Excerpt: Ninja Gaiden has earned its place in the video game hall of fame. It’s one of those games that even if you haven’t played it, you know of it for some reason. Ninja Gaiden has become so well known due to its high difficulty level and precise use of combos, blocks and counter attacking. Another reason it is well known is for its love of gore. Amputations are commonplace, accompanied by bucketfuls of blood and ruthless finishing moves.
Conclusion: If you’re lucky enough to own both an Xbox 360 and PS3, we’d recommend the arterial splatter the original version offers over the stack of extra content featured in this PS3 update. Co-op is a bit of a cop out all told, and the other additions made to the game are largely superfluous. For those exclusively playing Ninja Gaiden II on the PS3 however, Sigma 2 is a genuine treat and nigh-on essential.
Excerpt: Ninja Gaiden 2 was gory, by gory I don’t mean a splash of blood here and there, but rather I’m talking of limbs that could be lopped off, leaving a bloody mess that would probably result in overtime for the cleaners. This PS3 release of Tecmo’s sequel does away with much of the gore, but that isn’t all that’s different about this second Sigma release.
Summary: While the first Sigma featured a drastic graphical improvement thanks to the console generation jump, Sigma 2 doesn’t have the same immediately noticeable upgrade. Because it’s not jumping generations, the changes are less about visuals and more about subtle improvements to the controls and inventory system. The method of aiming your projectile weapons is vastly improved, and the new characters and enemies add variety to the campaign.
Excerpt: The resurrected Ninja Gaiden series directed by Tomonobu Itagaki earned its reputation as a man’s man’s challenge, an alternative to all the games that held the player by the hand with frequent checkpoints and regenerating health bars. Taking the template created by Devil May Cry , the formula was altered with a generous dose of speed, smart enemies, and mythic levels of difficulty that combined into one of 2004’s most-celebrated titles.
Excerpt: Tough guy fulfillment has all but gone up in purple smoke. That the game’s infamous obstinacy has mellowed only serves to make matters worse. Areas crawling with menace that had you sweating your way through, barely able to come up for air, now smack of bland formula and the perfunctory: run, beat up a few guys, run, beat up a few more, earn a new skill, endure long loading times at the pause screen, start running again…
Summary: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is the ultimate Ninja Gaiden, featuring characters from the previous installments that have defined the franchise. Combining both melee and long-range battles against enemies, the game requires skillful and strategic playing to successfully journey through the missions.
Conclusion: Polished, tweaked and streamlined, this is Ninja Gaiden 2 done a half-step better. The addition of new modes, characters and an online option are absolute positives, and if you haven't played last year's release, this is definitely the one to get.
Excerpt: Ninja Gaiden has been a franchise that all last-generation was associated with only the Xbox, and was one of the very few things PlayStation 2 owners envied. Since the new generation began, the practice of exclusivity has practically ended, and unless it was a first party game, the chances of seeing a mega franchise released as a multiplatform title are high.