‘Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2’ arrives on PS3
The yearlong wait is over for “Ninja Gaiden” fans who own a PlayStation 3.
“Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2” — developed by Team Ninja for Tecmo — delivers an upgraded version of “Ninja Gaiden II,” which was released last year on the Xbox 360.
The M-rated game follows the same basic plot as the original. Ninja Ryu Hayabusa must stop the Black Spider Ninja Clan and a variety of fiends who are seeking to conjure an evil archfiend.
Ryu starts off with a big ol’ sword, lightning-fast reflexes and a cool assortment of ninja powers. Along the way, Ryu picks up a few other interesting weapons, as well as a few interesting — and often scantily clad — allies. These allies provide the opportunity for the best addition to the game: cooperative play. You can join a friend online or use a computer-controlled partner to tackle more than 30 team missions. Unfortunately, there’s no split-screen co-op, which would have made the option even better.
Even in single-player mode, you can play as Ryu’s allies: Rachel, Ayane and Momiji, who pack a varied and deadly arsenal. For example, the leather-clad vixen Rachel totes a powerful war hammer and a machine gun.
Developers also toned down the gore a bit, a process that helps give the game an otherworldly feel. For example, when you lop a leg off a Spider Ninja, there isn’t a geyser of blood. Instead, a purple mist oozes from the wound, indicating these aren’t your run-of-the-mill foes.
The game play is very similar to previous “Ninja Gaiden” titles. A lot of running around and mashing buttons to activate different attacks with melee or ranged weapons. The one big innovation is a “finishing blow” that allows you to dispatch foes with a spectacular move.
Many of the low-tier enemies aren’t particularly smart, but they are plentiful, which keeps the game interesting. Some of the more powerful foes are very tough — sometimes frustratingly tough.
The graphics are OK. They offer quite a bit of detail and texture but don’t really blend in a way that feels “real” — admittedly a relative term in a game with supernatural opponents.
Much of “Sigma 2” feels very familiar. However, those who enjoy slashing through fiends are going to love it, especially the new co-op mode.
Platform: PlayStation 3
On the Web:www.ninjagaidengame.com