"Hey NG Fans we have a surprise for you"
"Oh really? Hey what’s that? :D"
*Team Ninja show Kasumi (from Dead or Alive) and her nice backside and head for all of 3 seconds in the entirety of TWO APPEARANCES IN THE GAME*
"Eh? What do you think?"
What do I think, Mr. Hayashi? I think you built up hype to absolutely nothing, that’s what. I mean, not that you had to TRY to sell me Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 since it’s based off of an excellent game…but oh well. Thanks for the letdown, jackass.
Aside from the extremely BRIEF appearance of my favorite DOA fighter, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was…..average. Which is disappointing since I gave Ninja Gaiden 2 absolute praise up and down. The retraction of several features that were in the original often made me question why other things were left intact: trust me, the loss of massive blood and violence is only the TIP of the problems I had with this game despite it being somewhat entertaining. Matter of fact, playing this game opened my eyes why my fellow PS3 Brony, “Scootachair” had trouble getting into the game in the first place.
- Why give me a secondary weapon slot to ‘equip’ if it’s the ONLY damn thing I’ll ever have? Why give me the option to ‘equip’ it if it’s a necessity throughout the game? Matter of fact, where are the incendiary shurikens? The windmill shuriken? The smoke bombs? Where are my options for God’s sake?
Oh right, the explosive shurikens are now used only by Ayane whom you control for all of ONE LEVEL, just like Momiji.
- You don’t have a score attack/rank at all in the entirety of the single player campaign.
This defeats more than half of the reason for the enemies to be showing up right here alone.
Why, then, are you given twice as many enemies in certain areas and 1/4 as many in others? In many sections I found myself running merely through empty corridors where enemies SHOULD have ambushed me in hordes of 20 when instead I saw as little as 3 or not at all. There are moments where I literally laughed out loud going “Oh my God…are you serious?” because of so many sections of NOTHING. I can understand a difficulty/learning curve, but this was terribly paced. Why is the boss for Chapter 2 harder than the boss in chapter 4?
Rooms and locations that once contained the iconic Ninja Gaiden Trials are now just left without a single thing to replace them: it’s empty space. Since you have no score attack/ranking in ANY level at all, all you’re left to spend the currency on is on your health items and once you max out your inventory of those, what else is there?
Nothing, because the game doesn’t allow you to upgrade your weapons as you see fit like the original Ninja Gaiden 2 does. This creates a LOT more pacing issues that I had trouble getting around than I had hoped. Levels where I would have normally gotten a Level 3 Dragon Sword or Vigoorian Flail now proved a “bird of a different feather” because the game simply slaps my hand and says “No, Gamer. We upgrade when I SAY we do”.
Because the game has NO end level ranking and the enemies are nothing but currency grabs for health items, once I had enough to be sure I would survive all I ever did was just skip multiple battles at once by running past enemies. I only stopped once coming to road blocks where I had to defeat X number of enemies in order to advance. If the game is designed for me to enjoy it less because all it cares about is pushing me into battle after battle but doesn’t even reward me in any substantial way for doing so, then you’re doing something wrong.
- Absolutely zero connection between the main story and extra levels that you get in this Sigma-fied version of Ninja Gaiden 2. Sure, you can argue that with Ayane’s level that THAT is the way how she got the Eye of the Dragon back and you can argue Rachel’s cameo to say “Hey boys~ Now you can play as me for all of 40 minutes!” had some sort of importance……..if nothing else, to show you that the devil from the FIRST Ninja Gaiden wants revenge for being slain (to be mentioned all of TWO times, might I add) and then to be killed just as easily the first time.
Now I wasn’t think it was going to be much. I didn’t think they’d be mind blowing or as intense as the other stages of the game but I had hoped they’d have at least SOME sort of connection and since they went through the trouble of having the VA for Ryu dub some new lines (only a few it appears) why didn’t they have Ryu meet up with these secondary characters in-game so that there could be some feel of consistency? They feel completely detached as they stand now.
- Why am I not allowed to use Lives of a Thousand Gods whenever I want? Why does it have to be applied immediately to my health and how come it’s been nerfed in this game? Ninja Gaiden 2 let you use the item when you want and WHEN IT WAS USED it refilled your health entirely AND extended it permanently. In Sigma 2, all it does is extend it and refill your health up to whatever damaged red area you may have on the bar. That may not seem like a bit deal to some people, but when you have a game that’s tough as nails as Ninja Gaiden 2, and you’re all out of health items you have to have some sort of back-up plan. Sigma 2 takes that away entirely but maybe it’s just ahead of the curve because…
-…THIS GAME IS PISS EASY. Where is the challenging gameplay? Where are my sweaty palms I should be having? Where are the moments where I shout “FUCK!” at the top of my lungs and hold back from slam dunking the controller? Why is it the only hard parts are where I’m controlling underpowered side characters? Why are all of the Greater Fiends so easy to defeat? Why is their health so easily depleted? Why are so many enemies so easy to defeat? Why was the “Cave Snake” fight section taken out? Why are so many genuinely previously challenging areas so GOD DAMN EASY TO PASS? Why so many Muramasa shops when I can’t upgrade any of these weapons because the game says “Haru, you’ve upgraded that weapon already. Go upgrade another because we say so”? Why did the Bow controls change and WHY does it auto-aim-and-lock-on with infinite arrows?
THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE NINJA GAIDEN: THE VIDEO GAME FRANCHISE ON THE PLANET THAT SENDS FEAR INTO GAMERS, NOT WELCOMING THEM WITH OPEN ARMS. If you can’t handle Ninja Gaiden then you simply are not hardcore enough to handle it; end of story! Yet this game has NO issues taking out key features or changing them up entirely just to kiss casual gamer ass.
It’s NOT a bad game in its own right. For the rules it sets itself up, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is simply an ‘ok’ game. But I can’t help but feel that the additional levels and campaign footage/changes COULD HAVE BEEN DLC FOR THE 360 ORIGINAL so that everything else would be left alone! It would no doubt strengthen the original’s content by far but because it’s a sequel to an adaption (Sigma) of an enhancement (Black) of a game (the original Ninja Gaiden) I HAVE to make hard comparisons between the two. If you want to get into Ninja Gaiden, Sigma 2 may be an okay way to start but if you want to see why it has the fanbase it has that respects its players, you’ll want to strap on your safety gear and buy Ninja Gaiden 2.
When considering the changes, there simply IS no contest: the original is by far the better video game.
But, y’know, thanks for the T&A, Hayashi. ~ Haru