Ninja Gaiden II Xbox 360
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Released on 06/06/2008
Ninja Gaiden II makes its long-awaited debut on Xbox 360 as the blockbuster action-packed sequel to Ninja Gaiden. Ninja Gaiden II features a new and improved game engine, developed from the ground up exclusively for Microsoft and Xbox 360 by Team Ninja and legendary game developer Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the famed “Dead or Alive” franchise.
In Ninja Gaiden II, gamers must guide Ryu Hayabusa on a mission to avenge his clan and prevent the destruction of the human race. Armed with an assortment of ninja weaponry, Ninja Gaiden II players must help Ryu skillfully maneuver through a world fraught with peril and danger. Ninja Gaiden II will feature an all-new gameplay engine, a new auto-health regeneration system, levels, adventures, enemies and thrilling combat with an extensive assortment of ninja weaponry. Ninja Gaiden II represents a true evolution of the highly popular franchise.
Ninja Gaiden II Features:
- Exhilarating ninja action!: Assuming the role of a ninja warrior, Ninja Gaiden II players will experience an all-new combat system requiring skill and mastery of their full arsenal of weapons, including Obliteration Techniques that allow Ninja Gaiden II players to quickly and stylishly finish off an opponent. In addition to the variety of brutal new primary weapons and enhanced versions of previous favorites, Ninja Gaiden II will feature unique acrobatic combat and attacks used not only by Ryu Hayabusa but also by his formidable enemies.
- Easy to play but hard to master: Ninja Gaiden II's new auto-healing system, featuring semi-permanent damage restored at save points, is the natural evolution of Ninja Gaiden's distinctive gameplay and introduces a new twist to managing health. With a newly implemented auto-healing functionality and save-point system, as well as an extensive story mode and multiple difficulty levels available from the start of the game, Ninja Gaiden II will be both accessible to more casual players and challenging to even the most demanding Ninja Gaiden masters!
- Massive content and engrossing story: The themes of revenge and friendship in Ninja Gaiden II give rise to a series of dramatic events to create a truly inspiring story. From Tokyo to New York and to the netherworld, Ninja Gaiden II's compelling plot will lead players through a lengthy, action-packed story mode as they skillfully maneuver Ryu Hayabusa through a demonized world fraught with peril and danger. In addition to Ninja Gaiden II's single-player campaign, Ninja Gaiden II players can upload Karma scores to Xbox LIVE leaderboards and participate in an all-new Master Ninja Tournament.
- Realistic graphics in next-generation gaming: Ninja Gaiden II has been built from the ground up from Team Ninja’s in-house gaming engine for next-gen Xbox 360. Ninja Gaiden II represents the best in amazing visuals, responsive control and thrilling combat with an extensive assortment of ninja weaponry.
GAME talks to Mister Ninja Gaiden himself, Team Ninja head man Tomonobu Itagaki.
Ninja Gaiden was originally a side-scrolling 2D platformer. What was your thinking behind updating the franchise as a 3D scrolling brawler?
I'd been working on the Dead or Alive fighting series, and I wanted to broaden my horizons to work on an action game, but I didn't know at the time it was going to be Ninja Gaiden. If I'd worked at Sega, perhaps it would have been a new Revenge of Shinobi, but as we had this brand at Tecmo called Ninja Gaiden, it seemed like a nice fit to bring that back.
It wasn't that I wanted to develop a specific title, it was more wanting to be successful in a new field, a new genre. I knew I wanted to do an action game, so the elements all came together and the result was Ninja Gaiden.
Were you happy with Ninja Gaiden, and what have you changed for the sequel?
I keep voicing my dissatisfaction for the first Ninja Gaiden – which I'm allowed to do because I made it! In hindsight, and knowing how well the sequel has turned out, I can honestly say I'm really not happy with most of the elements of the first game.
If I list the things I wasn't happy with, you're basically going to have a list of what was changed for the sequel.
'In the first game enemies died or not, it was quite digital, but here there's a more analogue feel to the action. More can happen.'
I felt the first game was very simplistic and rigid in its pacing, and the story didn't work too well. Enemy movements and animations weren't realistic enough, and the fact that enemies blocked so often made it sometimes feel like you were attacking them with a rock. I also felt bosses didn't have enough appeal, and level design in general wasn't set up well. I'm basically my own worst critic.
These are all things we corrected in Ninja Gaiden II, and it shows how confident I am in Ninja Gaiden II that I can say this all about the first Ninja Gaiden.
Most players' big issue with the first Ninja Gaiden was the steep, hardcore difficulty curve. How has that been addressed for Ninja Gaiden II?
The way the first game was designed didn't allow for a great bandwidth of difficulty. It really had to be difficult to be fun. We had unappealing bosses with unappealing animations and unappealing attacks – so if they were easy to defeat, you'd just have a repetitive button-basher of a game.
There were too few pipelines through which you could affect the situation around you – you battled an enemy until one of you died, and that was it, with little change in the situation. And again, I'm only saying all of these bad things about Ninja Gaiden is because we've made such an effort to improve upon it all in the sequel.
How so? What are we going to see from the broader gameplay range?
We've made the combat in Ninja Gaiden II offer more interaction in every case. You're able to lop off limbs, which changes enemy AI routines, and every weapon has a different finishing move – so you're able to affect the situation. In the first game enemies died or not, it was quite digital, but here there's a more analogue feel to the action. More can happen.
There's also the visuals. In Xbox Ninja Gaiden, the difficulty provided a sense of urgency – if you were attacked many times in succession, you died. Here, it's not so difficult, but the action is more stimulating, so that instead provides that sense of urgency even though your life gauge hasn't gone down that much. It's the thrill of combat without feeling punishing. Aesthetic intensity.
'I feel that really stylish action is putting the other guy out of his misery before he knows what's happened to him.'
Speaking of aesthetics - What's the process for designing levels? Do you start with aesthetics, story or gameplay?
We take a methodical approach. When we first start out, we have 'here are our story ideas, here are our level designs', and we compartmentalise and then mix and match to get the ideal combination.
In Ninja Gaiden we did it all at the same time, and if one thing changed, everything changed – it was almost spaghetti programming; very hard to separate. That's why it took so long to create. But with Ninja Gaiden II we've been more organised, and it's made for some great gameplay within some great looking levels. We hope fans will agree when they play the game.
Another game that's massively popular with action game fans is Devil May Cry. How do you find the two series compare to each other, and what does Ninja Gaiden II offer over Capcom's game?
Ninja Gaiden II is a game about killing, in all senses of the word. I see Devil May Cry as more of a target shooter. They're entirely different types of game.
You don't think they share some similarities in terms of approach and style?
I think it depends on your definition of style. In Devil May Cry you can insult enemies and taunt them before defeating them. To me that doesn't really fit in with the idea of a serious battle. I feel that really stylish action is putting the other guy out of his misery before he knows what's happened to him.
We are serious about making a game that portrays combat to the death. We don't like to throw around words like 'stylish' because we take it much more seriously. I think that's the real difference between Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden II.
So what next for yourself and Team Ninja?
We'll be working on a totally new project next. I can't say much about that unfortunately, but we hope Ninja Gaiden fans will look forward to it!
Thank you, Itagaki-San.
Interview by: Mark 'Lunar Staff' Scott
Interview Published: 20.05.08
How hard do YOU like it?
There’s long been an argument that the entire concept of videogames being difficult and involving numerous player deaths are an antiquated hangover from the days before home videogaming, when games were designed specifically to tan your arse as fast as possible, thereby maximising their intake of 10p pieces.
Games should be about the experience they say - you’ve paid for it, so why shouldn’t you be able to have the entire experience regardless of your level of skill?
They have a point, but there should always be a place for games that are hard. Hard, but perfectly designed, perfectly balanced and perfectly fair. Games like Halo 3 (on Legendary at least), like Viewtiful Joe, and like the original Xbox Ninja Gaiden, which was a big favourite of mine four years back. These games force you to learn, to adapt, and essentially make you a better gamer than you were before you played. They were rewarding.
there should always be a place for games that are hard
To some extent, that ethos has been carried through to the second title in the Ninja Gaiden series, as you battle huge numbers of demons, ninjas, demon-ninjas and various vicious beasties. With each new type of enemy comes a new challenge, one that can usually be overcome with some observation, some patience, a dash of skill and a girt big sword.
However, Ninja Gaiden II doesn’t quite get it spot on like its forebear did - occasionally forgetting that it can be as hard as it pleases, but only as long as it’s fair. It cheats, it gives you unreachable enemies who pepper you with firebombs, it respawns enemies right inside your personal bubble, it even gives you a boss who explodes when it dies…killing you.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Put up with some of its more annoying design-flaws however and Ninja Gaiden II has an incredible amount to offer, most notably a brilliantly deep and fluid combat system, which is even deeper when you take into account the numerous melee weapons that are available as you progress, such as bladed nunchucks, Wolverine-style claws, bladed chains and a horrific scythe-style thing. Each new weapon changes the fighting style, opening up new ways to chop your opponents into wobbling lumps of red mess.
chop your opponents into wobbling lumps of red mess
Oh yes, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anything this gory – heads, limbs, chunks of flesh and fountains of blood bounce, skid, slide and spurt across the environment as you lay everything in your path to waste (they deserve it, honest...) in some of the smoothest and most-stylish action gaming has yet seen.
It’s also a bit of a graphical powerhouse. It’s not necessarily ahead of practically everything else on the market, as Ninja Gaiden on Xbox was at the time, but this is still a hugely impressive tour-de-force for the 360 with a huge array of gorgeous locales to fight through and hugely detailed, brilliantly animated characters throughout.
So, while not the apex of beautifully tough-as-nails ninjaness that its forebear was, Ninja Gaiden II can still claim to be a worthy action-game. Just don’t bother playing it through on Hard – if it’s not going to play fair there’s just no point. View it as an action-rammed adventure with a variety of incredible things to see and kill, and Ninja Gaiden II won’t disappoint. View it as a test of your purest, most zen gaming skills, and the disc will probably explode and blow your hands off when you open the box.
- Team Ninja's usual graphical lavishness.
- A huge array of things to kill.
- Action gaming at its most violent.
- The challenge is no longer balanced and fair.
- Storyline leaves a little to be desired.
- The in-game camera leaves a lot to be desired.
Review by: Jonny Austin
Review Published: 06.06.08
It's been just over two years since certifiably bonkers Japanese games guru Tomonobu Itagaki unleashed the punishing Ninja Gaiden II on the world, but he's finally revealed just what he's been up to since splitting acrimoniously from Tecmo, where he headed up development for sixteen years, to set up his own independent studio, Valhalla.
What he's been up to is Devil's Third, an insanely gory third person action game that shows that while his employment situation may have changed, Itagaki's fixation on ultra-violence and enormous bouncing bosoms remains intact. Early footage shows enemies being beheaded, dismembered and ground into red paste by a tank.
Story details are still under wraps, but we do know that it involves space debris raining down to earth, and that the gameplay will feature both swordplay and shooting. The title, for the music buffs out there, comes from the term for tritone dissonance, sounds that clash deliberately to put the listener on edge.
While Itagaki's previous titles have all led on the Xbox 360, for Devil's Third he's developing both Xbox and PS3 versions at the same time, which can only be good news for everyone who waited patiently for the PlayStation ports of Ninja Gaiden. In another change from the norm, he's teamed up with a western publisher - THQ - to deliver it into your sweaty mitts. As for when that will be, we're left waiting for more razor sharp info snippets to jump out of Itagaki's mouth and stab us in the brain.
Ninja Gaiden 3 will reboot the franchise
Like to chop up ninjas in your spare time? Like games that are really, really hard? We're guessing you'll be familiar with Team Ninja's classic slash-'em-up Ninja Gaiden, then. While the first two games in the franchise did a pretty good job of offering blistering arcade action interrupted by fantastically difficult boss fights, it looks like it's all change for sneaky Ryu and his blades of steel. Team Ninja boss Yousuke Hayashi says the series is up for a reboot with Ninja Gaiden 3.
Speaking to the Japanese magazine Famitsu, translated by Andriasang, Hayashi said that, "We're developing Ninja Gaiden 3 with the idea of restarting at the beginning, saying 'We'd like to make the action game that's most interesting for the current era.' With this meaning, it's going to be a game that's not bound by the past more than necessary. Of course, we will be valuing the past, but in a good meaning we'd like to make it into a game that's not tied down by the past."
Sounds exciting? You bet. There's no release date announced for Ninja Gaiden 3 yet, but we'll bring you news as soon as we have it. If you're interested in seeing what Team Ninja's been up to recently, of course, you could always check out Metroid: Other M for the Wii, which is out now.
Team Ninja Yosuke Hayashi has been talking to PlayStation: The Official Magazine about the developer forthcoming Ninja Gaiden 3, promising that the latest instalment in the rock-hard slice-em-up is set to be the goriest yet.
"We are trying to take the violent concepts even deeper," Hayashi explains, "and make you realise how it feels to actually kill someone and what it is to gut someone." Ouch.
That said, Hayashi is insistent that the gruesome stuff is necessary: "It's very important to us that people realise that violence is not only about blood and gore."
The game also promises to explore the psyche of hero Ryu Hayabusa, with the developer refusing to offer new playable characters in order to focus on the troubled ninja himself.
Those similarly concerned about the franchise legendarily tough difficulty level may be pleased to hear news at Hayashi comments that team Ninja will be "taking a slightly different approach."
"It's not that the game's going to be easier - nothing like that. It's just that we are trying to make a whole game, a more exciting game that can be enjoyed by anyone."
To which end, he also promised a brand new multiplayer mode, described by Hayashi as "complex". Sounds intriguing, though at the moment there no more info on what that might entail.
Like most of the year big games, you can expect to see and hear more about Ninja Gaiden 3 at E3 in June. If we hear any more about it, youl be the first to know.
US mag lifts the lid on Ninja Gaiden 3
Wee known about its existence for a while, but now wee getting our first glimpse of Ninja Gaiden 3, thanks to a CVG report based on an article in Official PlayStation Magazine US.
It sounds great, too: another bloodthirsty beat-m-up with a 60 fps frame rate, that sees legendary Ninja Ryu carving baddies into pieces against some stylish backdrops.
Now for the important stuff: Team Ninja promising that the game difficulty won be toned down in the slightest. If you like a challenge, this is still the game for you. Ninja Gaiden 3 will also focus on Ryu own backstory a little more, and there are no other playable characters planned for the game at this point.
Elsewhere, the weapon store is gone, replaced with swords and other gadgets that evolve over the course of the adventure, and there are big plans for multiplayer, with eight-player battles promised across co-op and versus challenges. If youe got a Move, the team even thinking about letting you get into the action with that!
We can wait for this one, and fingers crossed wel hear more about platforms and release dates at E3.
It's no surprise that the sequel to the famously tough Ninja Gaiden 2 will feature pleas for mercy, but this time they won't be coming from the player. In a move designed to "unmask" the emotional side of Ryu - the hero of the series - those left wounded by your attacks may ask you to spare their lives. The choice you then make will have consequences later in the game.
The game will also feature an Easy mode, which automates the blocking and evading of enemy attacks. This from a series which, in Ninja Gaiden Black, openly mocked players who opted for the easier Ninja Dog setting.
But fear not, hardcore ninja death lovers, for the move is simply intended to lure newcomers to the game. The tough-as-nails difficulty will remain.
"What made the old games was the difficulty levels," producer Yosuke Hayashi told Eurogamer. "What we wanted to do is keep that element, but show gamers that there's something more to Ninja Gaiden. We wanted to broaden its appeal, while obviously maintaining the notorious difficulty levels for our core players."
Ninja Gaiden II Interview (20/05/2008)
GAME talks to Mister Ninja Gaiden himself, Team Ninja head man Tomonobu Itagaki.
Ninja Gaiden was originally a side-scrollin…Ninja Gaiden II Review (06/06/2008)
How hard do YOU like it?
Ninja Gaiden Creator Unveils Devil's Third…
Like to chop up ninjas in your spare time? Like games that are really, really hard? We're guessing you'll be familiar with Team Ninja's classic slash-'em-up Ninja Gaiden, then.…
Team Ninja Yosuke Hayashi has been talking to PlayStation: The Official Magazine about the developer forthcoming Ninja Gaiden 3, promising that the latest instalment in the rock-hard slice-em-up is se…
Wee known about its existence for a while, but now wee getting our first glimpse of Ninja Gaiden 3thanks to a CVG report based on an article in Official PlayStation Magazine US.…
It's no surprise that the sequel to the famously tough Ninja Gaiden 2 will feature pleas for mercy, but this time they won't be coming from the player.…Ninja Gaiden II User ReviewsTop review1 year agoNinja Gaiden IIawesome filled with action and gore to the eyeballs, but at time can be insanely hard but well worth getting if you enjoyed the first2 years agoNinja Gaiden III really enjoyed this game. The costumes are nice and the weapons look and play awesome too. I owned the very first Ninja Gaiden on the original xbox and i thought it couldn't really get any better. Well it has. An amazing game thats worth more than the £5 value that it is placed here. So you should really get this game at the bargain price it is.4 years agoNinja Gaiden IIone of the best games i have ever played also maybe on of the hardest but that's what real gamers love! a challenge!4 years agoNinja Gaiden IIthis game rocks i finshed it on the two game modes i give the story 10/10 gamplay 10/10 graphics 10/10 violence and gore 10/10 the end boss is a bit of a nightmare but apart from that its a must buy if you like Japanise style hack and slash''TRUST ME PEOPLE YOU WON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!4 years agoNinja Gaiden IIBest game everConfiguring your price alert
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