PS3 Reviews: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Review

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Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Review

More Game Info (Print This Article)

Graphics:

 

8.4

Gameplay:

 

8.5

Sound:

 

7.5

Control:

 

8.0

Replay Value:

 

8.0

Online Gameplay:

 

8.0

Overall Rating:       8.4

 

 

Publisher:

Tecmo

Developer:

Team Ninja

Number Of Players:

1 (2 Online)

Genre:

Action

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. In my hands-on preview of Sigma 2, I mentioned how I was listening to Journey's "Faithfully", and reflected on 3rd party faithfulness in the gaming industry, and that it's gone. Grand Theft Auto, Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, Lost Planet, Dead Rising, Final Fantasy, Tekken, among others, have all jumped ship, from Sony to MS and vice-versa. Oddly enough, Journey's "Open Arms" continued on my playlist...

How apt, wouldn't you say? With open arms is exactly how Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo welcomed franchises that were once previously exclusive to other platforms. So there you go, Journey told the tale of the videogaming industry over 25 years ago. Okay, maybe not. Perry is clearly singing about a woman...or maybe drugs. One or the other. But the point still stands, there is no such thing as exclusive anymore, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is more proof of this.

After the release of the first Sigma game for the PS3, Tecmo revealed the sequel for the Xbox 360 and touted its exclusivity. But of course we knew that a PlayStation 3 version would come soon enough and boast a horde of new features, such as new characters, new bosses, new enemies, online co-op, and yes, trophies. This has seemingly become the standard of porting exclusive games to other platforms, packing them with a bunch of extra content as incentive to buy.

Over the past few months I've spent quite a bit of time with Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, first with a preview build that allowed me to sample the numerous extra playable characters and their missions, in addition to the core story mode. Now, for those looking for a radical change from the series, you're not going to get it. Team Ninja has long been proud of how their games play, so there was very mininal fussing around with the general game mechanics of Sigma 2.

So as you can guess, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 plays very much like the first game. Which means you'll really need to get used to the idea of blocking a lot, because the A.I. is still painfully difficult at times, especially when you're being ambushed. Unlike games like Devil May Cry where you can rush through a horde of enemies, Sigma 2 forces you to take caution. But, even though the game is still fairly difficult, it's actually a lot less so than the Xbox 360 version. While I personally have never played the Xbox 360 game, I know Ben did, and he had informed me that healing items were far too frequent and abundant in the game.

Upon hearing that, I decided to do some digging around to see what other differences there lie between both games. Now, I know about the whole gore thing. Yes, there's a purple mist that emanates from a fallen enemy, but it isn't that detrimental to the game. Though, in regards to gore, the cut-scenes have been edited, as well. More importantly, what I did discover was that content had also been removed from the game, most notably enemies. Yes, there are five new bosses, but two from the original game were removed. Now again, I didn't play the original game, but the removal of these two bosses creates plotholes in the game, which means Team Ninja didn't revise the story mode to reflect the changes made with the bosses. Also, a number of enemies/enemy designs were removed from Sigma 2, as well. Perhaps Team Ninja felt like many of the enemies in the X360 game were too similar, but we can't be certain what the logic was. 

Though regardless, Sigma 2 is still a pretty great action title. One particular aspect that I find impressive, and maybe you'll think I'm odd, is how cutting off limbs affects your enemies. Now, normally, when you do this in others games, you've killed the enemy. But in Sigma 2, if you've cut off someone's arm, they're still going to attack you until you've properly finished them off. Likewise, if you've cut off their leg, they'll try their best to jump at you using just the one they have left. It really makes for an interesting, and somewhat creepy mechanic, I must admit. But of course, if the head gets severed, that's an instant kill.

Another new combat trait is third-person shooting, where holding down the L2 button puts you into an over-the-shoulder perspective and R2 fires the weapon you have drawn. For example, Ryu and Momiji both have a bow and arrow, while Ayane uses her knives which explode following contact. Now, speaking of the characters, Sigma 2 primarily focuses on Ryu's adventure, and so content for Rachel, Ayane, and Momiji doesn't total more than hour's worth of value altogether. If you do want some addition value from the game, you can try the Team Mission mode, which is good for online co-op. Now, there is one gripe I have with the Team Missions, and that is when offline, the A.I. controls the co-operative fighter, with no option for a player to jump in. Still, the co-op is decently fun, for as long as it lasts.

Overall, the action is still lightning quick here, and of course, there are a plethora of different weapons and weapon types you can purchase in the game. Seriously, some of the weapons are absolutely awesome and extremely powerful. Some of these weapons include the Eclipse Scythe, Tiger's Fang Swords, Falcon's Talon Claws, Tonfas, Dragon's Claws, the Kusarigama, and others. The entire adventure should last you close to 15 hours, depending on the difficulty setting and your skill, and that's quite the acceptable number.

Visually, Sigma 2 is extremely smooth looking. The game continues to carry on the traditional look of texture detail on characters that are not finely detailed, but rather offer smoothness. So you won't be seeing any advanced skin textures with hair, pores, or any sort of definition. Rather, you get doll-like skin, while simple is not offensive to look at. Certainly what's most impressive about the visuals is the art design and the animation. Some of the bosses look really nice, as far as art goes, and of course, the level design is quite nice, as well. Animation is first-rate too, as all of your playable characters animate very fluidly, thanks to the game's superb engine running at 60 frames per second. Now, running a framerate like that often requires certain criterias to be toned down, and I did notice a good bit of screen-tearing. Also, Team Ninja have yet to address any of the camera quirks associated with the last game, as the camera frequently sets itself in such a way that it prevents any sight of the enemies around you, leading to some gameplay and control issues.

The audio is almost exactly what you had in the first Ninja Gaiden Sigma. The voice acting remains on the same level, good but not amazing, and the tunes are pretty much played in the same tone as they always have. It's kind of unusual for me to not have much to say about the audio, it's just that Sigma 2 is one of the few games that doesn't really do a lot of new things as far as audio goes. Clearly the voice acting is all different, but beyond that it's the standard affair we've come to know. And that's not a bad thing, just an observation.

With Bayonetta not due until January, and a new Devil May Cry game nowhere in sight, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is a solid title to fill the void of a fast paced action beat 'em up. Tecmo's flagship still manages to boast solid gameplay with a great emphasis on combat and clean visuals. But as time goes by, the series feels like it's beginning to show its age a bit, and perhaps its due for a massive upgrade with the next iteration. Nevertheless, the game we have here is still worthy of your attention, provided you're a fan of the genre and series.

10/9/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (37 posts)

jlch777
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 7:20:04 PM
Reply

I hate the screen tearing problem of this generation console games!!! -_-

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Highlander
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 11:50:41 PM

Ah the screen tearing police are out again.

You know, I've played the PS3 demo a number of times and haven't noted a tearing problem. Frankly, I think that people make entirely too much fuss about screen tearing which is generally speaking a non issue.

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___________
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 1:06:01 AM

towards the end of the game the screen tearing is unbearable.
i noticed it the first level where you first find the ninjas with the rocket launchers.
every level after that suffers allot worse than the beginning of the game.
its like they polished up to that part than ran out of time.

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therabbitkinge
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 7:37:25 PM
Reply

I like the game but personally I feel the charm has dwindled, I mean I picked up the demo grabbed my claws and severed the heads of three enemies at once and then did that over and over again with different weapons... it hasn't changed much plus the full game isn't that different from the original XBOX 360 version so yeah I think I'll pass and wait for the next action title to come around ^_^

(totally going to toys 'r' us to take advantage of the sale this coming week to buy brutal legend, demon souls, and uncharted 2 ^_^)

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Xbox_Killer
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 7:45:03 PM
Reply

I will never forgive Team Ninja.

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Oxvial
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 8:54:27 PM

Just reveal yourself now Itagaki.

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Xbox_Killer
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 9:33:07 PM

How did you know it was me?

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Hexen
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 8:06:48 PM
Reply

I'm one who usually doesn't care about blood and gore in video games but when is part of the franchise It really should be kept in it.Just imagine if for some reason they take out all of the gore out of God Of War III and the upcoming GOW pack;it would be absolute chaos.That being said,I still had fun with the demo and might pick it up any way.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 8:15:51 PM
Reply

Eeehhhh taking out a crap load of stuff definitely turns me off on this game, and watch I bet they'll offer what they took out as DLC later.

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JackC8
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 9:20:16 PM
Reply

Just downloaded the demo of this tonight, played it for about 15 minutes, then placed my order with Amazon :) I loved it. Two of my favorite games of all time are Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix (PS1) and the Onimusha series. the environments in this remind me a lot of Fear Effect, and they're absolutely breathtaking. The combat of course is like a 21st century version of Onimusha. And the graphics are fantastic. Add to that the fantastic babes (and that jiggle control), man, I'm sold :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 9:44:42 PM
Reply

No news on the bounce?

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Banky A
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 11:22:02 PM

The demo bouncing sucked. It took too much hand shaking to get it goin'.

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Scarecrow
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 12:20:29 AM

lol !

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___________
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 1:21:07 AM

the bounce is crap it barely does anything.
i was hopeful for a britney spears.
think it was her, anyway.
it does nothing, all you can see is a slight jiggle and you cant even do one at a time or side to side :(
i was expecting it to be like someones playing basketball.
as the saying goes "if its worth doing, its worth overdoing!"

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sonic1899
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 11:47:57 PM
Reply

this is one of the few good reviews this game has gotten. the reviewer compared it to NGS and not NGII. i've said it once and i'll say it again: NINJA GAIDEN SIGMA 2 IS NOT A PORT. it is a remake. there were alterations and removals to the game (tests of valor, gore/giblets, etc.) to distinguish it from NGII. if it was a mere port, nothing would be taken out. every reviewer kept bringing up the original on the x360 to no end. some of them lowered its score because it didn't have as much blood as NGII? wtf? i doubt anyone who played the first sigma game complained about anything.]

btw, i also find the exclusvity losses a bit irritating on both sides. exclusive games are what make or break a console. the reason the ps2 had so many exclusives last gen tho was due to better marketing. MS stepped their game up in that department this gen (which is attracting developers), but its good to see that the PS3 is finally showing improvement in its marketing. make PS3 keep persona 5 & heavy rain and the x360 keep conviction & alan wake, alright? hell, make magnacarta II stay exclusive [but we all know what'll happen in six months].

btw-2: NGS2's US commerical sucked ass. if u see it, change the channel. that's no exaggeration DX

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LowKey
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 12:05:53 AM
Reply

I played the PS3 demo, and while I did like the look of it, I did not like the feel of it. It felt as though the control response was very slow. You can feel it when you are surrounded. I perfer Shinobi myself.

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 12:28:19 AM
Reply

Dude! What a bummer! I was just about to walk out and get it...I guess I can wait a bit for Uncharted 2. It's not like 8.4 is bad I guess Uncharted's numbers kinda has me jaded.

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Naga
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 5:08:29 AM

Well 8.4 isn't really bad its still worth buying till Uncharted or Dragonball Raging blast

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 12:36:09 AM
Reply

My hand cramped when playing the demo.

...very, very fast. LOL

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___________
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 1:18:24 AM
Reply

i was kind of disappointed with this.
its sort of the better version but than its sort of the worse version.
BAD:
1 they have removed or altered the levels so parts are missing, im playing a game 1 year later paying doubble the price of the older one and they CUT things from the game?

2 the test of valor is gone NNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

3 you cant upgrade your weapons to lvl 3 till chapter 10.

4 you can only upgrade your weapons at a blue statue not a yellow one, and its only 1 at a time, and you very rarely get a blue statue.

5 they added MORE boss battles, YEA THATS WHAT THIS GAME REALLY NEEDED, MORE BOSSES!

6 when you get a life of the thousand gods it is automatically used, so no more using them in boss battles to replenish your health.

7 you cant charge up your projectiles so there almost useless against bosses.

8 i know i going to get hounded for this but what the hell is with the purple mist.
its so out of place, its like seeing a massive beautiful garden in the hills have eyes or hostel.
there suppose to be dark gritty scenes not bright happy places.
same with this crappy magical purple haze.
even funnier the monsters seem to spew blood allot more than the ninjas.
those big purple fiends spew allot more blood than the regular spider clan.
to make matters worse they have edited the cut scenes too :(
not happy Jan.

GOOD:
1 the game is much much much much easier than NG2 or even ninja gaiden sigma.

2 you dont have to spend yellow essence to upgrade your weapons so you have much more to spend on health items.

3 the weapons seem to do more damage to bosses, its probably just me but each hit seems to be doing more damage than in NG2.

4 some of the parts they edited out i hated so its good i dont have to do them again.

5 the weapon they added is BAD A$$, so cool so powerful.

6 the added characters i dont like at all, i much rather play as ryu but meh im glad the options there.

7 co-op team missions are all fun and a great addition.
thats about all i can think off.
its hard to say which one is the better version but i would go with this over NG2 only because i can actually handle and finish this where NG2 im only on the 2nd last battle.
im up to chapter 14 and the only boss battle i had trouble with and died more than once is the one with the statue of liberty.
now thats a pain in the a$$.
where on the 360 every single boss battle i did i died at least 2 times.
so NGS2>NG2 only because its easier, otherwise i would give it to NG2

Last edited by ___________ on 10/10/2009 1:29:51 AM

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Wage SLAVES
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 1:39:14 AM

Thanks for your input. I like the fact that you've played both versions through. I might get anyways. I can see your case with the purple crap. But you must have liked the boobage???

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Naga
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 5:06:35 AM

hey you dont have to spend yellow essence to upgrade your weapons so you have much more to spend on health items.

Thats why you can only upgrade at blue Muramasas!!! that's good

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___________
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 7:42:15 AM

the boobage is barely noticeable.
and yea its good that you dont have to spend yellow essance, but its kinda frustrating because you rarely have a chance to upgrade your weapons.
i just finished it 20 minutes ago and im dissapointed.
the last 2 levels in NG2 were the best levels in the whole game and they changed it :(
im glad they made NGS2 easier, im glad they changed some levels so its like playing a new game but i also want those levels back.

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Fane1024
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 1:42:39 AM
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Did anyone else become frustrated with how low the camera was? I kept having to readjust it, only to have it slide down again. P I T A. Demo, not full version, BTW.

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djduke316
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 2:00:25 AM
Reply

I stll can't get over the less gore in Sigma 2. That's what made the 360 look so cool. I think I'll pass on this version.

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Ultimate_Balla
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 4:27:36 AM
Reply

Will buy it when it's cheaper. Got other sxxt to do with my cash.

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Aftab
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 5:52:36 AM
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Much has been said about camera issues, and I use to agree, too, when I was into restrained/fixed camera action-adventures like DMC or GOW, and was expecting that NGS, and NG2 would be played in the same style. However, they (NG, NGB, NGS, NG2, NGS2) are free-roaming camera games. Much like FPS's, or other games like GTA4, you have to actively adjust the camera.

However, instead of having to wait to steer the camera around with R3 (which one still can), one only has to click R1 to snap the camera around and behind Ryu. So, one learns to tap R1 habitually, before sharp turns and view-blocking obstacles. What this allows is a much more dynamic experience, with more exploration, level complexity, and action.

Other real difference in how NG games are played from the likes of DMC or GOW is that one should never walk, run, or hop around to traverse the playfield in the middle of action. Doing this will only get your a** handed to you quickly. Instead one relies, on blocking and reverse-winding (term lost in translation mean to dodge, not fart), and countering (big key). One also must rely much more on timing, instead of just button button mashing. Reverses/counters will often dismember, allowing you to finish the job with OT's (obliteration techniques which are triggered by tapping Y for a finishing move on a dismembered enemy), giving one temporary invulnerability. And charging UT's (super moves triggered by holding Y to absorb yellow/blue/red from fallen enemies and releasing) should be done only on landing from a jump, or an aerial combo, as opposed to just standing in the thick of action, and holding Y. This allows a much quicker charge, and some slick combos, and also gives the player temporary invulnerability, as well, after the move is triggered.

Also, just blocking doesn't guarantee safety, as enemies have guard breaking moves and throws. So one should always follow a block by a reverse-wind (which will work even after a guard-breaking enemy attack), or a reversal (tapping square or triangle an instant after a block), or just dodging/jumping out of the way when an enemy is getting in close for a throw.

Mastering these techniques takes any and all frustration out of NG, and offers the player the deepest, and most satisfying action out of any beat'um-up or action-adventurer. Mind you, this is coming from a DMC/GOW-fan. Don't get me wrong. I still prefer the cinematics and story of GOW, and the style of DMC, but for my fix of heart-racing, fast-twitch, visceral action, I'd go for NG all the way. PS3 owners are very lucky to have this fine-tuned version of NG2.

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Fane1024
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 5:03:16 PM

I'm going to assume you were responding to my comment, at least in part.

I wasn't complaining in general about needing to control the camera. I prefer adjusting the camera constantly to fixed camera systems. I just want the camera to stay where I put it (relative to the character) and I want to be able to see the battlefield and especially the "jumps". The default height of the camera in NG2S (to which it no doubt returns when you press R1) is too low for me. I didn't have the same problem with NGS.

While I'm no huge fan of NG (or DMC or GOW, for that matter), I didn't intend to slight it, just to comment on one aspect which bugged me to see if others agreed. Action games of this sort aren't my thing (though I loved The Mark Of Kri), but I don't belittle quality games just because I don't enjoy them.

I don't see how you're supposed to counter with 4-6 enemies bouncing all over the screen, but that's my shortcoming, not the game's. I just turtle. : )

p.s. LOL at the mixed button names; there's no Y button on my DS3! ; )


Last edited by Fane1024 on 10/10/2009 5:08:42 PM

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Aftab
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 5:59:34 AM
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Sorry, edit: of course, OT'ing is a feature particular to a NG2/NGS2. My previous post implied that it was a part of the series in general.

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Aftab
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 8:14:40 AM
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One of the cool touches I liked about NG2/NGS2 is doing an OTOL (obliteration technique on landing) as I hit the ground after getting knocked over, for some quick revenge.

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Fane1024
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 5:10:21 PM

I did some of those...by accident, of course.

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redman479
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 10:07:33 AM
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It was ok but not for my $64.

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tlpn99
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 11:28:52 AM
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Tried the demo didn't like it so thankfully it is one of the games I can put back money is needed for Uncharted 2 and the other gems coming out further down the line :)

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BlinkBoy
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 12:07:37 PM
Reply

I had enough from the demo, after playing the one level with Ryu i quit the demo and came back couple days later, did the Ayayne level and quit after that.

I like how it plays, but it gets pretty mono-toned after a while.

I will buy this eventually, but not for full price.

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therabbitkinge
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 10:52:17 PM
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It is nice but its like they say, you can't teach an old dog to be a ninja ^_^

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PaiNT_kinG
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 @ 1:02:20 AM
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i like part 1 better................

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cadpig
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 @ 1:44:24 AM
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No thanks, they jumped the shark....Who wants a toned down ninja gaiden? All i wanted was a better looking port of the Xbox 360 game with all of that new content. If the game not broke then why fix it.
If they ever made a ninja gaiden game with a good camera. I would complain. Because i have gotten so use to that lousy camera.
Tecmo might as well change the name , now.
Because, Itagaki was the force behind Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive...The magic is gone..

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