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RTTP: Ninja Gaiden 2 (Xbox ver.)

SkylineRKR

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Jun 22, 2011
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So yeah I played this on and off since I got the Series S last November, it was pulled from GP in a dick move, probably to boost Master Collection, but I bought it anyway. Kinda expensive digital only for such an old game but hey, its a timeless classic and the boost makes it feel like a bonafide PS4/X1 game. On S its 1440p/60/HDR. There are worse remasters being offered for full retail price.

So yeah the story is, I had an Xbox 360 from early 2006 onward and NG2 was actually one of the last games I played on it as the thing broke on me for the third time or so. I got it fixed and sold it before I could make some good progress. I bought a PS3 which was heavily discounted at the time. So I was thrilled when NGS2 was announced on PS3, since the 360 game was being published by MS I never saw this coming. I didn't really like NG2 on 360 to begin with. It lacked the polish Black and OG had, performance issues, locks, just a very sloppy game for Tecmo's standards at the time (though DoAX2 was a piece of shit imo, perhaps a bit of foreshadowing but I digress). There was however a decent game underneath. I loved the gore, the raw violence that didn't hold anything back. I was kind of gutted Sigma 2 cut corners here, and didn't stop at nerfing shuriken spam but removed like 70% of the enemies. So there was no perfect version of NG2 so to speak.

Until Phil Spencer boosted this shit for the Xbox One. The game has no slowdown anymore, no low ass near-SD resolution, no muted colors. The controls are perfect. Some fundamentals are still broken, the projectile spam is obscene in later levels and not fun on higher difficulties. Some (a lot of) bosses are trash. Some are there out to just troll you. The Armadillos. There is never a warning and never the need to block after beating an enemy to prevent an insta game over. Dashing away for an exploding enemy, sure. But not this shit. With explosive shuriken these guys are a joke, the rematch took me like 30 seconds in total on both. The same goes for the Zedonius rematch, he took me 10 tries. Until he slammed down and I combo'd him a few times, killing him within 20 seconds. For some reason Alexei took me numerous retries as well but is really weak to the claws and he falls in seconds against them. Its a bit weird. When you win its not like you accomplished something, its because the enemy didn't do a shitty airborne routine and didn't abuse grabs. The game does dick you with save point placements as well (there is none after Zedonius and if you just walk the lava, well, gg lol). And shops. After the second Volf encounter I had no heals and not enough money (should've restarted, hes easy, UT the shit out of the horses first), so I had to kind of cheese the annoying hallways with cyborgs, dragons and then those horses. The Scythe's UT is kind of broken though. Same shit happened against the climbing boss, who is really easy if you ascend quickly and I would have an easy time against the final boss if I had those 2 or 3 heals left or so. In general the game isn't hard on Normal. You can beat it with one weapon, using basic moves and not looking at the move list. But if you do, and use launchers, guillotine throw, combos that delimb, which means OT, which means essence, then you can get good at it.

There is a lot of bad stuff in the later half of the game, I hated the level with the swamp and the cave for example. I think Sigma 2 simply removed all bad shit there which is good. Early game I only hated the ghost fish boss, which was made far too easy in Sigma 2. In general I prefer to fight ninjas since you can launch them, and slice them into shabu-shabu.

Still, I think this is the best Ninja Gaiden game out there. Its just that I prefer the speed, gore and abilities of this game over the original which feels mundane in comparison but is still awesome. I kind of liked how they changed the levels, I don't mind a bit of searching but I felt NG1 had a bit too much of it. NG2 has streamlined this, but you still have to collect the odd key from a side hallway, blow up a wall, or beat the odd semi hidden encounter for an item. Sigma 2 went way overboard and removed any kind of keys I think.

If you have an Xbox One or higher, don't get Master Collection, get Black and 2. Do it.
 
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Marty-McFly

Member
Jul 2, 2021
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I'm playing through it for the first time right now.

My thoughts.

The Good

It's basically a retread of the first game with some cool new features and weapons, so that pretty much already makes it a high level action game

The Bad


I haven't even made it to the later part of the game yet but it's just not as good a game as NG Black in any respect so far: the pacing, level design and enemy encounters just don't seem as well thought out.

The Ugly

This game compared to NG Black
 

MasterDerico

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Feb 1, 2020
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Did u guys read "Xbox version" on the title ? It's a superior game than all the other versions and remasters.

Well, NG2 vanilla xbox 360 version is one of my favorite games of ALL TIME!
WHAT A GAME!
 
Mar 16, 2021
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NG2 is one of my favorite 360 games. It wasn’t well optimized on the original hardware (since it tried to push enemy count so much), but playing it on Xbox One and especially Series X is significantly better, with the Series X being the definitive experience.
 
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Fashionably Late

Neo Member
Nov 23, 2020
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I also played this on Game Pass when I received my Series X in November. I had played through OG Ninja Gaiden on my Xbox back in the day, and I had played this one only briefly in the 360 days. I absolutely loved playing through this on the Series X; it looked great, ran smoothly, and was very satisfying to play. I really miss games like this today. It seems like everything today has a much more complicated system for weapons, abilities, and upgrades which can be fine, but it was nice to play a game where your progress is more based on your skill with the different weapons rather than crafting some item or progressing through a skill tree.
 

SkylineRKR

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Jun 22, 2011
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Im playing this on S as well and also playing Master Collection on PS5. Its crazy how much worse Master Collection is.

I might buy it on sale one day. NGS2 is worse but its fun to compare. I did like the missions with the woman characters. Didn't care for their levels in the main campaign, its long enough as is.

NGS2 doesn't do everything worse. The armadillo fight in the volcano has been replaced by Marbus who is much better (and harder I think, those 2 guys fall extremely quickly in fact, but they're just shit). The nerfed the final few levels which wasn't bad. I think the final bosses were made a bit less obnoxious as well. They tend to fly around a lot in the original, which means you can't do shit. The dual dragon was replaced by one dragon and is a ground battle which is far more fun.
 
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Punished Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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I might buy it on sale one day. NGS2 is worse but its fun to compare. I did like the missions with the woman characters. Didn't care for their levels in the main campaign, its long enough as is.

NGS2 doesn't do everything worse. The armadillo fight in the volcano has been replaced by Marbus who is much better (and harder I think, those 2 guys fall extremely quickly in fact, but they're just shit). The nerfed the final few levels which wasn't bad. I think the final bosses were made a bit less obnoxious as well. They tend to fly around a lot in the original, which means you can't do shit. The dual dragon was replaced by one dragon and is a ground battle which is far more fun.
I like having both versions as well. Fun to compare them and play the extra content.
 

stn

Member
Jun 15, 2012
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Its a good action game for sure, I just don't like it as much as Black. That said, I do think the combat is better but everything else is worse.
 

assurdum

Banned
Aug 14, 2020
3,799
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So yeah I played this on and off since I got the Series S last November, it was pulled from GP in a dick move, probably to boost Master Collection, but I bought it anyway. Kinda expensive digital only for such an old game but hey, its a timeless classic and the boost makes it feel like a bonafide PS4/X1 game. On S its 1440p/60/HDR. There are worse remasters being offered for full retail price.

So yeah the story is, I had an Xbox 360 from early 2006 onward and NG2 was actually one of the last games I played on it as the thing broke on me for the third time or so. I got it fixed and sold it before I could make some good progress. I bought a PS3 which was heavily discounted at the time. So I was thrilled when NGS2 was announced on PS3, since the 360 game was being published by MS I never saw this coming. I didn't really like NG2 on 360 to begin with. It lacked the polish Black and OG had, performance issues, locks, just a very sloppy game for Tecmo's standards at the time (though DoAX2 was a piece of shit imo, perhaps a bit of foreshadowing but I digress). There was however a decent game underneath. I loved the gore, the raw violence that didn't hold anything back. I was kind of gutted Sigma 2 cut corners here, and didn't stop at nerfing shuriken spam but removed like 70% of the enemies. So there was no perfect version of NG2 so to speak.

Until Phil Spencer boosted this shit for the Xbox One. The game has no slowdown anymore, no low ass near-SD resolution, no muted colors. The controls are perfect. Some fundamentals are still broken, the projectile spam is obscene in later levels and not fun on higher difficulties. Some (a lot of) bosses are trash. Some are there out to just troll you. The Armadillos. There is never a warning and never the need to block after beating an enemy to prevent an insta game over. Dashing away for an exploding enemy, sure. But not this shit. With explosive shuriken these guys are a joke, the rematch took me like 30 seconds in total on both. The same goes for the Zedonius rematch, he took me 10 tries. Until he slammed down and I combo'd him a few times, killing him within 20 seconds. For some reason Alexei took me numerous retries as well but is really weak to the claws and he falls in seconds against them. Its a bit weird. When you win its not like you accomplished something, its because the enemy didn't do a shitty airborne routine and didn't abuse grabs. The game does dick you with save point placements as well (there is none after Zedonius and if you just walk the lava, well, gg lol). And shops. After the second Volf encounter I had no heals and not enough money (should've restarted, hes easy, UT the shit out of the horses first), so I had to kind of cheese the annoying hallways with cyborgs, dragons and then those horses. The Scythe's UT is kind of broken though. Same shit happened against the climbing boss, who is really easy if you ascend quickly and I would have an easy time against the final boss if I had those 2 or 3 heals left or so. In general the game isn't hard on Normal. You can beat it with one weapon, using basic moves and not looking at the move list. But if you do, and use launchers, guillotine throw, combos that delimb, which means OT, which means essence, then you can get good at it.

There is a lot of bad stuff in the later half of the game, I hated the level with the swamp and the cave for example. I think Sigma 2 simply removed all bad shit there which is good. Early game I only hated the ghost fish boss, which was made far too easy in Sigma 2. In general I prefer to fight ninjas since you can launch them, and slice them into shabu-shabu.

Still, I think this is the best Ninja Gaiden game out there. Its just that I prefer the speed, gore and abilities of this game over the original which feels mundane in comparison but is still awesome. I kind of liked how they changed the levels, I don't mind a bit of searching but I felt NG1 had a bit too much of it. NG2 has streamlined this, but you still have to collect the odd key from a side hallway, blow up a wall, or beat the odd semi hidden encounter for an item. Sigma 2 went way overboard and removed any kind of keys I think.

If you have an Xbox One or higher, don't get Master Collection, get Black and 2. Do it.
After reading the whole post I never expected to read NG2 as the better NG game in the end. I played both NGS2 and NG2, outside some nips and tucks, I don't agree with the general notion which playing NG2 the consideration about this game changes radically; the sequel still remain a major letdown compared the prequel and it's not absolutely to the same league. Not bad at all, sure, not surely the garbage seen in NG3 (it's really disgusting and made me reconsider my disappointment for NG2) but for me NG1 still remain the perfection and the pinnacle of the series, even in the NGS1 form which is still superb.
 
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SafeOrAlone

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May 22, 2018
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Love this game. I too recently played the original version on Series X, and it was a blast. I was starting to think I even preferred it to "Black", until I finally went back and played Black on hard mode, realizing that it gives you all new enemies to fight. Love this series.
 
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Punished Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
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After reading the whole post I never expected to read NG2 as the better NG game in the end. I played both NGS2 and NG2, outside some nips and tucks, I don't agree with the general notion which playing NG2 the consideration about this game changes radically; the sequel still remain a major letdown compared the prequel and it's not absolutely to the same league. Not bad at all, sure, not surely the garbage seen in NG3 (it's really disgusting and made me reconsider my disappointment for NG2) but for me NG1 still remain the perfection and the pinnacle of the series, even in the NGS1 form which is still superb.
I've always thought 2 is far superior. Playing Black is so much simpler, and so much slower in comparison. The obliteration techniques are just a massive addition to the combat flow. Triple flying swallows, many more weapons. Vastly improved graphics. If you actually are focused on the combat, NG2 is leaps and bounds better.

The bosses are a little better in NGB though, and as a whole, the game has a more refined and balanced difficulty curve. NG2 does have some unfair difficulty spikes.
 
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assurdum

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I've always thought 2 is far superior. Playing Black is so much simpler, and so much slower in comparison. The obliteration techniques are just a massive addition to the combat flow. Triple flying swallows, many more weapons. Vastly improved graphics. If you actually are focused on the combat, NG2 is leaps and bounds better.

The bosses are a little better in NGB though, and as a whole, the game has a more refined and balanced difficulty curve. NG2 does have some unfair difficulty spikes.
Don't like at all the combat system in NG2 honestly. You practically can't use some combo against some enemies which is really frustrating. I don't like most of the update in the combat mechanics frankly (as the final execution, spectacular is spectacular but unbalanced too much some encounter) and I add the ugliness and the flatness of some levels background and the boss fight. I can't find any major flaw in the prequel personally as the sequel.
 
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BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Dec 9, 2012
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I really might buy a series x just to play these old games. NGB is a top 5 videogame of all time. NG2 is excellent as well.
 
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assurdum

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I really might buy a series x just to play these old games. NGB is a top 5 videogame of all time. NG2 is excellent as well.
I don't think NG master collection is that bad offer. At 19,99 you should buy it. NGS2 at higher difficult is very similar to the original, the enemies counts rise vertically, of course the censored purple bullshit still remain .
 

assurdum

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Ninja Gaiden 2 or Sigma 2 is MUCH better than the first one.
The platforming in 1 is disgusting.
Opinion 🤷‍♀️ Still I find the first, miles better and more balanced in most of his aspects. Not sure where are all that platforming though. It's very minimal. Well I guess the final level (the volcano) isn't it exactly enjoyable but outside that, I hadn't any problems with the platforming in the whole game and I barely remember such part.
 
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SkylineRKR

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I started Black yesterday, and I quit at Chapter 4. Its really solid and sometimes I can't believe its an OG Xbox game.

1 has some light platforming, more than 2. It doesn't really work well but there isn't that much. I do like the wall run jumps to reach higher parts but both games have them. 1 has some shit like enemies shooting while you need to cross a gap but the bow kills minions in 2 hits or so.

Its more cumbersome to play than 2 though. There is no quick menu, you have to pick up things with the attack button. The combat is way slower, though I didn't upgrade yet. But the enemies are more on the defensive and are in lesser numbers. UT takes a long ass time to charge without ki, which isn't bad since the enemy numbers don't really overwhelm you. Level design of the airship was pretty good, though I was surprised at how small the level actually is and there are barely any fights. Dynamo was a fun boss, he has a set pattern and it takes skill to beat him. You need to be in close range so that he won't hammer you with shots. Then bait his grab and punish. Its repetitive, but you can kill him without being hit if you time it well. In 2 you can obviously kill bosses without being hit too but it feels more random to the average player.

But for just some random slashing I rather boot up 2 since it puts you into a bloodbath from the get go. I might get mission mode lol.

Itagaki 2004:

IGN: What do you say to those lesser gamers who complain that Ninja Gaiden is too hard?

Itagaki: Just fight instead of complaining.
 
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SkylineRKR

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I beat Black also. Funny is that both games took me exactly 9 hours each.

I def. like NG2 more. The controls are far better, there is better crowd control and the bow is much better also. NGB starts on a high note, the first level is amazing. But gradually there is a lot of backtracking and the enemies become more annoying. NG2 has issues with projectile spam, well, I don't like the bazookas in 1 either. The comms tower is terrible. In fact, the entire military base is shit with its laser drones, tank and heli bosses. The underwater chapter is awful. The magma cave is hideous. I actually found it a plus that Sigma got rid of the ore collecting there. The skeleton enemies in the catacombs are horrible, and the dragons are shit. They can't be launched or anything, and their grab has super armor. I made short work of them with dabilahro. I think the final bosses are awful as well. The one on the platform and the skeleton barrage, good lord (I just inazuma'd the fuck out of him). Even Dagra Dai and the Archfiend are better. The Dark Disciple is relentless but you just need to pressure him with A,Y and then its a short fight, didn't even use a heal. Also fuck the ghost fish.

This franchise has bad boss battles in general. Alma 1 is good, Murai is good, Doku 1 is good, Marbus is good. But those worms, dragons, Paz Zuu, Yotunfrau etc are all stupid.

I like how 2 got rid of the backtracking and most of the platforming because it doesn't really work well. I think that on Normal, 2 is easier overall. You also get health back after every bout and UT's are far, far more powerful. 2 has better pacing for sure. Its ridiculous how good Black looks in HD though, and its not like its completely overhauled. The Xbox was just a beast, also Orta looks amazing today.
 
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Naked Lunch

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Black and NG2 are still the best 3D action games ever made. No nonsense, no pissing around from the jump - even regular enemies will fuck you up.
Its been 13 years since NG2 but the combat still feels so smooth, fast, and precise. Infinitely replayable.
The only games even remotely close are DmC 3 and 4.
God of War, Hellblade, even Bayonetta are so fucking weak in comparison.