So... If I have no interest in NG2 and 3, they will force them upon me if I want to play 1?
Guess I'll just pass on this then.
Three is the only bad one though.
Yup. If anything, NG2 has the best combat system of the bunch. Expands the combos of the original weapon sets while adding new dope ass weapons like Tonfas, Kusarigama, Scythe, (fully developed) Dual Katanas, etc. Then of course the dismemberment stuff.
Only reason I don't prefer it to NG1 is that the enemy, boss, and encounter designs in general aren't as good.
Ever tried to play through the first game with just the wooden sword. That's hardcore. That will teach you to move. :-P