Ninja Gaiden 2


Key events

If by a man's work shall ye know him, Tomonobu Itagaki is a smashed Xbox 360 control pad. In fact, he's a special kind of smashed Xbox 360 control pad. He's the kind that was desecrated in a frenzied tantrum of bile and frustration, its destruction soundtracked by a stream of vitriolic swearwords so extreme any senior citizens within earshot would spontaneously combust.

2011 is set to be the year Team Ninja emerges from the shadow cast by the departure of Tomonobu Itagaki with new games in the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden franchises. Dimensions, the first DOA fighting game in over five years, is a launch window title for the 3DS, and Ninja Gaiden 3, still without announced platforms, has been described as a reboot. Exciting times.

Team Ninja not missing Itagaki

Studio has "most powerful team in history."

Team Ninja currently boasts "the most powerful team in history" and has improved since the acrimonious departure of Tomonobu Itagaki, studio boss Yosuke Hayashi has claimed.

Tecmo: Ninja Gaiden will return

"That calling is already here."

Team Ninja's new boss has dropped a big hint that Ninja Gaiden will return - and that it will be a multi-platform game when it does.

Tecmo says no thanks to Square Enix

Would rather merge with Koei, actually.

Ninja Gaiden developer Tecmo has rejected the takeover bid made by Square Enix, deciding instead to concentrate efforts on a possible merger with Koei.

Kamiya wants to "exceed" God of War

Starts by getting into a fight with Itagaki.

Devil May Cry creator and Bayonetta designer Hideki Kamiya has said he wants to "make a game that exceeds God of War's sequel".

Ninja Gaiden II sales top 1 million

Ninja Gaiden II sales top 1 million

In less than three months since release.

Microsoft has announced that sales of Ninja Gaiden II have topped the 1 million mark.

The Xbox 360 exclusive was released in June. Since then more than 412,000 copies have been shifted in the US alone, racking up USD 25 million in sales.

But is it any good? Yes, in a sort of 7/10 way, reckons our reviewer. It's "the most balletic, explosive combat game we've seen in years", but don't expect it to be as good as the previous game.

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Xbox 360 DLC Roundup

Xbox 360 DLC Roundup

Ninja Gaiden 2, Halo 3, Army of Two, Lost Odyssey, Puzzle Quest, N+, Rock Band, GH III.

It's been a while since we last did this - just over four months in fact - so it seems like a good time to dip back into Microsoft's Game Store to see if anything of interest has been added. This won't be a complete list of every new bit of downloadable content released since April, but rather a closer look at the bits and pieces that caught our eye - whether it's for all the right, or all the wrong, reasons.

As always, we'll be breaking down the cost of each item in real money so you can gauge the relative value of your precious Microsoft Points, and also giving you the lowdown on what you get for your outlay and whether it's worth the effort.

Ninja Gaiden 2

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Ninja Gaiden 2 demo flips onto Live

But not in Germany, Canada, US.

The Ninja Gaiden 2 demo has flipped onto Xbox Live Marketplace and sliced some heads off just in time to be overshadowed by its creator's fiery exit from Tecmo.

Ninja Gaiden's Itagaki quits Tecmo

Reportedly sues and slags off company.

Tomonobu Itagaki has reportedly left Tecmo under a cloud, leaving a hefty lawsuit and a personal attack on company president Yoshimi Yasuda in his wake.

Ninja Gaiden 2: Gameplay Video Roundup

When everyone else appears obsessed with making games more 'accessible' (boo!) and 'family friendly' (hiss!), what a pleasure it is to welcome back to the gaming fold Tomonobu Itagaki's unapologetically hardcore take on the veteran Ninja Gaiden series.

The 2004 Xbox-exclusive revival of the action-adventure boasted a complex but brutally unforgiving combat system which caused many a gamer's resolve to collapse in the face of the massive challenge. But for the brave of heart (and vast of patience) who persevered and mastered its intracacies, it became one of the defining action titles of the last generation.

It seems apt, then, that the much-hyped sequel should once again appear exclusively on an Xbox console - a system that cannot shake its hardcore reputation, try as Microsoft's marketing ninjas might. But it's a tag that developer Team Ninja sports with pride - and celebrates with a sea of crimson carrying forth the fleshy remains of a thousand severed limbs.

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Ninja Gaiden 2

Ninja Gaiden 2

Come and have a go.

My living room is full of twenty-something gamers, and they're watching a friend play through the first level of Ninja Gaiden 2. The air is filled with laughter - hooting, cackling, whooping laughter, punctuated with sharp intakes of breath and observations that, well, everything looks like it hurts. Really quite a lot.

Ninja Gaiden 2 is a spectacle. Its predecessor has come to be remembered for a steep but perfectly pitched difficulty curve - but firing up NG2 for the first time is a reminder of just how cinematic and exciting the whole thing is, too. With Ninja Gaiden, we came for the eye-catching, beautiful combat, and stayed for the challenge. Ninja Gaiden 2 ramps up the first part of that formula to a whole new level.

Graphically, of course, it's a stunner, but it's the battle animation and choreography that really pulls in your attention. Ryu's adventure this time around is a far more brutal and violent than his last outing, which featured the occasional decapitation (excised from the European release, you may recall) as a finishing move. Here, the bloodlust goes into overdrive - and with it, Team Ninja's brilliant, over-the-top battle animations.

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FeatureHistory of Ninja Gaiden

Twenty years of pain and pyjamas.

Ninja Gaiden is the franchise that never was, a famous videogame brand that has clocked up over ten titles without ever adhering to any consistent continuity. These are games that play almost identically, yet often have little in common beyond the name of the lead character and a propensity for fiendish difficulty levels. But still they endure, most recently revived and resuscitated by the mercurial talents of Tomonobu Itagaki and Team Ninja. Today gamers fidget in anticipation to see what the outspoken development wizard has come up with. Two decades ago, however, Ninja Gaiden was just getting started, launching in the arcades and on the NES in a peculiar criss-cross release pattern.

Ninja Gaiden II

World of gorecraft.

Team Ninja main man Tomonobu Itagaki reckons Ninja Gaiden II will be "the world's premier action game", and as hyperbolic as that sounds, there's a good chance it will be. The brand's certainly built on firm foundations - back in March 2004, Tom reckoned the Xbox original was "one of the finest action games ever made". But that was then, and plenty of challengers have come along since that have been even more spectacular - not to mention far more accessible. Ninja Gaiden could give most hardcore gamers a bloody nose at ten paces.

EGTV: Ninja Gaiden 2 trailer

EGTV: Ninja Gaiden 2 trailer

Exclusive footage and shots.

Are you still wondering what Ninja Gaiden 2 looks like? You mustn't be very good at the Internet then, because it seems to be everywhere at the moment. Never mind - watch our new and exclusive Ninja Gaiden 2 trailer on Eurogamer TV instead. And then look at our new and exclusive Ninja Gaiden 2 screenshots.

The trailer is comprised entirely of gameplay footage - nearly four minutes of it, in fact - and begins with lots of extremely gory footage of Ryu slicing people's legs and heads off in a friendly-looking port.

The action then switches to a room circled by a big snaky decoration, although your eyes will quickly give up trying to make that out in favour of the six-armed arachnid horror that Ryu's involved in a battle to slaughter. Which he does of course. Nastily. After that, more outdoor bits follow, and it's all quite violent. Don't spoil your tea.

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Itagaki doesn't feel censored

Backs classification systems.

Team Ninja boss Tomonobu Itagaki says that he doesn't feel "censored" by ratings boards, and believes that the difficult work undertaken by organisations like the ESRB and PEGI to classify what people find offensive, or too violent, is very positive for videogames as a whole.