June 12th, 2008, 21:51 Posted By: Shadowblind
Ninja Gaiden II
Developer: Team Ninja
Genre: Action Adventure
The famed Ninja that makes Kratos look like a teletubbie is back.
In Ninja Gaiden II, you are once again Ryu Hayabusa, the fastest, most badass Ninja killing machine ever to walk the earth. You are called one last time by CIA agent Sonia to put a stop to the archfiend's plot to rid the world of humans forever. With a host of melee and ranged weapons, as well as magic ninpo attacks, you set out to save the world yet again.
Story? Are you ****ing joking?
First things first: I'm not even sure there IS a story here. Actually a better way to describe what I mean is I'm not sure there is a story in this that is better then one in the Ninja Gaiden 2 for the NES. While the story makes sense and is technically a very average story (for an 8-bit game), the story never goes beyond a paper-thin make up of the original Ninja gaiden story. That basically explains it. The story is there, but is fit for, at most, a lame N64 game. Character development exists only in your imagination. The characters don't change at all, either in personality or anything else you can think of. The only possible "change" would be of Muramasa the shopkeeper, when he enters a room and mows down tons of spider ninjas. So beyond the WTF factor of that scene, Muramasa, like all other characters, is the same persona throughout the game. Although, the wacky plot does have some benefits to it. The plot actually successfully justifies the constant travel to cool and unusual places in the game. It takes you anywhere from a futuristic Tokyo to Venice to Hell. Interesting stuff there. Bland, generic, interesting stuff.
Damn Ninjas can look pretty good
Starting with characters. Character models are extremely detailed, from the top of their face plate to the bottom of their feet. Ryu Hayabusa is one of the best main character models of any game, anywhere. Sub-characters are spared no detail either. Everything about the characters is fantastic. Art direction looks like it came out of a 1960's comic book, but the game IS based on a rather old game after all. Take Genshin for example. Claws, pointy masks, electric swords--he's straight out of a Marvel comic book. The same goes with most of the enemies (and some allies, i.e. Sonia). Most all the bosses look like enemies that Superman would fight. That said, none of that is bad. They are so well designed and animated, 1960's or not, they look great. Fiends and common enemies aren't overlooked either. I defy you find an enemy that doesn't look great in the game. Onto animations. Each and every character's animations are easily the best graphical part of Ninja Gaiden 2. Extremely fluid animation for Ryu hayabusa, considering he has well over hundreds of different attacks. The care taken with each and ever attack is astounding; and it doesn't end with Ryu. Every enemy, every attack, every fireball they shoot looks extremely natural. if you want comparison, this beats Euphoria by a mile. Shying away from foregrounds now. Backgrounds are skillfully created, with a great deal of futuristic direction to most of the levels. Even the Dragon's castle level looks futuristic, despite being rather old. Now not everything is glorious with the backgrounds. Interaction with the backgrounds is non-existent. No blowing up walls, no breaking in doors, not even denting the walls. The only thing you can do to the background is smear blood all over it. Not noticeable unless your really looking, since Ninja Gaiden isn't about interaction of the backgrounds. Another problem is the framerate. later in the game when you fight possibly 30 ninjas at once, the framerate crawls, rendering the fight almost impossible to finish. However, for the most part the framerat holds up well. All in all it is a very nice looking game.
Excuse me, I do believe you have a scythe in your stomach.
Adrenaline pumping Rock-metalcore-japanese-techno stuff
The muzak in the game is perfectly fitting. Heart pounding rock style music with a hint of Oriental sounds and techno style electric rock are so fitting for a game this over-the-top. However, the music is ALWAYS a mixed bag- its either great, or its terrible. Seems to happen very often with Ninja gaiden, both II and Black. The rock music of Aqua capital is note worthy while the less-then-acceptable style of the music in the Dragon Castle is NOT-worthy(lol.) Beyond music, sound effects and voice acting is all thats left. Neither of them bad, neither really all so good. Sound fx can be argued as being well done, but every ninja dies with a similar grunt, and all the fiends die with the SAME grunt. the slicing and slashing of Ryu's weapons are easy on the ears, but everything else is simply average. not good, not bad. Voice acting is only good if you don't care for terrible lip-sync. Sonia over-acts, and Ryu sometimes has an emo spout about his voice. beyond that, only the wacky dialogue will make you say 'Huh?' as far as the VOs go.
I'm willing to bet the crappy-a** camera got Ryu killed by that other ninja.
Fast, furious, and full of glitches
gameplay. I'll be honest will you: Gameplay is the only really over-the-top part of this game. Without the insanely fast paced gameplay, no one would play this. But thats why its there. Ninja Gaiden II is the fastest, most brutal, action packed game I have ever seen. As far as shear awesomeness goes when it comes to combat, it blows every other button mashing game clear out of the water. God of War II holds no candles to NGII when it comes to combat. And unlike Ninja Gaiden, every single weapon in NG2 is gold; no weapon is sub-par or boring to use. Even the bow is actually--dare I say it--FUN to use. To put it simply, you could get through the game using any 1 of the many weapons available to you in the game. None of them are slow. But thats necessary--anything slow in the game will be dead within seconds. This game is FAST. Faster then any game that has come before it. You need to know your weapon and know your combos to get through each and every insanely fast-paced fight. But lucky for you, Ryu Hayabusa doesn't know the meaning of slow--he moves in flashes of lightning no matter what weapon he uses. he makes the cast from dynasty warriors look like zombies. Even GoW's Kratos looks like an old man compared to this guy. but let me get one thing straight--this game is not for the kiddies. It is the most violent, brutal, bloodiest and goriest game I've ever played. Every battle is a load of flying limbs and decapitated bodies going every which way across the screen. In fact, its almost so bloody that its actually funny. And for more proof thats its not for your little 6 year old, the games difficulty mode is frustratingly difficult. Even Acolyte is tough, but Mentor is absolutely impossible. Trade in your game after Warrior, theres no possible way to beat the two hardest modes. Now for the not so good points. Glitches RULE this game. I've had to restart my game twice because of glitches. I beat the game four times before it finally didn't freeze during the credits. The glitches are easily enough to make you never want to see this game again, and the bugs are horrendous. I don't know what Team Ninja was smoking when they thought this game was market ready. A combat related annoyance is that they beefed up the amount of cheapshots the enemies take. I've had a beserker spider grab me 3 times in a row, literally disallowing me to get a single shot in before he takes 3/4 of my health down with each grab. Another terrible problem is the crappy camera. 3/4ths of the time you will have no idea what your attacking, and if you do know, you can't see it. If I had to describe Ninja Gaiden II in one word, I would have a problem deciding between 'cheap' and 'bugs'. If you can get past these extreme issues with the game and focus on its award-worthy combat, then you've got to get this game. However, thats about it. Combat IS the game, and if your expecting puzzles like in NGB, your gonna be disappointed. Beyond that gameplay is fun. Just don't expect it to be easy.
The life of a ninja is long and hard
There is no online modes in this game. That said there is still a huge amount of things to do in this game. The story mode will take you 15-20 hours to finish, and Tests of Valor will have you back again a few more times. You'll also probably go through it again on Warrior for the achievement, and TRY to to do it on Mentor (only to fail). Leaderboards are there for the 20 of you who have friends who actually have this game. However, beyond achievements theres nothing to keep you coming back for more. Still, thats at least a good 50 hours or so.
Major Selling Points:
◄ Insanely fast paced Action
◄ Difficult, but extremely rewarding
◄ Tons of weapons and combos
◄ Easy achievements and leaderboards
◄ Travel to many different greatly designed areas
Major Breaking Points
◄ Too difficult in the later modes
◄ Enemies are constantly more powerful then you
◄ So many glitches it'll make your head spin
◄ Terrible camera system
While it makes sense, its stupid. And no one likes a stupid story.
Music is hit or miss and voice acting is decent. Sound effects are pretty great though.
Amazing character models and some of the best animations anywhere. Awesome backgrounds.
Insanely fast combat makes for the best I've ever seen. Pity that glitches and bugs hurt the whole thing so badly.
2 times through, tests of Valor and a few achievements and your done.
Graphics, combat, and sound make up for lousy glitches. The gameplay is ultra-fast and amazing, graphics are uber-great, but glitches tear holes in it. Still, a great game and any action fan should already have it.
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