Ninja Gaiden 2 is not an earth-shattering masterpiece. As much as the fan in me wants to spout absurd levels of hyperbole that put recent GTA4 and MGS4 reviews to shame, and devote five paragraphs to how this game's Oscar-worthy story made me regret having even existed before its release date, I feel it's more relevant to discuss why games like this are so important in the current landscape of the video game industry.
If you're a fan of action games in any capacity, and especially if you're looking for a rewarding challenge, Ninja Gaiden 2 will welcome you with open arms, lovingly embrace you, then snap your neck. That is the mantra of the old Nintendo Legacy, before they started making games for the people who watch Oprah. That is why this game is so important.