Review by earvcunanan

"Ninja Gaiden II should've been aptly named: Ninja Gaiden II: Intense, Raw, and out to Kick Your Ass."

Ninja Gaiden II is an epic third-person action game from the most controversial game developer in the industry, Tomonobu Itagaki. While he abruptly left Tecmo and Team Ninja, his legacy will remain with this action-packed title called Ninja Gaiden II. Does Ninja Gaiden II retain the fluid combat system, efficiency in difficulty and challenge? Find out!

As advertised on the back of the game box, "Fast and Fluid" -- indeed it is. Ninja Gaiden II will destroy you if it doesn't have your utmost attention. Ready up, sit up straight (don't slouch), and keep your eyes on your enemy's movements! The enemies are fast, harsh, brutal, and will put up a fight. If you don't like a game in which you can't mindlessly hack and slash your way through without the enemies posing much of a threat, than this isn't a game for you. Recommendations? God of War, Kingdom Hearts, or Devil May Cry.

While the gameplay indeed is "fast and fluid", but that's only 1/4 of the truth -- using Ryu's fluid movements and acrobatic skills in an intense battle against 5 or 6 enemies at once, the framerate will start to dip (but not by much; it is noticeable, though).

Ryu has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal that range from a regular sword (Dragon Sword), Falcon's Talon (weapons for hands and feet for up close and personal kills), Lunar Staff, Tonfa (a set of hard wood reinforced sticks), shurikens, bows, and more! These weapons all have their uses against certain enemies and against certain crowds. Use them well, use them as deadly as you can, or your enemies will use your lack of weaponry skill against you!

The gameplay in Ninja Gaiden II retains its original action-packed combos and gameplay, but does it live up to providing amazing visuals? While the visuals do look nice in Ninja Gaiden II, they're certainly not the best; especially using the Xbox 360's hardware. If you were expecting Ninja Gaiden II to trump Ninja Gaiden Sigma's visuals, then you've come to expect too much -- they're pretty much on-par in terms of visuals, but as for gameplay? Ninja Gaiden II takes it to a level that Sigma could not achieve.

So, is Ninja Gaiden II for you? Well, do you think you handle fighting a boss over and over again? Do you mind having to manage a clunky type of camera while in an intense battle? All in all, can you handle Ninja Gaiden II: Intense, Raw, and Out to Kick Your Ass? If your answer to all of these questions is yes, then you need to go out and get this game. Now.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/06/08

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

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