Ninja Gaiden 2

Ninja Gaiden 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Sequel to the platinum selling Xbox action title.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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We always hear from developers that they've upped the scale, scope and all-round epic nature of their game for the sequel. So and so game has twice as many levels, another has bigger bosses, another includes some new moves. With Ninja Gaiden 2 Tomonobu Itagaki and his Team Ninja staff have managed to produce a game that has more variety than you could ever imagine, a storyline that spans the globe, enemies so diverse you expect something new around every corner, combat so brutal you'll be wincing until the closing credits and a style that is so effortlessly cool it could only have come from one man. To use a phrase from Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski, Ninja Gaiden 2 is more bad ass than its predecessor in every conceivable way.

If you haven't been following the Ninja Gaiden series over the past few years you probably aren't prepared for how difficult Ninja Gaiden 2 is. Although the easiest difficulty setting (available from the start) isn't as hard as the Xbox game's default level, it's still punishing to all but the most experienced action gamers. It's on a completely different level to current genre favourite God of War. To put Ninja Gaiden 2 into perspective, I was able to beat God of War and its sequel fairly comfortably on the default difficulty - on the easiest difficulty Ninja Gaiden 2 almost made me gnaw my fingers off. It's almost never unfair, but unless you're 100 per cent focussed don't expect to make it very far.

Although lead character Ryu Hayabusa gains quite a selection of weaponry as you move through the game, it's his block and dodge moves that are key to survival. You might be able to button mash your way through one or two enemies, but soon enough you'll be using health elixirs like no tomorrow and seeing the Game Over screen enough to have it burnt onto your retinas. Learn to use your block and when to counter attack and you'll be on your way.

This guy is relatively small compared to some bosses you'll face

This guy is relatively small compared to some bosses you'll face

Joining your melee weapons are a number of projectile weapons, ranging from your default shuriken to a gatling gun-style spear gun for use underwater. Most of these have a limited supply of ammo, with more available from fallen warriors you find on your adventure and at shops scattered around each level. Handily, Ryu automatically targets enemies when using a projectile weapon, although weapons like the bow and gun can be manually aimed if you want to hit a certain location on an enemy. One of the keys to the game is working out which weapons work best against each enemy type, so thankfully the d-pad offers a quick weapon-change, eliminating the need to go into the pause menu.

Your third means of attack comes from magic, or Ninpo as it's called in the game. Fire-filled icons below your health bar show how many Ninpo strikes you have at your disposal. Holding Y and B down initiates a monster slaying Ninpo attack and you have a few seconds to aim using the left analogue stick. As with your weapons, these powers can be upgraded, allowing you to dish out more damage. To begin with you're limited to a fire attack, but soon enough this will be joined by wind and fire bird attacks. Unless you're a true expert these special magic abilities will be essential during boss battles, so it's wise to stock up on replenishing items.

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User Comments

St_Taylor_UK's Avatar


I loved this game. I much preferred it to is predecessor. I did screw up on my first play through though on path of the acolyte. Got to the last chapter with no essence and no healing items and couldn't beat the game but played through it again on hard and got an extra 100 gamer points for completing it on hard mode first. I also don't think the camera is much of an issue but the game does slow down occasionally when surrounded by mobs.
Posted 15:31 on 02 January 2009
lincz's Avatar
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Definitely easier than the first NINJA GAIDEN on XBOX, and really rewarding to play
Posted 11:46 on 02 January 2009
warpass's Avatar
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there shouldnt even be hard or easy games anymore, they should all have a properly balanced sliding scale to choose on start. NG2 isnt bad but the easy level is far from it.
Posted 22:30 on 15 July 2008
mtmurphy88's Avatar


Ok guys, when you hear everybody whining about the camera angle, don't listen to them.

If you get into a wierd position and the camera angle isn't great, simply pull the right trigger and the camera automatically centers itself directly behind you. It works in a beautifully fluid way, and puts all other camera systems to shame.

happy slaying everybody
Posted 01:59 on 02 July 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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its an awsome game if your into ninja gaiden, its also worth playing even if your not a fan, and yes its hard as hell but, its definatly worth a look if your into action games like Devil May Cry
Posted 01:26 on 27 June 2008
dave's Avatar
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i love this game
Posted 14:11 on 17 June 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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Was there even a story to this. The "story-line" is just an excuse for the game to have an ending, or else it would be endless blood-baths. And that battle with the hordes on Ninja in Chapter 10, that was epic. I got a crap load of Karma from that.

Really fun game though. If you even dare say the combat engine has a flaw, you deserve to be shot. And will be shot.
Posted 14:04 on 13 June 2008
Slowdowns R us's Avatar
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Slowdowns R us

Somewhere in Chapter 10, after you fought 2 skeleton dragons, you`ll need to fight another skeleton dragon to receive a bone tablet after which a door opens and as you walk up the stairs, a GIGANTIC Ninja horde approaches you.

It slows down from the moment all those ninja's advance. But to be completely honest, i like it slowing down, that way you`ll get to enjoy the extreme carnage more in detail ;)
Posted 15:23 on 10 June 2008
Dissapointed's Avatar
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Fighting with normal ninja and demonoid mobs is pure gold, but the bosses are just sad. I'd rather be fighting equally skilled martial arts-like bosses (resembling a more bloody Soul Caliber like fight) instead of these wannabe Devil May Cry like bosses. The battle with Genshin for instance, (the main bad-guy) is much more to my liking.

Also what i dislike is the fact that enemies can't damage each other. Loads of demons and soldiers carrying rpg's are nuking the hell out of you while they themselves don't receive any damage from it. Doesn't seem right.

Game mechanics in this game are 10/10
Story is 5/10
Bosses (creativity behind it) 3/10
Camera (really tends to suck every now and then)
Posted 15:19 on 10 June 2008
andy (Omega La's Avatar
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andy (Omega La

This game is awesome
Posted 21:40 on 08 June 2008
robo's Avatar
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This game is in the range from 8.3-9.3 in my opinion.
All sites (worth mentioning.... that is not including low class gameradar) that gave it a low score, had a pretentious reviewer who complained about things that are not a problem. Slow downs? never had one, even in Tests of Valor. Camera angle? Controlled by the user, only a noob would complain about that.

This game is fun, and the combat outclasses God of War, and Devil May Cry (especially after DMC4 disappointed so badly).

If you have XBOX360, you owe it to yourself to own this classic.... or at least rent it.
Posted 16:17 on 08 June 2008
aojiroi's Avatar


Those slow down problems are very real. The camera complaints are very real as well. I loved NG:B and played the crap out of it. played it again this past week in preparation for NG2. Ive been playing NG2 for the past few hours and ive seen some really bad slow down. Also on the boss in Hayabusa village the camera was insanely bad. i was staring at a wall 9/10 of the time. The action is great and the gore is ridiculous but i dont know if i can sludge through the awful camera problems.
Posted 06:40 on 07 June 2008
spikev's Avatar
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i will beat the master ninja difficulty again like ninja gaiden black before :D
(if it still got master ninja diff)

lovely and challenging action game :D
Posted 03:53 on 04 June 2008
Leinhart007's Avatar
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i think my fav weapon ll be the dragon sword!!!

Posted 13:31 on 28 May 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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How do u get to lay a trial run of these games without paying cash, or getting billed?
Posted 07:06 on 28 May 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Ninja Gaiden 2
Out of 10
Ninja Gaiden 2
  • Fluid, brutal combat
  • Awesome boss battles
  • Difficult but fair
  • Story is forgettable
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 06/06/2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 3,886
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