Review - Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus

Posted on March 18, 2013 - 3:26pm

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If you didn’t catch it, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus is a “polished” port of a polished version of the original game. With that being said, I don’t think this game should be reviewed in the traditional sense. Instead I’m going to review what I think are the biggest changes they’ve made from the previous version, and for bonus points I’m going to use analogies that an old sage would give to his pupils.

First, let me just remind you what Ninja Gaiden 2 is all about in case you’ve never played it. The best way I can sum up the game is with one of my first experiences with it:

I remember it was the second pack of enemies and some scrub ninja came at me acting all hard so I simultaneously cut both his legs off! And when he fell down to the stumps where he once had legs I sliced his head off! Yeah, that’s pretty badass, even for one of the most badass ninjas in gaming.

The whole game pretty much keeps that level of action awesomeness throughout.

Sigma 2 Plus-Not-RE6-Mercenary-Mode brings a few new aspects to the game. The biggest one in my mind is a tag mode, which is not Resident Evil 6 Mercenary Mode but if you called it that I wouldn’t bother correcting you. Although I know this is one of the bigger additions to the game I just didn’t want to play it. “Why,” you may ask? Well, it highlights the largest flaw of this port – frame rate! Sigma 2 Plus-Unintentional-Bullet-Time suffers from seriously bad frame rate issues to the point where it hobbles down the razor edge (zing) of the merciless blade of un-playability. Getting a little ninja in here, I know. The original game on the PS3 plays at 60fps, whereas this version plays at 30fps -- and it knows how to dip down better than the 2007 stock market. Since tag mode is focused on having multiple characters on screen with a flood of ninjas and demons, you notice frame rate dips here more than anywhere else in the game.


Luckily, the main game doesn’t suffer from the frame rate dips anywhere near as bad as tag mode, and the combat is the best part of the game as always. The graphics during the cut scenes are brilliant, flowing through the Vita’s vibrant screen like a stream through a peaceful bamboo forest. The sharp audio of the game’s ruthless combat runs through your ears like blades of grass in the wind. The additional missions where you play as pretty women add a nice break from Ryu’s main campaign. Their weapons and abilities are similar enough to continue a smooth learning curve, yet varied enough to break the monotony of your average hack-and-slash. I do feel as though they left the opportunity to add a bit of flow to Ninja Gaiden’s insanely sporadic story line but nonetheless it is an enjoyable addition.

Ninja Gaiden 2 Is a solid 7. Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma is a firm 8, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus should have been Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 -- minus 30 or more frames per second! Playing a game with as much action as this series is known for with 30 or less frames is like reading braille with bandaged hands. And for that reason Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus gets a clumsy 6.

Above Average
6 - Above Average6s have good ideas, but may not be executed the best. Can be enjoyable by certain circumstances or fans, but may feel shallow to most.
Technically international due to his duel citizenship with Canada, Sam comes from a background of espionage and bar tending. Growing up home schooled he honed his skills in martial arts, marksmanship, and video games. after years of being a spy he decided the espionage business wasn't for him and moved into the wonderful world of video game entertainment where he now works as ScrewAttack's merchandise director and partner coordinator. Fun fact: almost none of this is true.


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