Ninja Gaiden is widely recognized as one of the most difficult games in the history of gaming. The original may be decades old, but it still causes some of the older gamers to remember the endless hours spent trying to pass one single level.
Of course, when its remake and sequels came out more recently, the difficulty was toned down to make the game more appealing to the casual market – but every Ninja Gaiden game has been noticeably more challenging to beat than the majority of other games on the market at the time. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is a remastered version of the original NG2, this time for the PS3.
The game is a lot more different from Ninja Gaiden 2 than you might expect – for one thing, you now have the option of playing “Team Mission Mode”, where you’ll have a partner helping you throughout the game – he/she can either be controlled by a friend of yours, or the computer if you don’t have anyone available. The story has been slightly expanded, with three new chapters revealing more of what happened. You also get to fight against an all-new group of five bosses, and each of the selectable characters actually has their own boss to go up against.
There are new weapons as well, but sadly the upgrade system used to improve their stats has been returned to its limited state we knew from Ninja Gaiden: Black – you can no longer perform unlimited upgrades at each shop, forcing you to more wisely pick what way you want to develop your weapons in. Some of you may be extremely disappointed to find out that they can no longer use the flaming shurikens, as some of the changes in the game’s balance would’ve made them unfair. They do make a cameo appearance in the hands of Ayane, though.
Graphics and System Requirements
One of the most notable aspects of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 are its graphics. The engine has been retooled to fully and properly support 720p HD, which opens up a lot more screenspace for eye candy and special effects. You’ll probably notice the greatly improved lighting system as well, which now creates much more realistic-looking reflections and bumpmaps on the walls.
It’s understandable that the developers would want to improve the game’s looks, considering the capabilities of the PS3′s hardware as opposed to the Xbox 360. They’ve really done their best to push the console as far as possible, and the game looks on par with everything else you can play on the PS3 nowadays.
One of the controversial aspects of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 among fans has been the removal of gore. It’s kind of ironic, seeing as how the presence of gore is normally what sparks controversy these days, but for many fans, NG has always been partly about the stylized violence it offered – and now all of this is pretty much gone, with some pink-ish clouds replacing the blood splatter, and there’s no more permanent dismemberment.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is an obvious departure from what the previous games offered – and whether it’s for the better or worse is entirely subjective and up to you to decide. Our opinion? Bring on the sword action!