Ninja Gaiden Sigma Review
There was a time in my life where playing an action game was like breathing, I couldn't live without it. But lately I’ve become quite irritated at the mere mention of any action game. My doctor told me I had Genji-itis, it stems from playing Genji 2 on the PS3. He prescribed Ninja Gaiden Sigma and now my life is back in order. I’m enjoying life, my girlfriend and, most importantly, action games like never before.
Maybe that last paragraph was a little over dramatic but it’s not too far off the mark. Ninja Gaiden Sigma is the best action game that you can buy on the PS3 and it doesn’t look like any upcoming games are going to steal that crown.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma follows the premise of the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden, you play as Ryu Hayabusa. Doku has stolen the Dark Dragon Blade from your village and you must get it back. The story won’t be winning any novelty awards and yet it still manages to avoid the sub-mediocrity hole that most action games fall in.
Along the way, you’ll be aided by Ayane, another fellow ninja and Rachel, the gratuitously well-endowed fiend hunter. The game’s pacing is superb and the environments are varied enough to give you a feeling like you’re never in one area for too long.
Ultimately, the only thing that needs to work in an action game is the combat, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma delivers. Ninja Gaiden is the only video game in my recent memory that makes me feel like a bad@$$ ninja. Jumping and running along walls, mid-air slashes, fantastic archery and awesome ninpo magic, and all this is done with ease that even the most simple-minded gamer that perform. (I’m just about convinced that ninjas are better than pirates.)
That’s not to say the game is easy, far from it, this game is one of the most challenging games ever made. The enemies are relentless and, unless you’re constantly giving it 100%, you’re going to be very well acquainted with the Game Over screen. Unlike most action games, where in order to increase difficulty enemies are given an unfair advantage or are too cheap, in Ninja Gaiden, the AI is top notch. Get too cocky and you’re toast. A little too defensive and the enemies will grab you. The game does a superb job of making sure you balance offense and defense without things feeling too strategic. Not everything is perfect, however. The camera can be problematic at times which becomes apparent during some of the more platforming-oriented parts of the game. But heavy platforming is rare in this game, so it’s not too serious a problem. Another minor problem is the scattered load time. You’ll run into a short load time (1-3 seconds) every once in a while. This can be especially annoying if it happens mid-fight, where you’re in the middle of a combo. And installing the full game onto the hard drive doesn’t seem to help either. It’s not enough to detrack too much from the overall experience but it would’ve been better if these were ironed out of the final build.
Even though the title is 3 years old, this is one beautiful game. (And I’m not even talking about Rachel) Every scene in this game has been given a major overhaul with an attention to detail few developers are willing to give. (In the first level alone, you can see rose petals in the gentle breeze.) With the game outputting in 1080p with 60 fps and this is just scratching the surface of what the PS3 is capable of. If you own a PS3 and Heavenly Sword just doesn’t satisfy your desire for blistering-paced action and loads of extra missions and challenges you owe it to yourself to buy this great game.
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Developer: Team Ninja
Fast and fluid combat
The same game from 2004
Infrequent load times