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LONG BLOG

My Ninja Gaiden II Review

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Well I haven't really updated much (or been on the net at all) as of recent due to my
obsession with Ninja Gaiden II on the XBox 360. However since I'm slowly getting back
onto the next due to Master Ninja mode being quite unbearable at times, I've decided to put
up this review I wrote for it:

Let me begin by saying Ninja Gaiden II is an excellent achievement created by the
extremely talented Team Ninja. The first revamp of Ninja Gaiden on the XBox was a true
milestone in action gaming, and Ninja Gaiden II once more takes action gaming to the next
level.

The gameplay of NGII is where it truly shines brightest. This isn't your simple button
mashing action game where the enemies are just walking dummies for you to rack high
combos on. The enemy AI is intelligent as it is brutal. In NGII you need to form excellent
tactics and maneuvers to out-class your enemy and take them down quickly and precisely.
The enemies come in sometimes in small packs and other times in swarms. The combat in
this game is incredible, with plenty of different combos to try out and a vast array of
weaponry. The Dragon Sword (default weapon) alone is versatile enough to make this
game highly enjoyable, add another bunch of weapons to the fray and you have yourself
an endless amount of possibilities and plenty of replay value to try out all the different
styles of play with your armory. Not to mention every weapon is upgradable through a
Shop/Blacksmith system that will further increase your selection of deadly combos. Also
introduced into NGII is the Obliteration Technique. A stylish attack that can be accessed
once one of your opponents limbs are chopped off during a melee scuffle. A simple tap of
the Y button will unleash a fatal attack against your enemy, and it's always sweet to watch
as the camera comes in close for a cinematic look at the gore. On the Acolyte setting this
game is very accessible to all players, and Warrior mode is a great start for the Ninja
Gaiden players and vets. Also in the gameplay section, there are some small platforming
elements to break up all the frantic fighting. It's a nice change of pace and gets the mind
off all the fighting for a bit. I'm also glad to say that there aren't any slow puzzles to get in
the way of the fast pace. Last but not least, this is stage based game, meaning it's linear in
design and for the most part is point A to point B. This is NOT a bad thing! The linear design
works perfectly, and in my opinion is a HUGE step up from the semi-open approach in the
original game.

Next up is the storyline. True Ninja Gaiden fans from back in the NES days will be able to
truly appreciate it, as it is a huge throwback to the series and, despite what many say, if
you read the Chapter Synopsis between every level the story will make perfect sense and
is actually quite enjoyable. To put it simple (and spoiler free): a mysterious woman
ambushes Ryu's village to steal one of the ancient artifacts under the protection of his clan.
With the artifact she goes around the world, resurrecting Greater Fiend's, and Ryu must put
a stop to them while tracking her down to stop the resurrection of the greatest evil of all,
the Archfiend. Ryu travels the world in true Ninja Gaiden fashion battling evil all along the
way.

The graphics in Ninja Gaiden II aren't the greatest in the world, but they're definitely up to
par. Then of course, there's the silky smooth animations that just make all the violence and
gore that much more beautiful to behold. Speaking of gore, did I mention this game is
extremely bloody? With each attack Ryu has the possibility of dismembering a limb for his
enemy, and every enemy that you kill (minus a couple of fiends that dissolve), will stay in
the stage and you can just look at all the body parts that you hacked off from your
enemies. There is the occasional frame rate drop when the screen is just too packed with
enemies, but it actually makes for a pretty cool looking effect (and quite frankly it helped
me think better on what moves I intended to do next). However, I can't try and say it's a
positive aspect, unfortunately it is a bit disheartening to see lag in the game every now and
then. For the most part though, the game runs smoothly. I also should mention that there
are some very minor loading times in between levels.

The sounds of Ninja Gaiden II are spectacular. The slashing and chopping sound effects are
great, and it really makes the over the top gore and violence that much more fun. The
score is also very good, with action packed tracks that really get you into the action. One
especially good track to point out is "The Hero", a rocking track with a guitar in Chapter 6
that makes me want to slash werewolves to kingdom come.

All in all, Ninja Gaiden II is a true step up from the original, and if you learn how to play
you will realize that there really isn't any "cheap" stuff going on (as many will say, or at
least not on the Acolyte and Mentor settings), sure the rocket launcher pod ninja's are
extremely annoying, but there are plenty of ways to defeat them without even breaking a
sweat. The bosses are massive too! The replay value of this game is incredibly high. With
Tests of Valor to do, multiple difficulties, alternate colors for your costume, crystal skulls to
collect and many different weapons to try out. Ninja Gaiden II is an amazing
accomplishment to an amazing franchise, and I suggest anyone who loves action to get into
this right away. It's never a dull moment when Ryu Hayabusa is in the building!
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About darksydex3226one of us since 7:29 AM on 06.01.2008

I'm a gamer from the NES era and onward. I love pretty much all kinds of games with the exception of racing, sports, and bad games (obviously). I'm also the co-host on the weekly podcast HYPER KNEE (https://www.hyperknee.blogspot.com), which is almost 1 year old now. I aspire to be either a video-game journalist, or comic book writer (and currently working hard towards those goals).
Xbox LIVE:HeroOfHeroes
Steam ID:darksydex3226
BattleNET:bigjamesnice23


 

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