Kill or be Killed.


Ever want to be a ninja? Ever want to be the kind of ninja that rages through his enemies, leaving bloody trails of crimson in his wake? Ever want to die a lot?

If you answered yes to even one of the questions above, you’ll enjoy the ninja-fueled slashfest that is Ninja Gaiden 2 (Xbox 360). Read my thoughts after the jump.

I’d like to say that I’m an old-school gamer. That I spent my weekends chugging through Mega Man II/III, falling over and over only to explode into little white ring-things that haunted my dreams with their “PEW-PEW-PEW” noise. And I was. So why can’t I deal with how hard NG2 is?

Now, before people start trolling about how lame I am–that I need to grow a pair, etc., let me explain: the difference between NG2 and Mega Man (and the original NG, for that matter) is that in Mega Man you know exactly what you’re getting into. There’s no sense ifs, ands or buts that the game is going to hand you your head on a platter.

Over and over and over.

But the original Ninja Gaiden (Xbox 360) provided a gradual ramp-up in difficulty that I’m not sure has been done better in any game I’ve played to date. In NG2, we get bosses that explode. Yes, one boss explodes once you deplete his health, likely killing you in the process, with no warning. That–my friends–is about as close to “artificial difficulty” as you can possibly get.

I’m not sure what Team Ninja was thinking (something along the lines of “hahaha…I’m going to L0lz0r when the n00bz g3t bl0w3d up, ROFL!”) but it’s frustrating.

The fundamental problem with NG2 is basically one of magnitude: if you don’t figure out the boss’ pattern within the first few seconds of the battle, you’re royally screwed because of the massive damage they inflict. Instead of playing conservatively and trying to formulate a strategy that will take the boss down effectively, players are treated (read: tortured) with attempting to nonsensically buttonmash against the enemy in hopes a lucky combo will emerge that exploits a weakness that gamers really aren’t given a chance to suss out for themselves.

This being said, NG2 is still an awesome action game. Sweet visuals (though a bit shiny), a revamped weapon set that rounds out Ryu’s armory, and buckets of gore provide those that are willing to suffer through some intense punishment a solid ninja brawler without peer.

And remember: real men don’t just break their controllers. They shatter them.

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3 Responses to “Kill or be Killed.”

  1. I believe the phenomenon you’re grasping for a name for is “Nintendo Hard.” (Warning, you’re about to waste three hours reading TV Tropes. You’re welcome.)

  2. O
    M
    G

    This website is amazing.

  3. Ever want to be a ninja? Ever want to be the kind of ninja that rages through his enemies, leaving bloody trails of crimson in his wake? Ever want to die a lot?

    If you answered yes to even one of the questions above, you’ll enjoy… you know what? Never mind.

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