Ryu Hayabusa is back in the sequel to the popular revisitation of the Ninja Gaiden franchise. Ryu embarks in a race against time to avenge his clan against the Black Spider Ninja Clan to prevent the resurrection of the Archfiend and the destruction of the human race.
He has new abilities and gameplay features at his disposal, including auto-healing, an all-new combat system that requires mastering a full arsenal of weapons, as well as upgrades to weapons from the previous game. Combat is bloodier than before as Ryu can amputate limbs from his opponents (which may make them even more dangerous), or finish them off with an obliteration move. Starting with low level moves, new abilities and weapons can be acquired and upgraded. As in the earlier game, by defeating enemies Ryu absorbs essences that restore ki or provide cash. These can also be drawn in deliberately to unleash more powerful attacks. Although the fighting is hectic it requires the player to use a strategic approach, mixed with blocked stances and dashing away.
Ninja Gaiden II also features a new save point system, various level of difficulties, leaderboards to show off combos attacks and high scores, and a replay feature to share and upload online to show off player combat moves. There are four difficulty levels and the story is advanced through cut-scenes. There are also minor puzzle elements involving finding paths or keys.