The Legend of Kage was a terrible video game. Straight up, it was an action platformer that was released for the NES in 1986 and it was garbage. As a young lad my tolerance for bad gameplay and poor controls was relatively high. As someone who somehow butted their head incessantly into the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles till I beat it I think that my aptitude for pain was relatively high. The purchasing of a video game was a big deal in my household, a huge investment that I was expected to get the most out of, lest I cause the ruin of our finances with my wuss-itude. The Legend of Kage was the one game that I bought or rented during the golden years of the NES that was just too terrible for me to beat, let alone give the time of day to.
The Legend of Kage 2 for the DS was Taito's letter of apology, a playable realization of what the Legend of Kage could have been back in the day. This second major game in this series is not going to rock anyones world. It's a competent, well thought out action platformer where Kage actually responds to the commands given to him. The first game I think was trying to give the player a sense of speed and super human ability, something that was beyond the teams abillities as these aspects made Kage well nigh uncontrollable. The Legend of Kage also had the problem that it was not originally designed for Famicom, it was an arcade game first. While Castlevania, Mega Man and Ninja Gaiden showed that it was possible to bring an arcade game to the Famicom or NES, those games dramatically changed the gameplay in many cases over their arcade iterations to make them fun on the hardware. The Legend of Kage? Not so much. The Legend of Kage 2 succeeds in this measure, the length of the levels, the difficulty level and endless continues make the game very playable in short distinct chunks. Taito put a lot of thought in the creation of the second game, and it shows.
Now on to the question at hand. Is there any game that you've played that redeemed a series for you? A game that makes up for the previous transgressions of the previous games of the series, even if only a little.