Saturday, June 7, 2008

Take your sword and FIGHT! Its Ninja Gaiden II

One game developer had an image. He had a dream. One Tomonobu Itagaki had a vision to create the greatest action game of all time. Mr. Itagaki has succeeded. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Ninja Gaiden II, the most awesomely hard game filled with action to see in this current generation. I've decided to give Gaiden II the proper review it deserves. Don't listen to those big league IGN critics who base their review off of the normal setting. This is not the review it deserves.

Ninja Gaiden II takes place chronologically after the 2004 release of Ninja Gaiden, and starts off with quite a kick. The opening cinema is gorgeous and fluid but don't get comfortable, this game kickstarts right into gear. Ryu Hayabusa finds himself rescuing CIA agent Sonia from a pack of fiends. Here is where the tomfoolery begins. All that talk about making Ninja Gaiden II easier for possibility of inviting new fans to jump on the wagon is completely effaced. You will be overwhelmed by the difficulty of the "regular enemies" and overwhelmed by the amount of enemies you actually face. This game screams oldschool in every sense of the word. Ridiculous patterns? Check. Crazy platforming? Oh yeah. Now add in the fact that every enemy has an "Anti-Ryu" specific move set, and you're pretty much dead. These enemies don't chill and wait for you to attack. They attack you effortlessly and relentlessly. The story in this game is very similar to the first game. While its no Lost Odyssey or Okami in terms of story, it is more than efficient for an action game of its caliber.

The sound in this Gaiden does not let down either. Temco offers several Japanese ninja-esque beats that will get your blood pumping in no time. The legions of enemies you fight plus the rush of the music you listen to at the same time makes regular battles seem almost too epic. But you can't get epic enough with this game now can you?

The environments and the character models are slick, smooth and look pretty but they still suffer from that "clay" or shiny look. That's quite alright, as you won't be spending the time looking at the character models and environments. You'll be spending all your time dismembering fiend ninjas and sewer mutants as you fill the room with so much blood it looks like a slaughterhouse. That's the kind of detail that makes you go, "Wow."

And seeing as though you're a ninja warrior, it only makes sense to move like a ninja. Ninja Gaiden's controls are both tight yet loose at the same time. Tight in the sense that you can execute any deliberate move and get out of tight squeeze. Loose in the sense that Ryu moves like quicksilver and can easily string all of his moves together (and show it off with a little pasaz as well). Ryu moves like an badarse ninja on a mission, and rightfully so.

But let me be the first to warn you, Ninja Gaiden II is no Call of Duty 4 or Gears of War. Its not a walk in the park by any means, and you may find yourself cursing the heavens on multiple occasions. The game offers an exponential amount of reply value as it offers several ranges of difficulty from Mentor to Master Ninja. If you think Warrior is hard, then you haven't played anything yet. That is, if you think you can handle it. You can compare your feeble Ninja score on the Leaderboards to the true King of Kings who dominate the the top ten score. All the the more to beat those harder difficulties right?

So does Ninja Gaiden deserve the reviews its been getting? Not a chance. Hard games filled with ridiculous enemies and bosses are a dime a dozen nowadays. Ninja Gaiden II is truly a standalone action game in our current generation of games. There is nothing, if not very little that compares to Gaiden on its level.