Video Game Review: Ninja Gaiden II

Xbox 360

The magnificent crew at Team Ninja has partnered up with Tecmo once more to bring we—the huddled masses—the newest Ninja Gaiden installment.

For anyone who dabbled in ‘the first one’ for the Xbox, you will be as familiar with this bloodbath for the 360 as you are with your winter boots.

Ryu’s back once more to tangle with ambiguously homo-erotic demons from some other realm, a samurai or two bearing a grudge, and an assortment of other victims.

I say ‘victims’ because, man, you want to talk about severed body parts? Forget about it! Enemies in this installment are primarily dispatched through arm and leg removal. Sleek finishing strikes, or ‘obliterations’ are possible by hitting the strong attack near any foe missing an appendage. One could argue that these one-button combos make the game a little easier—that is, if it wasn’t for the fact that this is a Ninja Gaiden, and it’s ridiculously difficult.

True to form, Ninja Gaiden II makes you feel as though you’re up against the impossible, and you may easily revert back to a childlike state and wing your controller at the nearest wall if you’re not careful. If you’re the type of cat who yells ‘Fuck!’ without checking your volume after getting wasted by a boss for the 14th time in a row… play it on ‘easy’.

— Paul Warford