Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 User Review
NGS2 brings to the table a relatively straight forward fast-action experience that is brimming with a wealth of combat detail and responsive control. You'll typically proceed in a linear direction, stopping only at shops to buy or upgrade items, while fighting an assortment of aggressive enemies along the way that vary in size and number. Numerous and challenging boss battles will mercilessly attack, putting your ninja skills to the test. Though, Ryu has been given access to an array of upgradeable weapons and ninpo arts (magical attacks) which can aptly dispatch his opposition when properly honed and chosen. As a returning element from prior Ninja Gaiden's, enemies that are eliminated will release absorbable essence orbs that serve multiple purposes: money, health, powering up attacks, and ninpo power. Ryu is the core character in NGS2, but you'll also be treated to playing as three beautiful young ladies while on your adventure: Momiji, Rachel, and Ayane. Each character possesses unique fighting attributes that differentiate their style of play from each other. You'll do well to have a good grasp of knowing when to attack, defend, and evade as quick-wits and smart tactics will see you through successfully to the end.
A new element that sets NGS2 apart from former action titles is limb chopping—he's not just decapitating anymore. This element presents an interesting dynamic in combat that encourages attentiveness to an enemies vital status. An enemy's limb or limbs may be sliced off; this usual happens when interrupting an enemy's attack with one of your many melee attacks or from firing an arrow. Doing so nearly immobilizes your enemy forcing them to change their attack pattern and will also open them up to being quickly dispatched by using a single input command, known as an Obliteration Technique. These wounded enemies won't lay around waiting to be killed. An enemy in this weakened state values little for his own life and won't hesitate to latch onto you and then detonate himself with an explosive, effectively dealing heavy damage to you in the process.
NGS2 is a considerable value by offering a robust set of features. NGS2 is the most feature rich game to have been released for the franchise. Complete with a lengthy campaign and varying degrees of difficulty, online co-op mission mode, time trials, and un-lockable costumes, NGS2 offers a lot to play. Most notably, the online co-op mode places a team of two players (human or CPU) into a variety of missions. Many of these missions will test even the most skilled NG veterans, promising a lot of value.
Visually, the game offers a good looking and sometimes remarkable visual presentation that undoubtedly looks improved over it's 360 release. Boasting a slick 60fps frame-rate, where action flows speedily along, NGS2 maintains a precedent for fluidity. You'll observe well animated nicely detailed characters and designs, along with colorful streams of light and effects that keep the eyes satisfied with plenty of visual stimuli. Serving up a wide selection of backdrops, anywhere from city-skyscrapers to jungle depths and ancient ruins, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 has no problem keeping the scenery fresh. A few contrivances can be made when observing relatively minor visual abnormalities. Screen tearing can rear it's ugly head pretty often which distorts the solidity of the action and may prove to be slightly disorienting. With what is usually a smooth moving game, a handful of locations present an overwhelming level of complexity that can bog the frame rate down; thankfully, the bouts of slowdown are short in duration.
The music is quite similar to something one would hear from a dramatic Hollywood movie.
It suitably keeps you motivated with what is usually a dramatic and upbeat symphonic score that compliments the mood of any given scenario. Stages frequently present various tracks to accompany changing situations of play.
The sound effects and voice-overs are usually a mixed bag. While weapons make satisfying clangs and slashes that are varied and add to the feeling of impact, the voice-overs are standard fare from what we've come to expect from eastern designed games with a mixture of over-dramatized to unusual pauses in dialogue. Seeing that story takes a back seat to action in NGS2 these contrivances are relatively minuet.
Team Ninja has successfully created a great action package with this re-mastered release for Playstation 3 owners. They re-engineered Ninja Gaiden 2 in a way that many other multi-platform developers struggle with when bringing a custom game from 360 to PS3; Team Ninja is the exception. With a satisfying and enriched combat system, including a variety of modes and repayable value, NGS2 should keep fans of the franchise happy for a long time while they await for a hopeful sequel. You deserve a bow Haysashi-san; indeed, you'll fill Itagaki's former shoes nicely.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.