Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
by Polly



This review is for all the pussy, girly, dainty little dishpan handed, whiney, sniveling, testosterone impaired, balless, crybaby males out there reading my site. That's right, every God damn male reading my site right now. I'd have used the word "men" but I think given your all of your "complete opposite of anything having to do with being a man"-ness, it doesn't fit. And I'm just not that fucking good of a liar. And if I was, I wouldn't waste a lie on that. Just deal, and thank me for the remedy I'm about to dispense.

Ninja Gaiden II, you fucks! The cure for your feminine disease is here! It's here to grab you by the balls and slam you all over your room with its unrivaled masculinity. NINJA GAIDEN II WANTS YOU To not be a pussy anymore.

Ninja Gaiden started out as a bit of a crappy beat em up in the arcade. It didn't really offer anything spectacular. In fact, it was down-right boring. When Tecmo decided to do a home version of the game for NES, they remade the game entirely, turning it into a side scrolling action platformer. It worked into their favor, because the original Ninja Gaiden was definitely one of the best games of its time. Ninja Gaiden II, took the formula of the original NES game, and basically repeated it, but the result was a much tighter and polished game.

Bring a fork and a spoon to the table (BECAUSE YOU EAT GRAPHICS RIGHT? I'm sure there could have been some kind of "graphical feast" line here somewhere) as you load up Ninja Gaiden II, because you're in for experiencing some of the best graphics seen on the NES, EVER! Most of the game's beauty can be found in the backgrounds, which are marvelously done and show what's really an amazing amount of detail for an NES game. Every stage brings one to three interesting new environments and all are represented very well. And cutscenes! Yes CUTSCENES! Not the kind of cutscenes we've grown accustomed to in today's games. Ninja Gaiden tells a story (another rarity in most NES games) through the use of anime-inspired, anamatic-type animation in between stages. The Ninja Gaiden series is probably the first time I ever remember seeing a close up of the in-game characters. These cutscenes were illustrated nicely and featured a fair bit of animation. They're not spectacular by today's standards, but back in 1989-90 these things were the shit.

Ninja Gaiden II has the best soundtrack of any NES game ever. Don't even fucking argue. Stage themes fit the action so well and the "mood" pieces in the cutscenes are done to perfection, bring out the dark tone that the game was trying to give. They had something like five audio channels to work with, and they're all put to damn good use here. I can't think of one tune in the game that isn't memorable or catchy. The sound effects are just there. They never really wowed me or anything, but they do fit the actions they represent well. Ryu's sword sounds more like paper being torn in half than a sword swinging would probably be my only real complaint about them.

And now the part you've been waiting for. The gameplay. I'll put it out there right now, just so we have it out of the way. Ninja Gaiden II is fucking HARD. It's going to rip your balls out through your mouth and shove them up your nose. Ninja Gaiden isn't cheap, it's just tuned enough, so that it expects near perfection of the player. And don't give me that sissy, pansy bullshit about the controls not doing what you want them to. Ryu controls like a fucking dream. Wall, jumping, scaling, jumping and slicing are done with ease. Enemy placement is very strategic. You're often faced with situations where you'll have to find just the right order in which to dispatch of the enemies on screen in order to progress. Sometimes running and jumping over your enemies might be the best option, and sometimes the game will force you into tight quarters making you time your hits to perfection or down into the pit our blue little ninja buddy will go. Ryu's ninja skills are strategically placed throughout stages and are sometimes the big piece of the puzzle to getting yourself out of a tough situation. You have to be patient if you want to get anywhere in this game. And there's time for all the patience in the world since you have an infinite set of continues with which to beat the game. Bosses can appear a bit on the cheap side, as a few of them leave such a little window of opportunity to attack them that even I felt cheated at times. But once you find the pattern the boss uses, learning to exploit that window of opportunity becomes easier and easier. The game is long, really long. Seven stages with at least two to four sections apiece counting the boss room. It could have really benefitted from a password save system.

This is the game you wanna get good at and invite your friends over to impress them with your elite fucking skills, laughing as they take the gamepad trying to mimic you. Simply one of the best NES experiences ever and should not be missed.

Hear that? That's puberty finally screaming toward you at 915mph.















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