Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Preview: Ninja Gaiden II

Ninja Gaiden II (2008)
Developer: Team Ninja/Tecmo, Ltd.
Platform: X-Box 360
Purchase Date: 06/08/2008

A fiend flirting with the Statue of Liberty... What's next?
I miss the old 2D Ninja Gaidens. The sweet platforming/shooter mechanics... The tough but nicely patterned boss fights... The games' one-sitting lengths. The temptation of reviving classics in 3D is just too overwhelming for the weak of hearts I suppose. The 3D Ninja Gaiden is back! To be honest, I haven't been paying attention to the game's cheesy storyline since I started the game. All I know is that our super ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, is trying to stop a terrible apocalypse from taking over the world. Everything just seems to be randomly thrown in, from the attack on the big-breasted CIA agent Sonia at the beginning all the way to Ryu's arrival in New York where I am currently at.

Weak rain effects. Come on, the X-Box 360 can do better.

The game is a bit easier this time around. After each wave of enemy attack, Ryu's health bar is fully regenerated. Some of the damages done on Ryu would permanently diminish his health though and this can only be recovered using health items and blue essences. The fighting is similar to what it was before but now, Ryu can easily chop off his opponents' limbs. The result is extremely gory and not for the squeamish. The combos are magnificent and satisfying. Many sites claim that the camera can get extremely evil: It doesn't bother me so much. My advise - just remember that there is always going to be someone trying to filet your backside at all times. So far, I only have three primary weapons in Ryu's disposal. These weapons can be upgraded, making them hit harder and look nicer.

"Built from the ground up by Team Ninja for X-Box 360..." I don't think so.

Graphically, the game is disappointing. With something like Metal Gear Solid 4: Sons of the Patriots gracing the PlayStation 3 right now, the last thing I want to see on the X-Box 360 is a game that looks like it can be made on the old X-Box. Though the game moves fluidly, the textures and the architectural geometry are lacking in both its technical and artistic potentials. There are also too many places that look like stages found in the Dead or Alive series. I am not sure if this is accidental or intentional because of the overall lackluster presentation. The game is off to a rough start. The arrival of stage 3's boss did excite me a bit because it was really quite unique. Maybe better things are awaiting me after this tough (and cheap) encounter.


No comments: