Ninja's arent as cool as you think.

Posted by Sweep (8950 posts) -

I'm one of those types of gamers who likes to stick up for the artistic merits of computer games in random internet forums. Blogging comes naturally to me, which is why I now have a big chunky catalogue of TL:DR blog posts about why Braid is the best game ever made and why anyone who doesn't enjoy GTA4 has no soul.

BE THAT AS IT MAY

I decided to play some Ninja Gaiden 2 recently. Ninja Gaiden 2 received high review scores and was welcomed by the gaming community with open arms. It was for this reason I decided to purchase my first ever 3D combo-oriented fighting game for my 360 and start mashing the fuck out of my X and Y buttons.
Now, when the game is in full flow, it looks stunning. It's a blur of flashing lights and sharp objects which are repeatedly put to graphic use. I played for over 6 hours and I still have no idea what the fuck is going on. If there was some sort of tutorial then it was lost on me. My strategy of blindly pressing X and Y as quickly as possible seemed to randomly succeed and fail at each fight I was thrust into - meaning my progression was rather jolting. There was no-one to teach me strategies, effective combos or weapons for each unique enemy type. The game gave me fuck all advice and then still punished me brutally for any mistakes I had made.

Now, I'm no fucking pussy. I play my games at a steady Hardcore. I like to think I am open to all types of games and have enough mental capacity to encorperate a great many playing styles. If there was some form of learning curve to Ninja Gaiden 2, I would have climbed it. I am currently at a stage in the game where I feel no more proffessional than I did when I first stepped into the spiky boots of mr Hayabusa. Is that my fault? No. It's the games fault.
 
Infuriatingly, a lot of people seem to find a solistic sanity in the swirling madness of Ninja Gaiden games. Apparently, there is a high level of skill which apparently I have not been introduced to. Unfortunately without it the game is complete bullshit.
"You must be doing it wrong then" said my friend Spence. Fuck that. I'm not trying to do it wrong. I want to succeed. The game never taught me how to do it right. Denis Dyack told people that if they didn't like Too Human they were "playing it wrong" and he was being a twat. That's just a sulky way of trying to compensate for not making your game engaging enough for new players. Fuck you Too Human, and fuck you Ninja Gaiden 2.
 
Games are art, no doubt. But sometimes you have to take a step back and realise that just because it's in an art museum doesn't stop it from being a pile of shit on the floor. Sometimes it's not art. Sometimes it just sucks.
 
Thanks For Reading
Love Sweep
#1 Posted by Sweep (8950 posts) -

I'm one of those types of gamers who likes to stick up for the artistic merits of computer games in random internet forums. Blogging comes naturally to me, which is why I now have a big chunky catalogue of TL:DR blog posts about why Braid is the best game ever made and why anyone who doesn't enjoy GTA4 has no soul.

BE THAT AS IT MAY

I decided to play some Ninja Gaiden 2 recently. Ninja Gaiden 2 received high review scores and was welcomed by the gaming community with open arms. It was for this reason I decided to purchase my first ever 3D combo-oriented fighting game for my 360 and start mashing the fuck out of my X and Y buttons.
Now, when the game is in full flow, it looks stunning. It's a blur of flashing lights and sharp objects which are repeatedly put to graphic use. I played for over 6 hours and I still have no idea what the fuck is going on. If there was some sort of tutorial then it was lost on me. My strategy of blindly pressing X and Y as quickly as possible seemed to randomly succeed and fail at each fight I was thrust into - meaning my progression was rather jolting. There was no-one to teach me strategies, effective combos or weapons for each unique enemy type. The game gave me fuck all advice and then still punished me brutally for any mistakes I had made.

Now, I'm no fucking pussy. I play my games at a steady Hardcore. I like to think I am open to all types of games and have enough mental capacity to encorperate a great many playing styles. If there was some form of learning curve to Ninja Gaiden 2, I would have climbed it. I am currently at a stage in the game where I feel no more proffessional than I did when I first stepped into the spiky boots of mr Hayabusa. Is that my fault? No. It's the games fault.
 
Infuriatingly, a lot of people seem to find a solistic sanity in the swirling madness of Ninja Gaiden games. Apparently, there is a high level of skill which apparently I have not been introduced to. Unfortunately without it the game is complete bullshit.
"You must be doing it wrong then" said my friend Spence. Fuck that. I'm not trying to do it wrong. I want to succeed. The game never taught me how to do it right. Denis Dyack told people that if they didn't like Too Human they were "playing it wrong" and he was being a twat. That's just a sulky way of trying to compensate for not making your game engaging enough for new players. Fuck you Too Human, and fuck you Ninja Gaiden 2.
 
Games are art, no doubt. But sometimes you have to take a step back and realise that just because it's in an art museum doesn't stop it from being a pile of shit on the floor. Sometimes it's not art. Sometimes it just sucks.
 
Thanks For Reading
Love Sweep
#2 Posted by lemon360 (1102 posts) -

Hi Sweep.
#3 Posted by Sweep (8950 posts) -
@lemon360: Hi Lemon :D
#4 Posted by torus (1097 posts) -

You don't mash buttons in Ninja Gaiden. That IS the wrong way to play it. Do yourself a favor, pick up Ninja Gaiden Black (xbox), and learn how to play from that (play on ninja dog mode, if you can't survive). Then pick up NG2 again. 
 
Ninja Gaiden has always been fast, and very difficult. I requires a degree of timing that some people don't have. I played NG: Black on Master Ninja mode, and it took me 33 tries to beat Alma the second time. 
 
There is a method to the madness- it's less chaotic than you think.

#5 Edited by Sweep (8950 posts) -
@torus said:

"  There is a method to the madness- it's less chaotic than you think. "

I'm sure there is, but it's hardly accessible. I wasn't asking for it to be easy - but there is bugger all instruction as to what I should be doing to succeed. If there is a specific combo that counters a specific attack then how am I supposed to learn it?
 
EDIT: If the solution is to play 2 dated prequels then, again, fuck that. That's not a solution, that's another problem. If playing those games is mandatory to succeed they should have been included in the price of Ninja Gaiden 2.
#6 Posted by babblinmule (1262 posts) -

I can see how there being no tutorial in NG2 would be fustrating to a NG newbie. NG1's opening level was alot more forgiving and there were hints and tips scattered all over the level. However, if you can manage to learn the combo's and various weapons, then the game becomes one of the biggest thrill rides in gaming (fighting the final 3 bosses in a row not withstanding.)

#7 Posted by torus (1097 posts) -

Well, they aren't MANDATORY, just helpful for a newb. I thought it was common knowledge that the Ninja Gaiden series are some of the hardest games ever made :P. 
 
Once you get into the mindset of how the game works (not wasting attacks, because you need a fraction of a second to reset, and that's when they hit you, etc) and you master the combos (especially the ones that get you away from other enemies, like the aerial combos), it becomes a bit less punishing. 
 
Ninja Gaiden DOES have a bad habit of placing multiple bosses right after each other though. 

#8 Posted by TheMustacheHero (6655 posts) -

lololol Ninja Gaiden 2 did suck. And Too human did too, would have been better if the controls were actually "good".

#9 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
@Sweep said:
"Games are art, no doubt."
Congrats, you just settled a debate that's been running the past decade all by yourself. You're too awesome.

As for the game, just because you're not any good at it, or don't like it, doesn't make it shit. Is that hard to get?
#10 Posted by CoolDrMoney (1978 posts) -

NG2 is like a good Big Black album. Behind all the noise and anger is something masterfully created.
 
Actually, it's more like Ninja Gaiden Black. Yeah, that game was kickin'

#11 Edited by Sweep (8950 posts) -
@Al3xand3r said:

" @Sweep said:

"Games are art, no doubt."
Congrats, you just settled a debate that's been running the past decade all by yourself. You're too awesome.As for the game, just because you're not any good at it, or don't like it, doesn't make it shit. Is that hard to get? "
Um, I think I justified why I don't like the game, so there's no need to be a dick about it. You have to admit that it's brutally difficult for new players to pick up.  
 
EDIT: Fair enough, I can see how this game could be great if someone actually explained to me what the fuck I should be doing.
 
If you want to read about why I think games are art then go read my Other Blogs. I don't see the point in repeating myself every day. The purpose of this blog was to reflect on how inaccessible Ninja Gaiden 2 is, not whether games are art.
#12 Posted by torus (1097 posts) -

If you were trying to button mash, that is why you are failing at it. You probably got through the first bit with button mashing, and therefore did not learn how to do it correctly. I recommend going back to the beginning, and actually figuring out how to execute the few moves they give you there- then, when they give you more moves, you won't be as confused.

#13 Posted by Sweep (8950 posts) -
@torus: I have tried this, the moves you learn are all too simple to really withstand any of the more advanced assaults. Apparently you can break out of any attack with an attack of your own but I can't see how to learn that without going through a shitty Trial and Error learning curve. Especially with the checkpoint system they have in place...
#14 Posted by ZeroCast (1869 posts) -

Not all games are supposed to be "engaging" for newcomers Sweep, why do some people hate GTA IV just for its style of gameplay? Because it doesn't appeal for them, and maybe NG2's learning curve didn't appeal for you.
#15 Posted by torus (1097 posts) -

I don't know what to tell you then... tbh, I though NG2 was easier than NG1 :P 

#16 Posted by Vade (393 posts) -

NG2 was unfair rather than difficult. I finished NG1 on master ninja but didn't bother with NG2's projectile spam on harder difficulty levels.

#17 Posted by GunstarRed (5401 posts) -

maybe its just getting older and having much more choice of games means you aren't willing to put the time and effort into mastering games, tough as nails games from years past never had tutorials they just expected you to know and if you didn't "fuck you, learn it" Now , I  have never played  a Ninja gaiden game beyond a demo(I have finished DMC games on the hardest modes)  but from what I have played I know it's just not for me anymore, years ago I would have relished having my arse kicked unfairly by the game and learning each little intricacy  but now I get beaten a few times and all I think is... "i could be having more fun playing something easier" and just move on. 
it's probably just the way games have evolved, we expect and demand tutorials  because we havent got the time to learn it ourselves. little kids (who shouldnt really be playing NG) probably master these kind of games with ease.
#18 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
@Sweep said:

" @Al3xand3r said:

" @Sweep said:

"Games are art, no doubt."
Congrats, you just settled a debate that's been running the past decade all by yourself. You're too awesome.As for the game, just because you're not any good at it, or don't like it, doesn't make it shit. Is that hard to get? "
Um, I think I justified why I don't like the game, so there's no need to be a dick about it. You have to admit that it's brutally difficult for new players to pick up.  
 
EDIT: Fair enough, I can see how this game could be great if someone actually explained to me what the fuck I should be doing.
 
If you want to read about why I think games are art then go read my Other Blogs. I don't see the point in repeating myself every day. The purpose of this blog was to reflect on how inaccessible Ninja Gaiden 2 is, not whether games are art. "
Your other blogs don't make it a fact, and they (probably? I can't bother checking) didn't go undisputed. Again, not liking Ninja Gaiden doesn't make it shit. It makes it a game that's not for you. I guess both of these things are really hard for you to get, my bad for asking.

And yes, I agree it can be brutally hard. How that makes it shit is beyond me. Just don't play it, say you hate it and leave it at that.
#19 Edited by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

This is Ninja Gaiden as it should be, I wouldn't want the game to be pandering to new players by making it easier. Every NG game except for the DS game has been hard  to master, and that's how it should be. NG 2 does have a high trial and error factor but I find that the to be part and parcel of the experience, it's just as it was in the NES days which is the foundation to what we see today in the series.
 
I treat Ninja Gaiden like a rhythm game, because that's what it basically is at it's core, The game forces you to block and attack in a almost rhythmic fashion, and if you break away from the notes it shows you, it will punish you.

#20 Posted by Sweep (8950 posts) -
@Al3xand3r said:
" @Sweep said:

" @Al3xand3r said:

" @Sweep said:

"Games are art, no doubt."
Congrats, you just settled a debate that's been running the past decade all by yourself. You're too awesome.As for the game, just because you're not any good at it, or don't like it, doesn't make it shit. Is that hard to get? "
Um, I think I justified why I don't like the game, so there's no need to be a dick about it. You have to admit that it's brutally difficult for new players to pick up.  
 
EDIT: Fair enough, I can see how this game could be great if someone actually explained to me what the fuck I should be doing.
 
If you want to read about why I think games are art then go read my Other Blogs. I don't see the point in repeating myself every day. The purpose of this blog was to reflect on how inaccessible Ninja Gaiden 2 is, not whether games are art. "
Your other blogs don't make it a fact, and they (probably? I can't bother checking) didn't go undisputed. Again, not liking Ninja Gaiden doesn't make it shit. It makes it a game that's not for you. I guess both of these things are really hard for you to get, my bad for asking.And yes, I agree it can be brutally hard. How that makes it shit is beyond me. Just don't play it, say you hate it and leave it at that. "
Fuck, why are you making such a big deal of this? Alright captain pedantic, when I said games are art I was referring to my own opinion, which you can't dispute. If you want to then go do it elsewhere. I can't help but feel you are trying to pick apart my blog, just because you don't agree with the sentiment, which is pathetic.
 
It's shit because it doesn't teach you to accommodate it's difficulty - therefore making it largely unplayable to anyone who doesn't already know what they are doing. I notice everyone here defending Ninja Gaiden 2 has some sort of experience with the previous NG games so perhaps this concept can be a little hard to grasp. Again, I don't see why you are being such a dick about this. If you love Ninja Gaiden so much that you can't bear to hear a word spoken against it then i'm sorry but I'm not going to alter my opinion just for the sake of your extra sensitive ears.
#21 Posted by luce (4045 posts) -

I beat all ninja gaiden games on atleast normal but i found NG 2 to beat pretty cheap. Its difficult, but not in a smart way especially on later difficulties.  
 
Ninja Gaiden 2 felt unpolished in general so i kinda agree with you.

#22 Posted by Oni (2109 posts) -

Alexander is a total troll, Sweep. /ignore.
 
NG2 is shit. It's unfair, has a habit of throwing projectile shit at you, terrible camera angles you can't do anything about and some awful level design (fuck the swamp). The combat CAN BE fun, when you're pitted against other ninja-type enemies, rather than guys that stand at a distance and spam rockets and shit at you. I loved the opening 2-3 levels, and the ones on the zeppelin, because those have enemies that are fun to fight. But no, Itagaki insisted on making the game brutal for the sake of it and it is no more fun for it. 
 
NG1 is less shit but still overrated.

#23 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -
@Sweep: Ninja Gaiden Black (BLACK!) is, in my opinion, the best game ever made. Little known fact though, I got the original Ninja Gaiden (xbox) and couldn't get past chapter 4. I was that bad (it was the confusing layout, though). I then sold it. 2 years later, I got the game again, put it on easy mode, and noticed I was loving every second. I've risen way up the difficulty and mission scale now :D.
 
So basically, it it hard, brutally so, and not as helpful as it should be, but if you are willing to get over that initial bump, you'll love every second. I promise. Also, if you ever want me to rattle off Ninja Gaiden jargon as if it was street fighter to you as if you understand what to do, to make you feel clever, I shall. Remember, when chain saw zombies, use the DS, 3xFS, and either up Y or (don't charge) 360 UT to sort them out.
 
If you understood that, you win.
#24 Posted by wfolse1 (456 posts) -

torus and others are right.  Play NG Black on the original Xbox.  NG2 sucks hard, anyway,  It's far more cheap with annoying little enemies and offscreen rocket ninjas and shit.  skip it.

#25 Posted by Team18 (55 posts) -

I never thoughts ninjas were cool.

#26 Posted by Metroid545 (1823 posts) -
@TheMustacheHero said:
" lololol Ninja Gaiden 2 did suck. And Too human did too, would have been better if the controls were actually "good". "
idk about too human but NG2s controls were excellent the camera was the only thing that got me
 
also I guess I can understand where your coming from Sweep, I had played NGB before soo I was used to the style of the game and I remember not learning but sort of being thrust into the game forced to learn and after many tedious hours of trial I eventually mastered it so when I popped in NG2 I could beat it easy
#27 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

People still argue that games are not art? ... Stop that!
 
Anyway, I hear you, Sweep. I was looking very forward to NG. And when I played it I felt instantly punished for doing so. The game is obviously good to someone. And certainly has it's merits. But it basically told me to fuck off, and I can't fault someone for giving it the finger in return as I did the same.
 
I didn't even bother trying NG2.

#28 Posted by Lowbrow (840 posts) -
@Sweep said:
"  Games are art, no doubt. But sometimes you have to take a step back and realise that just because it's in an art museum doesn't stop it from being a pile of shit on the floor. "
Nothing more that needs to be said, really.
#29 Posted by Shadow (4988 posts) -

My favorite game on the 360.  You gotta get used to it...this thing has a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG learning curve and is meant to be played through multiple times.  You got it pretty much right: it's a fighting game.  It doesn't have an all-purpose tutorial for the same reason normal fighting games don't.  There's so many different ways to go at every situation that a tutorial on exactly what to do at any given moment would be pretty useless.

#30 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
Sweep said:

"Fuck, why are you making such a big deal of this? Alright captain pedantic, when I said games are art I was referring to my own opinion, which you can't dispute. If you want to then go do it elsewhere. I can't help but feel you are trying to pick apart my blog, just because you don't agree with the sentiment, which is pathetic. It's shit because it doesn't teach you to accommodate it's difficulty - therefore making it largely unplayable to anyone who doesn't already know what they are doing. I notice everyone here defending Ninja Gaiden 2 has some sort of experience with the previous NG games so perhaps this concept can be a little hard to grasp. Again, I don't see why you are being such a dick about this. If you love Ninja Gaiden so much that you can't bear to hear a word spoken against it then i'm sorry but I'm not going to alter my opinion just for the sake of your extra sensitive ears. "

I'm making a big deal out of this? You're the one who made a blog that goes in the general discussion listing...

I can so dispute your opinion when it's presented as fact, and I just did, and you just corrected it, so, hurray for this discussion.

Saying a sequel is shit because it doesn't teach newcomers well is quite silly too. No, that simply doesn't make it suitable for newcomers.

Anything that isn't suitable for you is shit? Please, grow some common sense and understand not everything's made for your highness alone.

Personally, I've not even played the game,  I just find your reasoning on it being "shit" completely laughable. Oni at least has decent arguments, though I can't know if they're true or not. Your argument however goes from one reported fact (tough for beginners) to a completely unrelated statement (it's shit) while trying to pass it off as a logical conclusion that cannot be disputed by anyone. It's not. Not at all.
#31 Posted by dbz1995 (4790 posts) -
@Al3xand3r said:
" Sweep said:
"Fuck, why are you making such a big deal of this? Alright captain pedantic, when I said games are art I was referring to my own opinion, which you can't dispute. If you want to then go do it elsewhere. I can't help but feel you are trying to pick apart my blog, just because you don't agree with the sentiment, which is pathetic. It's shit because it doesn't teach you to accommodate it's difficulty - therefore making it largely unplayable to anyone who doesn't already know what they are doing. I notice everyone here defending Ninja Gaiden 2 has some sort of experience with the previous NG games so perhaps this concept can be a little hard to grasp. Again, I don't see why you are being such a dick about this. If you love Ninja Gaiden so much that you can't bear to hear a word spoken against it then i'm sorry but I'm not going to alter my opinion just for the sake of your extra sensitive ears. "
I'm making a big deal out of this? You're the one who made a blog that goes in the general discussion listing...Saying a sequel is shit because it doesn't teach newcomers well is quite silly too. No, that simply doesn't make it suitable for newcomers.Anything that isn't suitable for you is shit? Please, grow some common sense and understand not everything's made for your highness alone. "
I cannot resist the urge.
 
ZING!
#32 Edited by End_Boss (3220 posts) -

Ninja Gaiden II is a steaming pile of crap. It's true. I played it.
 
CONFIRMED.
 
EDIT: Sweep, trying to convince Al3xand3r of anything is madness. It's like shouting at walls. Walls with fists on them.
 
Madness.

#33 Posted by HistoryInRust (6380 posts) -

For even attempting to manhandle Ninja Gaiden 2, Sweep, you are a bigger, better, much sexier man than I could ever hope to be.    
 
For that reason, I can't completely relate on the specific subject matter, but I know Too Human has a similar issue, and since you mentioned it, I feel confident in opening that scab.  
 
I see where Al3xand3r is arguing from. There is a niche of gaming that doesn't even attempt to coddle the player's rhythm into fruition with anything but brute fucking force. And, because of that, there is a sort of mystique, a sort of aura, around the players who can intuitively adapt to the mechanics and devise intricate strategies for returning the favor of pain.  
 
That said, I am--generally speaking--not that sort of player. While I appreciate the ambition in the difficulty of games like Ninja Gaiden, I can't force myself into embracing those design choices. They aren't streamlined enough for my ever-depleting patience with video games. 

#34 Posted by MythDarK (555 posts) -
@marioncobretti said:
" maybe its just getting older and having much more choice of games means you aren't willing to put the time and effort into mastering games, tough as nails games from years past never had tutorials they just expected you to know and if you didn't "fuck you, learn it""
This is indeed the big problem we're facing with today's gaming industry. Mass productions makes it a lot harder to actually master a good game nowadays.
#35 Posted by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -

From my memory of playing Ninja Gaiden you just have to dodge and block a lot (I think you could block...) and learn some combos, it should say how to do them in the menus somewhere.  I would just do that move where you jump and dash forward slicing someones head off lol.

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