PS3 Previews: Ninja Gaiden Sigma Preview

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Ninja Gaiden Sigma Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Japan, December 31 US, TBA




Team Ninja

Number Of Players:

1 Player



Recently, Tecmo announced that one of the best action games of last generation will make its next-generation debut on the PS3. Ninja Gaiden, previously exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox, is still scheduled to have a sequel on the Xbox 360, but this new NG is set for the PS3.

Entitled Ninja Gaiden Sigma, the game will include the entirety of both Xbox versions (Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden Black), plus a horde of new content and a complete graphical overhaul. Apparently, every last detail of the stellar game will attempt to take full advantage of the PS3's raw horsepower, from character animations to textures to coloring to shading.

Shortly after the intriguing announcement, Tecmo unveiled a three-minute teaser video at the Tokyo Game Show. And while attendees and journalists were a bit miffed at not being able to go hands-on, the trailer did a good job of outlining what the developers had in mind for Sigma. After checking out some screens and other info, it seems abundantly clear: the team has worked hard to enhance the Ninja Gaiden experience to its utmost "presentability."

Of course, players will notice familiar faces and boss characters from the original title, including the buxom Rachel, who should be a playable character in Sigma. In the video, she mercilessly rips apart a giant crimson dragon with a nasty-looking sickle, so it appears she may prove to be a worthy alternative to Ryu. The video featured a few new characters as well, including a bizarre-looking Riddler-like enemy that clearly spends a great deal of time hunting the hero.

Ryu is also seen fighting Gamov, the scheming instigator who was seen in several cut-scenes in the original game. Gamov held twin pistols in the battle, but the protagonist quickly overpowered him with a flurry of fancy sword attacks. Then we can see combat featuring the Bone Dragon boss and a demoness with tentacles; the latter character was available in the Hurricane Packs, but should be new to most gamers.

Throughout the presentation, we get quick shots of Rachel, Gamov, and Ayane, who guides Ryu through the storyline. As usual, the game should feature painfully smooth animation quality, and combined with the brutally fast action the Gaiden games are known for, Sigma is primed to deliver on every possible level.

The sequences included in the trailer point towards new areas and capabilities, including dual-wielding (Ryu clearly used two blades simultaneously) and an example of battling on the surface of a glistening lake. In general, the enhancements and visual improvements are relatively significant, and Sigma should easily be the best-looking Gaiden title yet. As for gameplay specifics, Tecmo has not yet gone into detail, but fans should expect the same combat/action foundation they grew to love in the original.

All in all, Ninja Gaiden Sigma is shaping up to be something pretty special. With the amount of effort exhibited so far, there's no telling just how much new content Tecmo will be including in this one, but there's a ton of potential. For now, there's a very tentative December 31 Japanese release date, but for the U.S., it's a very big TBA. We'll keep you updated with any news or updates for this one.

10/11/2006 Ben Dutka

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