To know how spectacular and cinematic gaming can be, you just have to check out Ninja Gaiden 2. This action-packed sequel of Ninja Gaiden saw its worldwide release on Xbox 360 this month.
And the second time round, the title takes you to a whole new level of blood and gore.
The new combat system in Ninja Gaiden 2 allows the protagonist Ryu Hayabusa to dismember his enemies, severing their limbs and tearing their bodies apart!
So chuck the chopsticks and dump the dumplings. This gets uniquely messy. Graphically, of course, it's a stunner, but it's the battle animation and choreography that really pulls in your attention. Team Ninja's brilliant, over-the-top battle animations are eye popping.
There are lengthy sections in the game - entire sprawling levels, in some cases - which capture the beautiful challenge and satisfaction of gaming. Every weapon becomes a joy to use, with its own strengths and weaknesses to master, and every encounter becomes a delicious trial of your reflexes, skill, timing and positioning.
The biggest issue, though, is one that's been around since the first Ninja Gaiden on Xbox and hasn't improved in all that time: The camera. It's awful. Speechlessly awful. It's manually controlled with the right thumb-stick, while the right trigger provides you with the ability to centre it behind you.
But in a game this fast and intense, the fact that the camera has no intelligence of its own is as crippling to you as Ryu's limb-severing attacks are to his enemies. Ninja Gaiden 2, though good is not great. There's too much trial-and-error in the gameplay, too many cheap shots, and not enough real challenge.
And our overall rating for Ninja Gaiden 2 is 8/10