Basic Idea: Save Irene again while blowing in the wind.
Review: I remember for my 10th birthday weekend, my best friend came over. It wasn’t time to open presents yet (my birthday wasn’t until Monday), but my parents gave me one before hand because my friend was over. That game was Ninja Gaiden II. I had played the previously one to death and was anxiously awaiting the sequel. I was a bit disappointed.
One of the hallmarks of the first game, the plot and cut scenes, is possibly better in this version. And there’s a few added features that are really nice. The ability to climb walls is a relief. There is a wider variety of power-ups (and the shuriken is now the default), including the shadow ninjas who follow you, do what you do (including using power-ups), and cannot be hurt. Sometimes they can clutter up the screen, but they can be used very effectively to get out of sticky situations, or attack bosses from a distance. Sadly, the jump’n’slash power-up is gone, a very welcome tool when falling onto a ledge with enemies.
What drops this game so far down the list for me is the unfair difficulty present in some of the levels. One level has the wind randomly howling at your front or back. There’s nothing like timing a long jump, then having the wind knock you into a pit. You thought the eagles were tough to avoid in the first game? Try doing so in the wind. Or how about in the dark? One level puts you in near blackness except for when lightning strikes, giving you brief visibility.
If you loved the first game, it’s still worth picking this one up. But be prepared for increased difficulty. The third game, which won’t have another mention in this list, is harder still and worth playing only with a game genie.