A year after the events of the original Ninja Gaiden, a new villain named Ashtar receives word of Jaquio's defeat. Ashtar uses this opportunity to hatch a new plan to plunge the world into darkness. The ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, hits the trail to destroy all manner of vile creatures entering the world while fighting his way to destroy Ashtar, his Dark Sword of Chaos, and whatever else is behind the evil.
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos is a fast paced, side scrolling action game in the tradition of the original Ninja Gaiden game. Ryu is a ninja who can run, jump, and slash with his ninja sword. He can also attach to vertical walls and climb up and down, which is an ability missing in the previous game. Powerups are hidden everywhere throughout the levels. These powerups include fireballs and ninja stars as before; a unique new powerup is the ninja shadow. Ryu can collect up to 2 ninja shadows that follow his every movement and use the same weapons at the same time that Ryu strikes.
Ninja Gaiden II tells its story through liberal use of cinematic scenes interspersed between the action levels. Different levels feature a variety of environmental interaction; e.g., one level has Ryu on a high mountain where snow is falling fast and the wind is blowing hard. The shifting direction of the snowfall indicates how the wind is blowing and Ryu has to fight against the breeze. In a night level, much of the environment is dark and is illuminated only sporadically by flashes of lightning.
In Ninja Gaiden 2, You play as Ryu Hyabasa. There's not much story: you must rescue the captured woman from the evil king of darkness. Classic rescue scenario. The game starts on the rooftops of a town and then moves to the typical moving train level which, with part 1 and 2 combined, it's quite big.
There are quite a few enemies: guys in hockey masks wielding machetes; will 'o' the wisps; enemy ninjas; many monsters and thugs; and a first level boss who looks a cross between a body builder and a lion!
The gameplay is fun, with lots of different special attacks to pick-up (Fireballs, Shuriken, etc.), and the first level is more like a tutorial to help you learn the controls. The bosses are quite good; one of the best parts of the game, in fact. With multiple parts to each level it's a great game, but it has some drawbacks. Like the fact that if you press the up arrow while jumping left or right you'll stop moving and sometimes you won't grab onto the wall you're jumping at, both of which can be very annoying.
Other than bugs, the first part of the third level is very annoying, being almost completely blacked out, exept for the ocasional flash of lightning, and there are a lot of unfair deaths, like having an enemy hit you while trying to jump over a pit.
But even with these drawbacks it's still a great game.
Levels: Big, very big, and most are well made. Controls: You can pick them at start-up. Music: Sort of tinny, but still quite good. Sound effects: Not many, but they do their part. Gameplay: Ahhh, this is good, very fun. Overall: This game gets a 4 out of 5 in my books.
A much better conversion of arcade hit than the original Ninja Gaiden for PC, Ninja Gaiden 2 opens with a great musical theme accompanying a cinematic scene. You learn that Jaquio, the evil crimelord you defeated at the end of the first game, is a mere stool pigeon for Ashtar, an evil lord who has an even bigger castle than Jaquio, and more sinister eagles. And of course, to motivate you to storm his stronghold, he has captured your girlfriend, the heart of whom you won at the end of Ninja Gaiden 1. So what is there to do except trusting the Dragon Sword once more...
Ninja Gaiden 2 boasts a few new gameplay features in addition to sharper, VGA graphics and smoother animations. First of all, you can amass up to two clones of Ryu who mimic his every move and attack. These doppeldangers amount to tripling your attack power, and are a lot of fun to watch in action... try somersaulting around the screen and quickly rolling back and forth for a nice little circus show :) Secondly, you can finally climb all over the walls without having to snap your controller back and forth. This makes Ryu a bit more like Spiderman than a true ninja, but it does help him attack the enemies from improbable positions that are sometimes impregnable. Finally, the stages now feature some great graphical effects for the background, including moving trains, snow storms, etc. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the fact eagles can *still* hurt you more than a 20-mm artillery shell fired one inch away from your face. The game overall is not as frustratingly difficult as the first game, though, which means action newbies will be able to actually enjoy playing the game (as opposed to seeing death scene every 2 minutes). With improved graphics and interface, many hidden surprises (including bonus levels), and a great storyline, Ninja Gaiden 2 comes very close to the arcade and Nintendo classic in the addiction quotient.
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