reviewed on PS3
Iteration upon iteration
Ninja Gaiden Sigma is not a full blown sequel but a highly refined version of its original self. Ninja Gaiden was released for the Xbox in 2004 and was critically acclaimed for its tight controls and hard but rewarding gameplay. Ninja Gaiden Black was released a year later and more of a directors cut for those who missed the original. It was tampered with ever so slightly to improve balance and gameplay. Ninja Gaiden Sigma has now made its way to the PS3, three years later, and better than ever. With the game running in 1080p resolution and 60 FPS, this is the best version yet.
The Path of a Ninja
As everyone knows, Ninja Gaiden games -going as far back as the NES- are hard and full of kick-ass in-your-face moments. Sigma is no slouch in this department, from opening battle to ending boss, this game is a test of both skill and patience. Every battle you encounter could be your last. The complex the AI is unpredictableyou’re your enemy sees an opening it could be the end of your life bar. Blocking and dodging are your two best friends and you will become a master of those traits as the game time tacks on. The feeling you get when you cut three enemy ninja’s heads off with a slice -while not getting hit by a single blow yourself- is hard to duplicate on any other medium. The game introduces you to new skills and forces you to use them in order to progress.
The gameplay overall feels a bit like the Onimusha series. It revolves around sword combat, fighting demons and the undead while collecting different colored orbs to upgrade your weapon or regain mana and health. Speaking of weapons, you run the gambit of nun-chucks with blades attached to their ends, to exploding shurikens. Each main weapon in your arsenal can be upgraded by visiting the merchants that are usually found in specific spots throughout each level. A merchant can supply you with all item and weapon upgrades, for a price of course. Buying additional trinkets that have permanent status effects are also available for purchase and trust me, you will need them.
Everything is nicely chopped up into different levels and a score is posted after the completion of each one. This score is then posted on a worldwide leader board that shows the best players of all time. Everything you do in affects this score, whether it be your Niñpo (Ninja magic) or the amount of enemies you kill. This score rolls over from level to level leaving you with a grand total at the end of your campaign.
No Pros and Cons at this time