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The Paper


Ninja Gaiden II: Unkindest cuts
Xbox 360, Rated Mature

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Billed as the sequel to perhaps the greatest action sword-slicing game ever, Ninja Gaiden II has ratcheted up the gore. This time, you lop off people's heads by the hundreds and watch blood squirt profusely out of their necks, arms and torsos after attacking them with swords, a metal staff, a steel club or projectile stars.

I wouldn't say that Ninja Gaiden II is too violent. It is acceptably violent in its own context for fans of the genre, just like Kill Bill and Scarface.

Gaiden II is addictively fun not necessarily in its butchery, but in its epic game play. You can spend hours running through a series of beautifully drawn locales in Japan, New York and elsewhere while fighting many tough villains.

Two downsides: Camera angles mess up a lot, so that you're not sure which evil monster you're slicing. And the game doesn't come with online, multiplaying fighting.

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