Review: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
An Improved But Subdued Port
The original Ninja Gaiden stands as one of the most difficult and remorseless games I’ve ever played. Despite the countless times I wanted to chuck my controller like it was a shuriken, the game was so much fun that I just couldn’t stay mad at it for long. While I’ve never believed myself to be a masochist; I’m starting to believe I am since I couldn’t put down Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
For those unfamiliar with the Sigma series, they’re basically enhanced ports of the original Xbox Ninja Gaiden games made exclusively for the Playstation 3. The new goodies include new large-scale boss fights, such as battling a possessed (but non-Ghostbuster controlled) Statue of Liberty. Another addition is the three playable young ladies. Each of these deadly beauties comes complete with their own weapons, and fighting styles and are a blast to play. Dead or Alive’s Ayane is quick and combo-centric and is armed with exploding kunai. Fellow Hayabusa clan-member Momiji uses a long blade that’s great for opponents at bay. Even Rachel (who I hated using in the first game due to her sluggish play style) is fun as her movements and combos are much quicker and more fluid, and her devastating giant axe/hammer can send foes flying.
Combat is just as tight and fluid as ever, with some new abilities to ease thing. Ryu has a new “Ninja Sense” that can be used to find the right path in case you get turned around. I like this feature, as there are multiple paths in most sections that are home to many hidden goodies and this prevents players from accidentally going down the main path if they want to explore. The bosses dish out pain just as brutal as viciously as ever, but I noticed that most go down a lot easier than before. They’re still challenging, but veteran players may want to up the difficulty to max if you really want to sweat.
An online co-op mode is available, bu the single player has been removed from Team Mission Mode. If you're without a buddy, you'll be given an AI controlled partner instead. The biggest letdown in this game is that all of the gore has been significantly reduced. While you can still dismember foes, a weird purple mist burst out instead of showers of blood from the original version. What’s weirder is that there are still small blood splashes so what’s the point? Don’t get me wrong, it’s stil funl to strike down enemies, but the satisfaction in doing so isn’t as strong as it was in the original.
The plot is just as scatterbrained as the first game. All I can really recall about the story are purple demons, evil living statues, and jiggling breasts. But a compelling narrative isn’t the reason you’d play these games anyway. It’s the non-stop action and unrelenting difficulty that keeps you swearing like a sailor while clamoring for more. The lack of blood hurts, but the addition of some extra boss fights and three fun playable characters more than makes up for it. It’s a no brainer for PS3 owners, but the extra content is worth a look for those who have played the original 360 version.
Final Score: 8.75/10
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