5/23 – Ninja Gaiden 2

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Today is the third day of Sequel Week where we’re talking about sequels to the game’s we’ve covered previously on this show! Today is a classic. Let’s go back to the NES days for Ninja Gaiden 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos. Ninja Gaiden 2 was developed by Tecmo and released on MS-DOS and the NES in 1991.

Like the first game, Ninja Gaiden had drastically different names in each region it was released in. In Japan, it was called Legend of the Ninja Dragon Sword 2: The Demonic Sword of Darkness while in Europe, where Ninja was not seen as an appropriate word for the title of kid’s game, it was called Shadow Warriors 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos. Since later entries in the series would use the name Ninja Gaiden in every region, we will call it by it’s American title, Ninja Gaiden 2.

Ninja Gaiden 2 takes place one year after the original. An evil emperor named Ashtar plans to use the Dark Sword of Chaos to plunge the world into darkness. The US Army contacts Ryu Hayabusa, the hero of the first game, to stop Ashtar and save the world.

Ninja Gaiden 2 is a side-scroller action game similar to the first Ninja Gaiden. Ryu must use his dragon sword and a number of limited use Ninja weapons to defeat enemies. Special weapons include shurikens, windmill shurikens, fire ninja scrolls and fire wheels. Each level, called an Act, is broken up into three separate stages with the last being a boss fight. New to this game is Ryu’s ability to climb up and down walls after grabbing on, as well as being able to use his special weapons while hanging on the walls. Ryu can also make clones of himself to better position himself to attack enemies and bosses.

Ninja Gaiden 2 was well praised upon release, with the added techniques being appreciated by most gamers. It’s high difficulty still proved to be too much for some critics and it has received criticism for that in the years since its release. Some appreciate the added difficulty, however, and it, along with the other two games in the NES trilogy, have maintained a strong cult following ever since.

Thanks so much for listening to the show. If you want to hear more episodes, check out the archives on videogameoftheday.com and also follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for updates and polls and random thoughts about whatever I happen to be playing or watching. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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