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Ninja Gaiden II Review

Author: Franky Moops
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
(Xbox 360)

5/10

Many reviewers have indicated that this is in fact a good game worth trying and even buying. I've recently spent the last of my money on a pyramid scam, so I wont be buying it. Luckily 3D World kindly lent me their copy to try. I found Ninja Gaiden II just didn't cut the mustard for me. Needing mustard cut regularly, I really wished this would be the game to do it. Sure I can SPREAD the mustard using the physical disc, but it’s just not the same.

The best way to explain what this game is like would be to label it as Double Dragon for the ages. You move along the stage killing other ninjas - that look pretty much the same as you do, so at times you will not know who you are - then at the end of each level you fight a boss that is ridiculously difficult to beat, then repeat. And repeat and repeat. Then eject the disc and reach for the mustard.

The predecessor title (XBox, 2004) brought hardcore violence and extreme ninja action to kids everywhere. There's nothing a 12 year-old likes better than chopping limbs off and seeing the blood gush wildly. The original Ninja Gaiden was super difficult too, but now the sequel (as all sequels try to do) has gone one up with more blood, more limbs and even harder stages to complete. My thumbs are still bleeding internally from playing this frustrating button bashing ball breaker!

Alliteration aside, if you're not into old school gaming then Ninja Gaiden II will bore you. Sure at first seeing all the blood and flying body parts is kind of cool, but after awhile (20min) the intense graphic violence and extremely difficult nature of the game will get the better of you. Ninja Gaiden II is just another button basher with a simple story line basically built to move you from one stage to next. It plays out like a to-do list with 'kill ninjas' scrawled repeatedly down the page.

Graphic wise the cinematic cut scenes look very impressive, though it felt like corners were cut with in-game graphics. The shadow work on Ryu Hayabusa (main dude) is weak; he looks as if he's floating on the background. Camera work is terrible as well, every time you turn around you have to manually (right stick) bring the camera behind you again. Surely the mechanics associated with having the camera snap behind the main character isn't that hard.
In the end Ninja Gaiden II is what you make of it. I knew from the outset this wasn't the game for me, but others may really love it. You have special attacks, combos and various weapons. Not to mention the NON-STOP action as you continuously hack and slash your way through each level. If you were a fan of the original title and are really good at playing violent games for kids then you'll really enjoy Ninja Gaiden II. I, however, found it all too challenging and just not worth the effort. Back to GTA IV for now.
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