Ars Technica writes: "This is one of those games that's difficult to review. The first Ninja Gaiden on the original Xbox is still considered one of the best pure-action games ever made, even though the title featured some testicle-crushing difficulty. Hoping for a similar leap in quality from pre-Ninja Gaiden games to Ninja Gaiden 2 is setting yourself up for disappointment; this game is merely more of a good thing. I've said before that I've been upset by excellence, and that happened here. This is a great game, but I wished for more of a revolution than simply a refinement of the formula. Of course, that didn't take away from the fun."