The Escapist writes: "Ninja Gaiden 2 is, at its heart, a classic brawler in the tradition of Final Fight and Streets of Rage. Players control a single character, master ninja Ryu Hayabusa, and guide him through a multitude of levels while facing down mobs of enemies ranging from cuddly, death-dealing dogs with swords in their mouths to ravenous demons spawned from the pits of hell. Regardless of enemy type, they all die the same way: in bloody pieces.
Ryu has an arsenal of combos and other means of grisly carnage at his disposal but mastery of some form of technique or strategy will be required to make any kind of progress in the game. It's convenient then that Ninja Gaiden 2 boasts incredibly responsive, easy-to-use controls. A few quick button taps can send Ryu sprinting along a wall and vaulting across a chasm before dispatching an enemy with a vicious decapitation. Within the correct context, a single button tap can cause Ryu to bisect a demon from head to crotch. The control scheme is based on an economy of button-pressing. No button-mashing is required nor will it get the player very far; Ninja Gaiden 2 rewards precision and a zen-like attitude towards combat."