Review by DevilRyodo2000
"What happened Team Ninja?"
Let me start off by saying that it kills me to score this game this low but there are so many unacceptable design choices in this game and downgrades from the original that it makes me depressed.
Lets get the ugly out of the way first the character models aren't as detailed as their Ninja Gaiden Sigma counterparts, they lack dynamic lighting and self-shadowing. The backgrounds on the other hand will blow you away, they're all dynamic and diversified, very beautiful.
Is this really a sequel it has nothing to do with the first game, a lot of NG favorites have gone MIA or barely show up. Rachel who was playable in Ninja Gaiden Sigma is gone and replaced with a girl that looks identical to her. Her name is Sonia she's from the CIA has some information about the archfiend being resurrected by a bunch of villains, gets kidnapped within the first minute of the game, Ryu comes out of nowhere and saves her, and you've pretty much seen the rest of this plot in every other Mario game. The cutscenes are pretty cool, I would have rather they used the superior looking CGI that was used in Ninja Gaiden, Team Ninja always made the best CGI shame it's gone missing, but this is most likely the limitation of DVD than Team Ninja being lazy.
The bread and butter of NInja Gaiden, would have been perfect had it not been for these stupid flaws that could easily be fixed.
Lets start with frame rate, it's 60fps, sounds good right? BUT the frame rate drops SEVERELY every other chapter. This is mainly because they decided to load the battle with more enemies than the game could handle, they could have lowered the number and saved the framerate, but no. Long rage enemies also hurt the frame rate , not only are they stupid cheap, had they been removed the framerate would have been much better.
The camera has a mind of its own sometimes and other times it's just as dumb as a sack of hammers. At times the camera focuses on its own when you're trying to aim at something else. It becomes a tug of war with it t times. The fact that enemies attack on all sides, even the blind spots, makes matters worse, the camera just can't handle it. And it could have been made better easily. But once again game play was sacrificed for needless difficulty.
IN NG1bosses had a lot more depth to them, they had obvious weak spots, and you had to really think about your next move. In this one they're just cheap, they don't really have weak points, they can constantly attack with little to no regard for their own health, have cheap throws that can kill you in a heart beat, etc. . . they just don't require strategy anymore. Would have been cool if I could tear off their limbs and dismember them like I could the average enemy. But I guess that would have taken effort, and Team Ninja didn't feel the need to put any into it.
There are 4 difficulties, 2 of which you have to unlock. There honestly isn't a need for the last two, because the game can be plenty challenging to most on the easiest difficulty. They also removed the awesome mission mode from the first the game , that added so much replay value and it was fun playing all those scenarios. There isn't much to do after you beat the game which consists of 14 chapters, each taking about an hour. You could easily beat this in a rental.
Lets talk about the positives, with all the negatives involved this is still one of the best actions games around. The dismemberment system is beautiful, you tear off a limb and the enemy goes berserk even suicidal. Unless you cut off their head, that does the job. . . most of the time. The item system, introduced in Ninja Gaiden Sigma where you press the dpad and it brings up a menu to pick your items. Only it's not as responsive as it was in Sigma. They added the ability to pick your weapons, but you're better off just pressing start and doing it. They streamlined the save system where it auto saves. They streamlined the health system where you recover any damage that isn't red, red accumulates as you take damage. A few new weapons and and a few updates to past ones, they Scythe which is utterly broken, in fact you can jump press xxyyy and beat any boss or enemy with minimal effort. There's also the claws which I found pointless. Everything else was pretty much useless.
There just isn't much to this game, it felt rushed and unfinished. And Team Ninja knows they can do better than this, they KNOW it. The frame rate drops consistently, the bad design choices that hinder the experience, the awkward camera, the lack of replay value, the unbalanced weapons, the shallow bosses, the lack of continuity to the first one, and the inferior experience to the first. Hopefully a Ninja Gaiden 2 black or sigma improves upon this diamond in the rough.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 06/13/08
Game Release: Ninja Gaiden II (US, 06/03/08)
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