Review by GSKnight

"Great game, plagued by small mistakes"

Intro:

Ninja Gaiden II is a direct sequel of Ninja Gaiden. While coming after NG Black, and Sigma, the stories do not intersect. It's developed by Team Ninja, a team that has the tools to make a great game, but the games are plagued with glitches.

Story:

The story is pretty generic, in my honest opinion. You start the game off with a cutscene of a big-breasted CIA agent asking around for our hero, Ryu Hyabusa, to warn him about a plot to ressurect the ArchFiend (Please tell me that doesn't sound original), and the bad guys are the Black Spider Clan and evil creatures called fiends.

Even though it might be generic, the story claims a 7/10.

Combat:

Ah, the combat is pretty much the thing that makes the Ninja Gaiden series. To bad that Ninja Gaiden II is an overflow of off-screen attacks. Due to the camera being semi-static (meaning you have limited control), the amount of enemies attacking you off-screen will make you want to toss your controller out the window on higher difficulties.

Back from previous NG games, the Ultimate Technique makes a return, allowing you to quickly eliminate opposition, as well as remove a limb or two. A new addition to the combat system is Obliteration Techniques. This nifty move instantly shreds an enemy that's missing a limb to pieces.

You also have a vast array of weapons, spells, and projectiles to use to your advantage. You can shred enemies to pieces with a scythe, beat them senseless with wooden sticks, hurl fireballs, or shoot a bow at them.

The bosses are one the hardest and easiest things in the game. There are some bosses that are pathetically easy, and some that are just evil. No matter how much you dodge or block, the bosses will find a way to make your life a living nightmare.

The combat would've gotten a perfect 10, but thanks to the camera/off-screen attacks, it gets a 7/10.

Gameplay:

The gameplay is pretty much the same as the previous installments. It's basicaly the same thing repeating. Kill enemy, receive karma, kill more enemies, complete a puzzle, kill enemies is the basic thing you'll be doing while playing NG II.

You may have noticed that in your routine, I said, "Receive Karma". For the people who have never touched a Gaiden game, Karma is your currency, health regenerator, and magic (ninpo) regenerator. For every enemy you defeat, you gain some karma.
The spending karma (Yellow colored), can be used to upgrade weapons or buy new items.

There are also four modes of gameplay. Path of the Acolyte, Warrior, Mentor, and Master Ninja, with Master Ninja being hardest.

You may have noticed in the intro part of this review, that I said this game is plauged by glitches. Out of the many that I've encountered, only a few were gamebreaking, the rest of them would require me to start over at the last save point I was at, and hope it doesn't happen again. A few glitches I will mention, is enemies not appearing, game freezing during cut scenes, and important items not appearing. These can all be avoided however, if you are aware of them.

There are Dragon statues placed at certain points in the levels. These will fully heal you once, and you are allowed to save your game here.

There are 2 types of saving. Manual or Automatic. I recommend manual, so you can keep multiple saves. You can then go back and fix mistakes, or redo something you messed up on.

There are also things called Tests of Valor. These pit you up against a relentless amount of enemies, and if survive, you get a well-deserved reward.
Due to many glitches, the gameplay recives a 8/10.

Graphics:

For an action game, the graphics are actually decent. Because you'll be running around, you won't have much time to admire the scenery, but I applaud Team Ninja on the beautiful work they've done with the scenery and the charecter models.

The graphics recive a 10/10, as I could find no fault in them.

Replayability:

For all the achievements, you will need to replay this game at least 7+ times, for the weapon and difficulty achievements. And even after you've got all those, you still might be in the mood to hack 'n' slash.

Replaybilty gets a 10/10.

Music:

This where the game hits its lowest point. There is next to no music at all. There's the occasional battle and boss music, and that's about it. Just don't play this game to hear a nice symphony.

The music recieves a crushing 1/10.

Conclusion:

I recommend this to anybody who's played the NG games before this, and people who haven't. It wil keep you busy, and the replayabilty is excellent. This game is perfect for casual, or hardcore gamers.

The final score for this game is an 8/10.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/04/08

Game Release: Ninja Gaiden II (US, 06/03/08)


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