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Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos


mbd30
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After beating the first NG yesterday, I decided to give this one a try. I used to suck at this game. I always got stuck at the windy stage. But last night I really tried. I made it to 5-3. I also watched a Youtube playthrough and saw a couple of the stages after that. Here are some thoughts.

 

The production values are significantly higher than the first game. The graphics are gorgeous and the original is no slouch. This is one fantastic looking NES game. And the music's great.

 

It's easier in some ways than the original and more frustrating in other ways so it evens out. Enemies don't take off as much health. But the game makes up for it by throwing more of them at you, and they're harder to hit. I don't care for constantly having to crouch down to attack certain enemies. Weapons come in handy. Same as the first game, there is no shortage of eagles to knock you into pits. At least they don't do as much damage to your health meter. Boss fights require a little more thought and strategy this time around.

 

The control is improved, but now there are annoying environmental conditions. So much fun slipping and sliding around ice and accidentally grabbing onto stuff as you're dealing with a barrage of foes (the music in the ice stage is awesome though).

 

Overall I'm not sure if I like this one as much as the simple and addictive first game even though there are definite improvements. Maybe I'm just more used to the first game.

 

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I always kinda preferred this second one. The first was the innovator, but I think this one is where the early series really reached its peak. (See also: Double Dragon II (NES) & Mega Man II.) It's everything the first one is, a shade less difficult, with a few new things (the option/clones, the even-better cutscenes) to make it seem like more than the first one, which is still one of my "Top 20" NES games (maybe Top 15). This sequel makes my Top 10 and I haven't even gotten to Level 5-1. Good luck!

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I'm always puzzled as to the amount of praise this one gets. It's the most overrated of the series.

 

The story, cinematics, characters, and artwork are all more appealing in Ninja Gaiden. The control is superior and the music is amazing.

 

The only area that part II can hold its own is with the music. It's fantastic and nearly as catchy as its predecessor.

 

I have multiple issues with Part II, though. The hitboxes were changed...for the worse. This was something that should not have been tampered with. It's actually more difficult to do well using just the sword in this entry. It's a stupid and lazy method to introduce difficulty. Secondly, the fight with Ashtar was an enormous letdown. The story was fairly compelling (especially at first) up to that point. You finally get to him and....what the hell is this?!? A very lame, unimaginative boss fight that simply didn't live up to the hype. The environmental hazards (i.e. wind, darkness, icy platforms) are a bit too gimmicky. Though, I suppose they're there to try and make up for the characters & the story being less appealing. Robert T.S. feels like a pointless add-on and Irene's sole purpose is as the damsel in distress. I didn't care for the change in artwork for Ryu and Irene, either. They, noticeably, have a younger look to them. It stood out as nonsensical, seeing as how this is a sequel. One of the coolest features (albeit frustrating to master) in Ninja Gaiden is the wall jumping. A creative way to handle level advancement & enemy dodging. You were forced to do it (and get better at it), if you wanted to beat the game. Here, it's abandoned. Ryu can now climb walls with ease, a la Spider-Man. Lame.

 

Comparatively speaking, Part II toned it down. It doesn't come across as serious or dramatic. It's more superficial and lacking the depth of the first one. It just doesn't feel as awesome when you beat it.

 

Ninja Gaiden, on the other hand, is a badass adventure with a very compelling story of revenge, intriguing characters (Foster, Irene Lew, Walter Smith, Ryu, Ken Hayabusa, Malth, Guardia de Mieux), highly cool & awe inspiring cutscenes, very tight controls, amazing music, and kickass weapons (with the exception of the small shuriken). The difficulty is part of the appeal, which makes it so much more satisfying when you beat the game. It ain't easy being a ninja. It's a sacrifice. It takes hard work. It's a way of liiiiiiiife. But when you got the glow, you feel the one.

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Well, I think we can agree that 3 is the weakest of the series. ;) Don't get me wrong, it's a good game, but the bar was set very high by the other two. I love the extra long sword that Ryu can get in that one and the environment dangers are toned down in this one, but I hate the grunt that he makes when you swing the sword, the music -- while still awesome -- starts repeating about half way through, the story has major holes in it, and they recycled a lot of stuff from the first two games.

 

We're going to be covering Ninja Gaiden Triliogy for the SNES soon.

 

I also really liked Ninja Gaiden Shadow for the Game Boy. It's not really a NG game, but I like how they used music from all three games, and it's a nice fun romp.

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I have multiple issues with Part II, though. The hitboxes were changed...for the worse. This was something that should not have been tampered with. It's actually more difficult to do well using just the sword in this entry. It's a stupid and lazy method to introduce difficulty.

 

While I prefer the hitboxes in the original Ninja Gaiden, to be fair they were pretty lazily done in that game and I see them simply as having been "fixed" in the second game. In the first one you could jump-sword-kill enemies without even physically touching them, the hitboxes were that large. In Part 2 it's more realistic. I don't see that as a negative thing, it's just a different dynamic and it's probably how the first was supposed to have been from the beginning. That aside, the controls aren't any less tight in the second game nor do I have an issue dealing with enemies sword-only. But who am I kidding? The level layout was clearly designed with the ninpo and shadow characters in mind anyway.

 

Comparatively speaking, Part II toned it down. It doesn't come across as serious or dramatic. It's more superficial and lacking the depth of the first one. ... Ninja Gaiden, on the other hand, is a badass adventure with a very compelling story of revenge, intriguing characters (Foster, Irene Lew, Walter Smith, Ryu, Ken Hayabusa, Malth, Guardia de Mieux), highly cool & awe inspiring cutscenes, very tight controls, amazing music, and kickass weapons (with the exception of the small shuriken). The difficulty is part of the appeal, which makes it so much more satisfying when you beat the game. It ain't easy being a ninja. It's a sacrifice. It takes hard work. It's a way of liiiiiiiife. But when you got the glow, you feel the one.

 

From the angle of the story and cutscenes, I completely agree. It's the one major area that Ninja Gaiden II lacks for me. Very superficial, like I'm watching a copy-paste Hollywood Summer popcorn movie. The story in the original game feels much more unique and the tone overall is a lot more serious (until right before the end credits, of course).

 

 

Overall I'm not sure if I like this one as much as the simple and addictive first game even though there are definite improvements. Maybe I'm just more used to the first game.

 

I think you will grow to really enjoy Ninja Gaiden II. Since you're coming right from the first game you just need to spend more time with it to get used to the differences in gameplay.

 

People tend to really enjoy the first two games, then be lukewarm on Part 3. I'm most interested to hear your opinions on that one after you manage to finish the second game.

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Ninja Gaiden 1 & 2 are awesome NES titles gameplay-wise, but for me, the cutscenes are what I remember them for most. At the time I first saw them, the cutscenes made me want the games. Now, I consider cutscenes to be one of the most insufferable aspects of modern games. Weird how that works.

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After my initial disapointment with NES Ninja Gaiden since it wasn't like the arcade, I eventually fully mastered it. When I got Ninja Gaiden 2 I found it relatively easy, especially since you could just climb up walls, etc.. but that's probably because of my original NG skills. I doubt I could beat it as easily today.

 

What I didn't like about it is the art.. the faces just seemed more dopey and cartoony, not as sharp and cool looking as in the original. To me it had more of a "watercolor" look to it. Anyway just my opinion. :)

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While I prefer the hitboxes in the original Ninja Gaiden, to be fair they were pretty lazily done in that game and I see them simply as having been "fixed" in the second game. In the first one you could jump-sword-kill enemies without even physically touching them, the hitboxes were that large. In Part 2 it's more realistic. I don't see that as a negative thing, it's just a different dynamic and it's probably how the first was supposed to have been from the beginning. That aside, the controls aren't any less tight in the second game nor do I have an issue dealing with enemies sword-only. But who am I kidding? The level layout was clearly designed with the ninpo and shadow characters in mind anyway.

 

 

The hitboxes were worlds more accurate in Ninja Gaiden, for the sword and enemies. How exactly is it lazy when more of the enemy sprite can be actually be damaged? It's not. Part II was, comparatively, deceptive. Realism? Being able to slash at a typical enemy's head in Ninja Gaiden would result in its destruction. In Part II, nothing would register. Not only is that not real, but (in the world of video games) that's a poor argument to make. You can throw out words like "dynamic", but the fact remains that it's a sequel. Something had not only been established, but met with a hell of a lot of acclaim and demand from the gaming community. Deviating from the first, in this respect, comes across as change for the sake of change. Also, I watched your walkthrough video for the final 3 bosses. Jacquio's hitbox is not as large as you think, especially when you consider his size.

 

The controls are tighter in Ninja Gaiden. Not by a wide margin, but it's noticeable. If you're a competitive gamer and have an eye for detail, then it should become obvious at some point.

 

If you're just trying to beat the game and don't mind taking damage or going about things in a slow fashion, then I can see how sword-only runs in Part II wouldn't bother someone all that much. However, I don't play that way.

 

 

Well, I think we can agree that 3 is the weakest of the series. ;) Don't get me wrong, it's a good game, but the bar was set very high by the other two. I love the extra long sword that Ryu can get in that one and the environment dangers are toned down in this one, but I hate the grunt that he makes when you swing the sword, the music -- while still awesome -- starts repeating about half way through, the story has major holes in it, and they recycled a lot of stuff from the first two games.

 

We're going to be covering Ninja Gaiden Triliogy for the SNES soon.

 

Part III is, undoubtedly, the weakest of the 8-bit trilogy. Ninja Gaiden simply blew people away. It was groundbreaking. There's no shame in the two sequels not being able to match up to it. More consistency would have been appreciated, though.

 

The level designs and types of enemies in Part III are not bad. The combination of the two offer up a good challenge. That is, unless you decide to use the Fire Wheel. It's actually cheaper (stage-wise) than the Jump & Slash Technique (not to be confused with the "Quick Slash Technique") from Ninja Gaiden. The invincibility it affords you throughout the stages sucks the life out of the game, especially when you start to notice the abundance of Spirit Points and take advantage of them.

 

I'm not surprised that the developers introduced the sword extension in this one. My guess is that complaints were made about the hitboxes in Part II. It also fits in nicely with the size of the bosses and the heavy science fiction theme. I'm with you on the grunt. It's very out of place. I'm not sure where the inspiration for that came from. The bosses are pathetically easy, too. Such a disappointment. Part III built up the bio-noid clone angle. The clone actually topples you when you first fight him. I was stoked to see how hard the fight would be during a playable encounter. He does giant cartwheels and fires projectiles that are very easy to dodge. What a joke.

 

I've only played the first game of the SNES trilogy. It's awful. All it does is make the 8-bit version look astoundingly better.

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The hitboxes were worlds more accurate in Ninja Gaiden, for the sword and enemies. How exactly is it lazy when more of the enemy sprite can be actually be damaged? It's not.

 

I think you are missing my point here. Hitting more of the sprite and making contact? Great. Hitting thin air and still making contact? Not so great. When you don't need to physically touch the enemy (again, via an upwards jump-slash) and the hit still registers, that's lazy. It's fun and I prefer it to Ninja Gaiden II, but I don't see the difference in the sequel as a reason to bitch.

 

Deviating from the first, in this respect, comes across as change for the sake of change.

 

Here's a thought--perhaps the devs at the time actually thought they were improving the formula?

 

Also, I watched your walkthrough video for the final 3 bosses. Jacquio's hitbox is not as large as you think, especially when you consider his size.

 

The hitbox is just as large as I think, because I know how large it is. I'm not new to this game--however, as a kid, I always thought you could only harm him by hitting the star dead center in him. I am certain many newcomers to the game still think the same thing, and that was the point of my video--to help the inexperienced (in particular, mbd30).

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I think you are missing my point here. Hitting more of the sprite and making contact? Great. Hitting thin air and still making contact? Not so great. When you don't need to physically touch the enemy (again, via an upwards jump-slash) and the hit still registers, that's lazy. It's fun and I prefer it to Ninja Gaiden II, but I don't see the difference in the sequel as a reason to bitch.

 

I'm certainly not missing the point. You are exaggerating the hitbox of the enemies. This was made completely clear to me when you spoke about Jacquio's hitbox. At the 3:43 mark of your video, you say:

 

"He's got a pretty large hitbox. You might not actually look like you hit him, but his hitbox is so big you might actually still take a block of health off of him".

 

Well, actually, no, he doesn't. You are the first and only person I have ever come across who thinks that he does. It's not big compared to that of the sword or the other enemies of the game. And it's especially not large when one considers the size of his sprite.

 

You are praising the change in Part II's hitboxes for being "real". Apparently, that's cool. But if I dare to point out that the change is absurd, blows a chance for consistency in game mechanics (and, thus, gameplay), and stifling to a player like me, then I'm bitching? Right.

 

 

 

Here's a thought--perhaps the devs at the time actually thought they were improving the formula?

 

Here's another thought: It was done to further separate the two games.

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Exaggerating my claims, check. Putting words in my mouth, check. Apparently cannot have a subjective difference in opinion on what constitutes a "large" hitbox, check. Not even going to bother with another response. I suggest most of you do the same--don't feed the troll. :thumbsup:

 

Mbd130, I'm curious to know what your progress is at this point, assuming you have played it again since you last posted.

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Exaggerating my claims, check. Putting words in my mouth, check. Apparently cannot have a subjective difference in opinion on what constitutes a "large" hitbox, check.

 

The only exaggerations between the two of us are your descriptions of the hitboxes in Ninja Gaiden. :thumbsup:

 

What words were put in your mouth? I clicked on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brts4Z3h4ck

 

That's your video, Austin. Check the 3:43 mark. The words you spoke were relayed here verbatim. Everyone else is free to listen for themselves.

 

You've now managed to label my opinion of Part II's hitboxes as "bitching" and also refer to me as a "troll". Nice work.

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I don't know what game people are playing who think this is way easier than the first game. Stage 7-2 in particular is brutal and seems to keep going and going, and and there are so many f!cking birds, and I never have enough ammo to deal with everything. That's where I finally gave up this time around. It's a shame because I wanted to beat this game tonight.

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I don't know what game people are playing who think this is way easier than the first game. Stage 7-2 in particular is brutal and seems to keep going and going, and and there are so many f!cking birds, and I never have enough ammo to deal with everything. That's where I finally gave up this time around. It's a shame because I wanted to beat this game tonight.

 

Just keep at it man. It is faster than the original and as such can be overwhelming at first, but when you become more familiarized with the levels, enemy placement and the flow of working your way through the game, it will start to seem easier. Take advantage of your shadow characters and utilize your special abilities a lot. With proper shadow placement and the right weapons in hand, you can easily clear out an entire screen's worth of enemies with one shot. For bosses, line up your shadows in a way where you can do triple damage. Just keep at it.

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Just keep at it man. It is faster than the original and as such can be overwhelming at first, but when you become more familiarized with the levels, enemy placement and the flow of working your way through the game, it will start to seem easier. Take advantage of your shadow characters and utilize your special abilities a lot. With proper shadow placement and the right weapons in hand, you can easily clear out an entire screen's worth of enemies with one shot. For bosses, line up your shadows in a way where you can do triple damage. Just keep at it.

 

I managed to make it to the final bosses which is a good sign. Now I hope I can get back there.

 

It doesn't replenish your health, but at least there's a health upgrade right before you face them. Of course I died at the boss's first form but I should be able to get the hang of this.

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I managed to make it to the final bosses which is a good sign. Now I hope I can get back there.

 

It doesn't replenish your health, but at least there's a health upgrade right before you face them. Of course I died at the boss's first form but I should be able to get the hang of this.

 

You will. It sounds like you are making much faster progress at this than you did on the first Ninja Gaiden, so look at it that way. :)

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Okay, I was able to defeat Jaquio's first form with the clone. They do make the game much easier. Now I just have to get back and finish off the other two with a decent amount of health. I should be able to beat this tonight.

 

Maybe it is easier than the first one after all.

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Okay, I just beat "Ninja Gaiden II". The second form of the final boss is the worst. The third form is the easiest. Just use the ninja stars to destroy the shell and then go in and spam with your blade until it's dead. This game is very forgiving by having the health refill before the final boss.

 

I change my mind. This is the easier NG if I can beat it in a couple days.

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Okay, I just beat "Ninja Gaiden II". The second form of the final boss is the worst. The third form is the easiest. Just use the ninja stars to destroy the shell and then go in and spam with your blade until it's dead. This game is very forgiving by having the health refill before the final boss.

 

I change my mind. This is the easier NG if I can beat it in a couple days.

Told you. ;)

 

Now you just have 3 to run through. IMHO that game is tougher then 2 but easier then 1.

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