Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Tecmo Ninja Gaiden Sigma
- Satisfying combat, rock-hard difficulty, Ninjas!
- If you've played the original Xbox version, you've already seen the best bits.
The best ninja game on the block just got a whole lot better.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Let's get something out of the way: I never played the original Ninja Gaiden. Sure, I played the original series on the NES and SNES but, for whatever reason I never got around to playing the amazing 3D adaptation released for the Xbox back in 2004. Thankfully, I get a second stab at it with the release of Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the PS3. And man, was it worth the wait.
It may sound strange but I'm glad I never played the original because Sigma is quite simply the best version of Ninja Gaiden. I took a look at the original version just for the sake of comparison and it was easy to see what all the fuss was about but I was definitely glad I waited for what is without a doubt the "definitive version." At its core, Sigma is still the same game, but what makes it so much more compelling than the original are the improvements that have been made.
For one, the game has received a graphical boost, no small feat considering how good the original looked. But that was in standard definition and the high-def boost is definitely welcome. Character models feature have higher poly-counts and better texture work, and certain FMV cutscenes have been remade using the in-game engine, which really allows the PS3 to flex its muscle. Oh, and the framerate is now smooth and consistent as well. Next-Gen Ninja Skills
But for all its refinements, Sigma is still just a port of the Xbox games, but that's fine, because the developers followed the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" school of though. The combat is still lightning fast and exciting and the controls on the SIXAXIS are just as intuitive and tight as they were on the Xbox. And that's important, because Ninja Gaiden Sigma is as difficult as ever, so if you haven't played in a while, or have never played at all, prepare to see the Game Over screen quite a few times.
Those of you who've conquered the original should also note the additional content. For one, a few side missions have been added that let you play as Rachel, the scantily-clad axe-weilding fiend hunter. There are also a slew of new weapons and powers; also, as in Ninja Gaiden Black, leaderboards are present so you can gauge your ninjutsu skills online.
High-Def Hack n' Slash
The only reason to miss out on this one is if you've overdosed on the original or Black and just aren't up to the challenge of playing through the game one more time. The new features are definitely welcome but I can see how it'd be stale for experienced vets. Nevertheless, Ninja Gaiden Sigma is the best version released so far and that's saying a lot considering how awesome the other versions were. Now, let's hope Team Ninja is working because I can't wait to play it.
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