Once again you step into the ninja slippers of cipher Ryu Hayabusa. The plot, as expected, is more tedious than compelling. Ryu's village is once again on fire, as it was in the first game, and it seems a host of demons is behind this act of arson (as was the case in the first game).
It's really a shame that development house Team Ninja is so reluctant to hire decent writers. Imagine Ninja Gaiden getting the equivalent of what Christopher Nolan did with Batman, i.e. brushing off the cheese topping, stripping away the trappings and clichés, and treating the character with some respect by boiling him down to his essence. You can see the possibilities here surely.
While plot and character development will probably never be Team Ninja's strong points -- these guys never met a Dolly Parton-boobed NPC that they didn't like -- Ninja Gaiden II stands tall as proof that Itagaki and his team do third-person action better than anyone else in the business.