Review by Psycho Penguin

"Damn birds! Can you not just die?"

There have been a few series over the years that I have enjoyed a lot. Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior and Mega Man are just a few of the many video game series that I have enjoyed to play over the years. However, one of my favorite series over the years has been a series called Ninja Gaiden. A lot of people are fans of the series, but the series never seemed to get the popular recognition of the series I previously mentioned.

Regardless, the Ninja Gaiden series is still one of my favorite video game series, and definitely one of the most underrated (along with the Adventure Island series) video game series, in my opinion. I have enjoyed most of the video games released for the series, with the rare exception of a select couple. So, the series has definitely provided the player with consistently top-quality games.

My favorite game in the series, as is the favorite of the series of many other people, is the second game in the series, Ninja Gaiden 2. Simply put, it is one of the greatest video games ever made. I loved playing the game, and felt it was truly an awesome attempt at a game. I loved almost everything about this game, from the graphics to the music to the sound effects to the control. I just felt it was an awesome game, and I loved playing it. I cannot think of anything else to say, because those are my feelings about this truly awesome game.

The story line of the game was not that well done, although it was fairly unique back in the day. The best thing I can say about the story line of the game was the fact that it, along with the characters, was so well developed. This is because the game employed the use of cut scenes which helped to develop the story line of the game even more past the boring basic plot it revealed, that of a ''save the hero’s girlfriend from the evil corporation who just happens to be head by your main enemy''. I did think the story line could have been improved, but overall it was pretty solid.

I really did like the graphics in this game. The graphics may appear to be outdated by today's standards, but they were way pimp back in the day. I really liked all of the elements of the graphics in the game, ranging from the enemy designs to the character designs to the backgrounds. The backgrounds were some of the best I have yet to see in a 1990 game, as they were very well detailed and very well varied. None of the backgrounds could be described as distracting, which is definitely a good thing.

The character designs in the game were great, although you could only see them during the various cut scenes of the game. Speaking of the cut scenes, the cut scenes in the game are simply awesome. Namco really did a great job with the cut scenes in the game, as they are well varied and very well detailed. I especially liked the soap box look of the cut scenes, as it just added to the whole movie look of the game. The cinematic cut scenes were revolutionary for its time, and they are definitely awesome.

The enemy designs in the game are top notch, as well. The enemy designs are well designed and well detailed, as well as having a great amount of variety to them. Have you ever encountered a game, which has the same enemy design repeating itself every few stages, only with different colors, etc.? Well, the same thing does occur in the game, but since the enemy designs are so good, you will hardly even notice (or care). I really felt the enemy designs in the game were solid, regardless of the fact that the same enemy design repeated, only with a different color, from time to time.

The music in this game was top notch, as I really liked the variety of musical themes in the game. I have always been a fan of the music in the Ninja Gaiden series, and feel that the music in this game is some of the best yet. I think this is the best soundtrack featured in the three games of the series, which is saying a lot, considering how much I really enjoyed the music in the other games of the series. It was definitely well done, and the composer of the music featured in this game deserves an award or something for the quality music he/she produced for this game. Great job!

Sound effect wise, I definitely feel as if Ninja Gaiden 2 is a mixed bag. On one hand, most of the sound effects in the game are pretty good, and the sound effects definitely sound pretty good. However, the lack of certain sound effects really is not comprehendible in my mind. How there is not a cool sound effect for when you fall off the ledge and die is beyond me. Sure, there is some good music that plays, but I would have rather preferred to hear a good sound effect. Regardless, the sound effects are still pretty good. I was just a little disappointed and let down, that's all.

The control in the game is definitely pretty good, although I did have some problems with it. I do feel as if it is difficult to make certain jumps in the game, and the control definitely does not help with this. I do like how the control was improved over the original Ninja Gaiden, however. In the original, you had to climb walls by jumping onto one part of it, then to jump off of it and land over where you were on it before. It just did not seem right, however, in this game, you can climb up walls freely. It definitely makes the control seem better and easier to play. I did have some problems with the control in the game. However, I do feel that Namco did a solid job in implementing a control system that feels right, so for that I will say that I liked the control in the game and move onto the next section.

The basic game play to the game is a lot like the original Ninja Gaiden, but with a few changes. For those of you that do not remember the original Ninja Gaiden, let me fill you in on the basic game play that the series provides. For those that remember the original, move onto the next paragraph. The series has always been known to produce great game play and platforming action, and for good reason. The game is a basic platformer of sorts, as you can do stuff like kill enemies, get special items, etc. It is definitely fun, as it is a game like Mario.

You have to use some mind power in the game, as well. Although most of the game is focused on intense action and adventure elements, you do need to use your brain to defeat some bosses and get out of certain situations. For instance, in the stage that lights up and then gets dark, you can pause the game while the screen is lit up to check out the stage and what you have to do next. This is just one example of using your brain in this game. I am not going to lie and say this game takes more brain power than a fast finger, but it does require at least some mind power, so I was definitely a fan of that,

Besides doing all of the basic platforming elements that you may expect in games of the genre, like killing enemies and jumping from platform to platform, there are also new things to concern yourself with. One of the main things is the fact you can now collect special scrolls, which allow you to gain special weapons and abilities. These abilities range from a wall of flames that surround you and allow you to kill your enemies more easily, to a few ninja stars in which you can throw at your enemies. These special attacks allow you to kill your enemies even easier, although some allow you to increase your defensive powers. I am not going to say that the game has a lot of role playing elements, because it certainly does not, but those are some role playing elements featured in this game.

This is a pretty addicting game, so of course I feel as if it does have good replay value. I may still enjoy playing the later games in the series to the original, but I still do like playing this game every so often. It may not be one of the top games that I play, but I do still play this game every once in a while. When I first got this game, I played it a lot, but now I do not play it as much as I used to. Regardless, the game has above average replay value when you first get the game. This is one of the best games on the NES so I definitely consider playing this game when I go on a retro kick and decide to play the NES.

This is a pretty challenging game, although it is not one of the most challenging games. Actually, scratch that, I do think that it is one of the most challenging games ever made. The stages are very complicated and filled with a lot of enemies. The flying bird enemy is one of the most annoying enemies I have ever encountered in a video game, and it definitely gave me problems during Act 3 Scene 1. This is definitely a challenging game, to say the least. It is not as challenging as the other two series in the game but is still pretty challenging.

Overall, I was really impressed with this game, and I think that this is one of the greatest games ever made, no lies. It is a lot of fun to play and features all of the great elements I have come to expect from the Ninja Gaiden series. The game itself is very fun to play, the graphics are pretty good, the music and sound effects are great, and the replay value is solid. Simply put, everything I expect from a great game is featured in this game, and in style. I simply love this game and think it is well worth a purchase, especially for fans of the series, because this is the best game in the series, in my opinion.

Good Points
-I loved the graphics in the game.
-The story line in the game is helped by the cut scenes.
-The music and sound effects are awesome.
-The control and game play are both pretty solid.
-It is not as challenging as the other two series in the game but is still pretty challenging.
-Simply put, everything I expect from a great game is featured in this game, and in style.

Not So Good Points
-The game could use a boost in replay value.
-Some of the elements of the game play are pretty boring.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan Style!
Story Line – 8.3/10
Graphics – 8.6/10
Music – 8.8/10
Sound Effects – 7.1/10
Control – 9.2/10
Game Play – 9.8/10
Replay Value – Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Challenge – Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Is this game worth a purchase? - Definitely, especially for fans of the genre and series.
Overall - 9.7/10

The Last Line
I really enjoyed playing this game, and found it to have few faults. The story line could have used a slight boost but the use of cut scenes in between the stages probably saved what could have easily been a boring and lifeless story line. The graphics are pretty good, and I definitely found the variety of character designs and enemy designs in the game to be a breath of fresh air. The game itself is very fun to play, the graphics are pretty good, the music and sound effects are great, and the replay value is solid. Simply put, everything I expect from a great game is featured in this game, and in style. I simply love this game and think it is well worth a purchase, especially for fans of the series, because this is the best game in the series, in my opinion.

And that’s a Ladies Man guarantee!

Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/16/00, Updated 07/16/01

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