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!