against this version is its rumoured input lag and tendency to drop inputs on a very rare occasion, having led to some high level Ninja Gaiden players to drop this version. It recently also added support for Ninja Gaiden II and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, which both no longer suffers from slowdown.
DOWNLOAD OR DISC
Some systems like the Xbox 360 and Xbox One offer a download and disc version for Ninja Gaiden Black. While the disc is great for purists with its slick shelf-presence, the download-version has quicker loading times due to it being installed on the harddrive completely. Note that for the Xbox One version, the game is installed off of the disc and does not actually run through the disc.
WHAT ABOUT EMULATION
Sadly, due to the complications of emulating Xbox games most of its emulators like Cxbx, Xeon and XQEMU have been abandoned. Even the best of emulators of the system cannot get Ninja Gaiden Black to run past its opening cutscene.
Which version you end up getting is entirely up to what your tastes are and what you expect to do with the game. Ninja Gaiden Black is often regarded as one of the genre’s finest, so there’s no shame in making a purchase surrounding it.
If you like experiencing the game as it was on release then the original Xbox is the version for you. You want a complete package and don’t aspire to absolute frame-perfect mastery? Then the most recent re-release on the Xbox One X is perfect, especially if you just want to experience the game once. Though it lacks polished cutscenes and a modern resolution, the 360 version can be considered top of the bar for gameplay with no rumoured input lag while also supporting all other games in the series.
Personally, I used to prefer the Xbox 360 version for the reasons listed above. But with the recent backwards compatibility on the Xbox One X for the main entries in the series, I made the jump and haven’t regretted that decision. So, with that said, which version are you running? Or which are you planning on getting? Let us know!