Review by goemon1977

"Waiter why is there GoW in my Ninja Gaiden 2?"

Well after years of waiting we finally get our hands on Ita's latest game Ninja Gaiden 2. After having years to work on this title, with little else showing up from the Tecmo camp, one would think it would be as polished as a diamond. Actually it's still a lump of coal. I'll be gentle when it come to the graphics side of things, after all NG has always been about gameplay, skill, and highly intelligent enemies..........right? that's where this game loses steam and plummets.

Graphics- Like I said the graphics have been under high scrutiny lately, sure it looks like a last gen game but the original NG looked like a next gen game, so there is the trade off. The only unforgiveable things in the graphics department is that the game is extremely buggy,like beyond buggy, like the playtesters were asleep behind the wheel buggy. Enemies and bosses fighting on air, projectiles hitting you through walls,poor clipping and hit detection make some parts of the game almost unplayable. what doesn't glitch out is done well, but you are always reminded of it's flaws a while later when an enemy you need to defeat is stuck in a wall some where.

Story- The Ninja Gaiden series has always had a ho hum story, full of revenge, fiends, a family heirloom, and Ninja Gaiden 2 is no exception. Said Demon Statue which was hidden in a big statue in the Hayabuse village is stolen and the 4 arch fiends it contained are released on the world. Round em up, kill em, end of story. Yes no M. Night plot twists here ladies and gentlemen, just action.

Control- This is where the game falls apart. the controls are good, but you feel as though you have to rely on the same cheap tactics over and over again in order to make progress. slicing and dicing has never been easier. All strategies submitted by players have had things like "Spam the Lunar Staff with the y button" or "Spam flying Swallow over and over again". One might see those as lame answers to those who are stuck but sadly they are right. The bosses require very little skill and their weakpoints may as well not even exist since you can beat most of them by....yes abusing the Lunar Staff, Volf in chapter 6 can be flying swallowed to death in a matter of seconds....lame.

Presentation- The game has a boring rinse and repeat style gameplay to it, whereas the original NG kept you guessing as to where they were going to toss you next. The enemies in NG2 are sometimes dumb,yet sometimes cheap, and they are always in large groups. This takes away from the original NG formula where you fought a few highly intelligent enemies, each with an arsenal of attacks and you were free to find your own way of defeating them. In NG2 you are forced to play to the dumbness of the AI, and the skill goes out of the window, most of those that find themselves dying alot will soon realize that you are trying to hard, and thinking too hard. If you lower your intelligence to match the hordes of cannon fodder before you ,you will be fine. you will not be rewarded for being creative this time around, you will find yourself dashing and lopping heads off left and right so quickly the next thing you know you are at the boss. of the worst things in the game. Forget blocking,dodging, running, jumping and using any kind of intelligence to battle the big bad guys in NG2. They are big, dumb, and can be defeated in a matter of seconds if you abuse cheap tactics, and a fully powered up Lunar Staff. Gone are the days of trying to find a weakness or a pattern, in NG2 your primary concern is to live for the 2 minutes it will take to defeat the bosses. The big blind boss could have had a cool twist if they incorporated his blindess, but yeah he knows where you are at all times, pretty good that he can hear an elite ninja's soft steps wherever he goes.

Overall- NG2 is a fun game for a little while. It's slicing and dismemberment wears off quickly and by chapter 3 you will be just waiting for the game to end. I loved the original NG for the Xbox, but this is just a crappy sequel made by a disgruntled game developer who was owed money and they just rushed out his game whether it was finished or not. The amount of bugs present is staggering, and you can tell the devs kind of gave up during production. the collectables and unlockables are not worth the replay, and the saddest part of all is that we may never get a true sequel to the great Ninja Gaiden since Ita is no longer involved. What a sad way to leave the fans.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/11/08

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

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