Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ninja Gaiden 2


Guess what I'm doing after work today...

...picking up a copy of Ninja Gaiden 2, the sequel to one of my favorite action games of all time! Of all the beat'em-up games on my Favorites list, Ninja Gaiden is probably at the top. It's an "old-school" type of game--light on story, but heavy on mechanics--one that will definitely put your reflexes to the test.

  • Some of the slickest and most satisfying combos I have ever seen. You really have to experience them with the controller in hand to fully appreciate them.

  • Super responsive character control.

  • Very satisfying combat system--one that rewards quick reflexes and precision timing, as well as the ability to balance offense with defense. This is probably the main reason why this game rises above the others in terms of combat. Like watching a good fight in the UFC, there is a constant back and forth between you and the enemy.
  • Great incorporation of acrobatics within combat--fluid and useful--not just for show.
  • Probably the best implementation I've seen of a "heavy" weapon. This is how all heavy weapons in a game should feel--not overly slow, yet still manages to show power and weight.
  • Great example of how multiple-hit attacks (per single button press) should be--very fast and responsive, very satisfying.
  • Finally, lots of weapons and upgrades--all complete with brutal, flashy combos.

And remember, these are just my opinions--definitely take into account the fact that I love this specific genre when it comes to games:)

Happy slicin'!


Ali said...

I tried to like this series but it is so punishing to play I just can't have fun with it. Also the camera is downright terrible in it with enemies constantly attacking you from outside the screen.

The animation and the battle system is gorgeous though like you said.

TJ Phan said...

Ali, haha...yes...NG has to be one of the hardest games I've played, right next to DMC3. What were they thinking?! They did, however, add an easy mode in the re-releases (NG Black and NG Sigma). This made the difficulty level much more reasonable.

Regarding the camera, I have friends that found it problematic as well. Personally though, it never really bothered me. Because the camera-reset was mapped to the right trigger, I was able to quickly re-orient the camera view without much thought. Enemies will still get you from off-screen occasionally (not sure if there's any way around that unless you pull the camera out, like in GOW), but since I'm constantly blocking and evading when I'm not attacking, they don’t do too much damage.

One thing to note though--I think the camera in the new game might be a tad trickier. I could be wrong, but they seem to have brought the camera in a bit closer this time around, with certain battles taking place in even narrower corridors. Still nothing too crazy though.