When I downloaded the Ghostbusters: The Video Game demo for my Xbox 360, I mentioned that it was only one of the few demos I had downloaded. Ninja Gaiden II was another of those demos, and I took some time today to try it out.
I’ve been a fan of the Ninja Gaiden series since its days on the original NES, so I was looking forward to this demo very much. As I was browsing the Options menu, looking for the controller layout, I noticed that, without having started the game, the play time counter was already ticking. This doesn’t really bother me, since I don’t care how long it takes to play, just that I enjoy it, but I know that there are people who use the time it takes to beat the game as a badge of pride. This could be problematic for them. Having figured out the controller layout, I started the game.
The introduction video was very nice, graphically, and set up the story very well. The video transitions to gameplay very smoothly, placing Ryu Hyabusa in the middle of a gang of enemies who attack quickly and steadily. After defeating these enemies, in a very violent and graphic manner, I took a quick look at the menu. I saw that three melee weapons were available to start with: The Dragon Sword, the Eclipse Scythe, and the Falcon’s Talons. The Dragon Sword is the standard ninja sword that you associate with Ryu Hyabusa, and is described as “The symbol of the Dragon Ninja, passed down for generations.” The Eclipse Scythe is a massively large, wicked looking scythe, with a blade as large as Ryu himself, if not larger, and is described as “A giant scythe handed down in the lycanthrope tribe of Fiends.” Finally, the Falcon’s Talons are a set of hand and foot claws, described as “A unique evolution of a Ninja’s traditional hand-mounted claws.”
The gameplay was wonderfully smooth. The combat system was wonderfully simple, with quick attack, strong attack, and ranged attack options that could be strung together for wonderful combos, and spectacular dismemberments. The level of violence and gore, while not, in my opinion, quite at the level of Wolverine: Origins, is still impressive to behold. After a particularly brutal string of deaths, your weapon is soaked in blood. However, Ryu is a ninja with hygiene in mind. Before stowing his glorious weapons, he shakes off the blood, leaving a puddle for others to find. The battles are truly brutal.
I thoroughly enjoyed this demo. The combat was excellent. The graphics were gorgeous. The gameplay was fantastic.
-Because I said so