X360 Monday, May 26, 2008 | 10:00 AM

The first 10 minutes: Ninja Gaiden 2

The first 10 minutes: Ninja Gaiden 2

It's with great pleasure that I've received the review code of Ninja Gaiden 2 last Friday and that I've spent some quality time (but not enough) with the game this week-end. You'll find nothing less than 4 720p 60 fps videos of the first level of the game inside, and while waiting for them to download you'll even be able to read my impressions!


Ninja Gaiden 2 can only be described as a direct sequel of the first Ninja Gaiden, implying a lot of good things, but also a few bad ones.

Let's start with what's not so good, and the camera. As you may know the camera here is more or less the same as in Black. Meaning it's better than the one in the first Ninja Gaiden, but still can get in the way quite often. During close quarters fights like in the stairs of the second level, it was sometimes difficult to see anything of the action. The good old right trigger is still here, but I had hoped for more.

Another bad point, the game isn't perfectly smooth. Most of the time it runs at a perfect 60 fps and all is good, but during heavy action scenes I've seen some tearing and even some major slowdowns happens. It's rare thankfully, but still disappointing. Also disappointing, and we've become used to this coming from Team Ninja, the shadowing and lighting is still very basic and doesn't seem to be that much different from the Xbox games.

But still, the gameplay itself is as good if not even better than before. The new life bar system that will replenish itself (but not fully) when a fight ends both adds and remove tension from the game. On one side we don't have to worry as much as before about health bonus, but on the other each fight now becomes a bit more challenging than before, and death can occur very quickly!

Despite its flaws, I've enjoyed my time playing Ninja Gaiden 2 a lot, and I can't wait to get back home tonight for more!

The first 10 minutes: Part 1
The first 10 minutes: Part 2
The first 10 minutes: Part 3
The first 10 minutes: Part 4

All comments

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Commented on 2008-05-26 10:12:00
Game of the Year! (for me)

After watching it...so many Flying Shallows, great move it is really.

You play much better than what IGN and Gametrailers shows, which makes the combat more intense and fluid.

One question Blim...can you switch weapon during a combat (not during an attack)?

But great video Blim, my heart is just gonna go to overdrive watching these videos.

Where is my damn demo!
Commented on 2008-05-26 10:17:16
Sad to hear about slowdowns and tearing. One site claimed you end up fighting near on 100 enemies on the screen in later levels. Is this the part you're referring to?
Commented on 2008-05-26 10:26:02
imperfect framerate? in ninja gaiden? must be because this isnt retail copy, ill wait and see for that but man looks awesome!
Commented on 2008-05-26 10:35:17
Nevermind, I saw video 3 and it looks like they kept the d-pad item option.

Just a pure guess here but does "Down" bring up your items and "Up" your weapons and ninpos...etc.?
Commented on 2008-05-26 10:47:04
The Gamesradar review is awesome. The game really did a number on them. LOL.
Commented on 2008-05-26 10:50:57 In reply to JohnRambo
Posted by JohnRambo
The Gamesradar review is awesome. The game really did a number on them. LOL.
They complained about having no rachel missions, I wouldn't take their review too seriously.

Blim played with japanese voice overs, yes! I hate Ryu's new English voice.
Commented on 2008-05-26 10:57:09
@Xion4360 - There were framerate issues and tearing in both the original Ninja Gaiden and Black plus the PS3 port, Sigma, so it shouldn't really surprise you that the sequel also has them. As BlimBlim said they are infrequent so they don't sound like they're that big a deal. Sounds to me like the game is v-synced but occasionally turns it off when things get too hectic to prevent the framerate diving too badly, much like Gears of War, in fact, which also had rare instances of screen tearing.
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:08:58
It seems Teamxbox were told the framerate issues were resolved in the retail build.

Shockwave said:
we are holding off for a retail build of the game because the review build discs had some framerate/load time issues that we've been told have been resolved in the retail release. So we wanted to wait to post a review so we can verify this.

I'm surprised other sites posted their reviews already, more so by the ones that even pointed out the load time and framerate issues after we were specifically told about this and that it was something that's supposedly isolated to the review builds only, and NOT the final code.
http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?p=1094228...
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:11:15
Yeah, I've asked my MS PR contact to confirm about this.
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:11:29
You guys have to read the gamesradar review. Its so ridiculous. HAHA!
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:13:46 In reply to JohnRambo
This message is in "Boulet Time" (TM), If you still *really* want to see it, click here

Commented on 2008-05-26 11:14:22
Thanks for the impressions and videos BlimBlim, looking forward to more content as usual.

I'm dying to play this game so much :D
I'm really glad they included the Japanese soundtrack :D
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:18:27

Playing Ninja Gaiden 2 is a very different experience to playing the majority of games. No other game I've ever played is as rewarding so often. Whether it's for simply beating a wave of blood-thirsty bats or for finally slaying a boss you've been tearing your hair out over for more than an hour, the sense of reward and gratification is practically unrivalled. For every level you beat you feel like you're becoming a better gamer and that's a feeling that very few games can claim to give. This is action gaming at its very best. 9/10
Videogamer.com review!


Oh, and apparently this is why it got a 7 on Gamesradar:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1132591...

The saving grace here is the fanbase. If you’re in this group, there’s no reason why you won’t love Ninja Gaiden 2, despite its faults. You don’t care about next-gen graphics, level design and fairness, right? You like having Tomonobu Itagaki stamp on your ego, rob your of sanity and piss down your throat.
So because of Itagaki's badassery, his game review score gets docked?

Wow, Gamesradar would do anything to get hits on their shitty website. Hell, these idiots gave Heavenly sword a higher score then NG2. :| So, WTF WOW.
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:19:46
Gametap review :
Quote:
Pros: Excellent gameplay; nice variety in the later levels; great difficulty curve.

Cons: Story isn’t all that interesting; camera can get in the way; few framerate hiccups here and there. 9/10

So, yet again, Gamesradar can suck it.
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:30:16 In reply to NeoNemesis
Posted by NeoNemesis

The saving grace here is the fanbase. If you’re in this group, there’s no reason why you won’t love Ninja Gaiden 2, despite its faults. You don’t care about next-gen graphics, level design and fairness, right? You like having Tomonobu Itagaki stamp on your ego, rob your of sanity and piss down your throat.
So because of Itagaki's badassery, his game review score gets docked?

Wow, Gamesradar would do anything to get hits on their shitty website. Hell, these idiots gave Heavenly sword a higher score then NG2. :| So, WTF WOW.
Is this the same site that gave NG1 a low score and Itagaki intimidated them when they interviewed them? lol.

As for the graphics, they don't quite have the lighting I would have liked, but it's far from horrible looking and it looks to be a nice improvement over DOA4. Environments, at least imo, look better than in Sigma.
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:36:31
this game is so cool.
i mean rayu is cool the gameplay is hard(not for the faint hardet i hope)
and the gaem looks good....yeah good nothing more nothing less.
but WHO THE FUCK CARES,when you being attackt bij ten ninja at a time you not going to look if there is normal mapping on there weapons :p
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:40:38
In a spanish web page (meristation.com) they reviewed the final build and they stated that there are NO frame rate issues at all. It got a 9/10

Cant wait to play it.... Thx A LOT for the gameplay videos. Looks awesome :D
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:46:36
Not a SINGLE review can put me off this game NEVER!!!!!
Commented on 2008-05-26 11:52:43
Suil, where do they mention the fact that they reviewed a retail version ? I've found the part about the framerate but can't find the retail version info...
Commented on 2008-05-26 12:16:41
Wow brutal would be the word looks great

Theres a funny bit when you have cut one of the guys legs off hes still hobbleing around ... bless

EDIT: Just found this http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/16604/Exclusive-Ninj...

"You may have noticed we have not yet posted our review of Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden 2. We just wanted to fill you in on why. There were a couple of issues with the review build discs, specifically with the load times and the framerate. We have been told that these issues have been resolved in the retail version of the game. Therefore, we have decided to hold off on posting our review article and score until we are able to get our hands on a retail build of Ninja Gaiden 2 in order to verify this. "
Commented on 2008-05-26 12:27:35
Posted by palamede
Suil, where do they mention the fact that they reviewed a retail version ? I've found the part about the framerate but can't find the retail version info...
They said it in one of their podcasts. They got the retail version (well they said "gold" version which I suppose its the final build of the game) from Itagaki during his visit to Madrid a few days ago.

I cannot guarantee Meristation will be right about the framerate issues... but its a kinda respected web here (in Spain I mean^^). Although it would´nt be the first time they get something wrong...
Commented on 2008-05-26 12:30:49
The only thing I can do is waiting for the game,must buy it on the first time!
Commented on 2008-05-26 12:42:54 In reply to Suil
Cool, thanks for your answer. It's so stupid IMO to send review builds with flaws that are to be corrected in the retail version... especially when you end up getting reviews one week before the game release.
Commented on 2008-05-26 13:00:24
these videos are excellent quality. just watched the gamevideos.com vids and they look terrible compared to these.
Commented on 2008-05-26 14:05:49
They need to build a special Re-inforced Ninja Gaiden 2 controller to withstand shock.

I remember playing the first Ninja Gaiden on Xbox with the duke controller (The first giant xbox controller) and even if I hit the wood frame of bed with it, it damaged the wood rather than my controller.
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