Review by AnimeArchfiend
"Not as good as the first, still a great game"
As a veteran of the first Ninja Gaiden and black, I came into this game with high hopes. Most of the hopes were met...but not all. The game is more intense the the first, dismembered limbs, intense gore and lots of blood is all good fun. The combat system is amazing and it is very intense and involving. However, the game focuses on ranged combat way to much, this is noticable more in the later levels though. Enemies are thrown at you in the masses using a lot of grabs and cheap tactics. Everything else checks out, great graphics, sound and controls.
Graphics 9/10 - All I will expect from an action game. Very clean and crisp and little problems except the occansional framerate lag during intense combat. However, on an HDTV is up there with most, if not all respectable recent titles.
Sound 10/10 - Nothing wrong here, Ryu grunts and screams in combat and weapon and finishing moves sound great as well as music that fits every scene.
Controls 8/10 - Very smooth in combat. X and Y are utilised perfectly in conjunction with the analog stick for smooth combos. However, navigation can be a problem especially when in water as the A button is used to run on water as well as dive down, leading to anoying moments of doing the opposite of what you want. Team ninja could have put more use into other buttons as well to create a smoother out of combat feel.
Gameplay 8/10 - The core of the game. I will start with the flaws and move onto the good parts of the core of the game. What ninja gaiden 2 did wrong is something that the first did right, which is something that puzzles me. Ninja gaiden 2 HURLS enemies at you that seem much stupider then in the previous installment. and when I mean hurl, I'm talking about almost every fight containing at least 10 enemies.
To make up for the mass of enemies, the AI was toned down. I don't agree with this. I would rather fight 3-4 smart combatants then 10 idiots. Regenerating health and mass supply of ki was also a step in the wrong direction. A way to make up for all the health you lose from being grabbed 3 times in a row by a fiend while trying to block arrows a ninja is shooting at you from off screen I suppose.
Now, this may turn you off...but this game got 8/10 for a reason. It is still an intense experience. Animations are amazing and Oblideration Techniques are a superb addition to an already bloody series. There is nothing more awesome then lopping a ninjas arms off only to kick him down and chop his head off before he can do any last-minute moves.
The game is still extremely difficult and immersing and will require thinking, just on a less of a level that the first game did. If you loved 1/B/S then I assure you you will enjoy this. Just don't come in expecting it to be a big improvement. Team Ninja could have included more weapons and items. The scarab system was removed and replaced with a skull system that is utterly useless unless you are doing a karma run.
My final verdict on the game is an 8/10. Worth a buy for sure.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 07/14/08
Game Release: Ninja Gaiden II (US, 06/03/08)
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