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Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (DOS)

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3.1
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Written by  :  Zovni (9360)
Written on  :  Nov 12, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars
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Summary

A severely impaired version of a classic

The Good

The sequel to Ninja Gaiden (aka Ryukenden in japan) stands to this day as the best game in the trilogy, featuring a tighter, animé-like storyline with requisite plot-twists, showdowns with enemies you thought defeated and startling revelations amidst a rather dark and forebonding save-the-world plot revolving around the resurrection of a Lovecraftian demon. Cool uh? The kickass side-scrolling gameplay introduced in the original is improved with new challenges, power-ups and levels. So a port to dos would be a no-brainer right? uh.... well,

The levels and features are there, more enemies, ninja arts and cool bosses to defeat. While the graphics got botched animation and detail-wise they are much more colorful and the cutscenes are way more impressive than in the original nes game.

Last but not least you can save your game anywhere now which is a pretty good feature.

The Bad

They botched the port. It's that simple.

First of all, Ninja Gaiden 2's gameplay was a fast and thrilling side-scroller action game a-la Castlevania or Megaman, so fast and smooth gameplay were a must that did happen on the original Nes version. For the Dos port the whole game has been significantly slowed down dulling the experience significantly. The graphics while more colorful and vivid were completely redone, meaning the great animations of the original have now been chopped up into jerky undetailed movements (and I'm not even going to mention screw ups like Ryu's sudden costume change). The sound is absolutely hideous, filled with generic videogame "beeps" that bear no resemblance to the great music and sfx of the original.

Sure, the end result isn't a terrible mess like on other cases (see The Simpsons/TMNT arcade games) but one good look at the original is enough to see just how much you are missing out on.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for the DOS version of Ninja Gaiden is that it's taken a great action platformer and turned into a merely average diversion. Granted, the final product still has the "Ninja Gaiden feel" and it actually gives it's share of simpleminded joys, but if you want the real deal get youself nesticle and find the rom for the original (or track down the excellent Ninja Gaiden Trilogy cart for SNES), there you'll see just how good ninja demon-slaying can be.