Preview: Ninja Gaiden 2

When Ninja Gaiden 2 finally emerges on June 3 for the Xbox 360, it will include a newly-designed game engine, created from scratch, by Team Ninja and well-known game developer Tomonobu Itagaki (also developer of the Dead or Alive series).

The newest release features an increased battalion of ninja-style weaponry, and a completely new auto-health regeneration system, with extra levels which accelerate interaction with enemies, along with much evolved technical attributes including: an all-new, expanded acrobatic combat system with stylish obliteration techniques, a new auto-healing system that includes semi-permanent damage restored at save points, intricate dramatic story themes, and enhanced new visuals.

As if all the new tricked out techno wizardry weren’t enough, they’ve also added a cinematic feature, which will let players record and upload films of their sword-based adventures to Xbox Live to review and share with other enthusiasts.

Microsoft released in a statement, ’’The Ninja Cinema feature will allow gamers to record Ryu’s combat exploits as movie clips on their Xbox 360. Players’ favorite clips can be viewed at any time, and by coupling them with the black-and-white Akira Kurosawa-style video filter, they will be able to relive their adventures as though they were part of the traditional Japanese art form of the samurai film. The best Ninja Gaiden II players in the world will be able to upload their clips to Xbox LIVE for everyone to download and view, making this new Ninja Cinema feature a great way to accelerate the growth of the Ninja Gaiden II player community around the globe.’’

Most gamers seem to hope that the degree of difficulty remains intact, as it is considered one of the best things about the series. Some are so excited, that they are planning to swap their PS3s for friends’ 360 – in order to have a whack at what some refer to as the “pure genius” combat system. Which may help, in terms of beating someone like flying boss Jaquuio. Of course, much of the new battle gear will be simply used as a device to beat the game with finesse, while imposing one’s own challenges.

In any game development, it is usually dangerous – in terms of mass appeal – to make it so difficult that only a core group of experienced, talented gamers can truly enjoy it. However, given that developer Itagaki is relatively well-known for disliking easily beatable games, it is more than certain that every effort was made, with the Team, to ensure that NG2 delivers what is bound to be a rewardingly challenging experience. That being said, those who have previewed the game, have indicated that an effort has been made to make the game more generally ’playable,’ so that even casual gamers can participate more easily than before.

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