Like its predecessor, this was a game that was frustrating as hell but sort of made up for that with superb cut scenes and a terrific story that you wanted to see come to its conclusion.
The story is the real motivator in these games, as you have to progress in order to watch it all play out. Plus, we didn’t have YouTube back in 1990, so we couldn’t just throw our controllers through a window and just watch the ending online.
This does improve on a few things though.
For one, the graphics are better than the first game. While the sprites of the characters are basically the same, the levels just look nicer, have better colors and seem more varied in style.
Also, the physics have been tweaked to improve the gameplay. You can climb up and down regular walls, which is a big plus.
However, this game hinders these improvements by making the frustrating enemies even more frustrating. Because of that, despite countless hours of trying, I never beat this game back in the day.
I did beat it on this playthrough but it required game genie codes and the save state option on an emulator. But even then, this was still just a lot of frustration.
In the end, this is an improvement over the first game but it’s just as maddening, if not more so.
Pairs well with: all the other Ninja Gaiden games for the NES.