Gamernode writes: "The recent news that Ninja Gaiden lead designer Tomonobu Itagaki would be resigning from his position at Tecmo and Team Ninja was a shocking development in the videogame industry, but it comes as no surprise that Ninja Gaiden II, now the swan song of the Itagaki era, is a stellar action title and a worthy successor to the critically acclaimed first entry in the series.
Ninja Gaiden II feels very much like an extension of the original Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox console. It follows similar chapter-based linear progression and features a nearly identical, although slightly upgraded, visual style as well as many of the same combat maneuvers, weapons, and environments. Veterans will easily recognize places such as the Hayabusa village and surrounding area as carbon copies of the first game, and will be intimately familiar with at least 6 of Ryu's weapons this time around. But does that mean that Ninja Gaiden II is nothing more than another rehash?
Fortunately, no. In terms of gameplay and fun, Ninja Gaiden II has taken what made Ninja Gaiden great and has refined and expanded upon it in a number of ways."