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Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is an awesome and fun to play game for the PS3. The gameplay is a little more streamlined and simple than the Xbox 360 version with less blood and gore, but makes up for it with the playable female characters, more levels, cut scenes, and more. The #1 gaming hero of 2009 is Ryu Hayabusa. Remember it. Solid Snake, eat your heart out.
Ninja Gaiden II was great, but it wasn't on the level of Ninja Gaiden--and in the same way, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 doesn't quite reach the heights of Ninja Gaiden Sigma. But thanks to its heady new co-op missions, it comes awfully close. Forget any worries you had about diminished blood and embrace the fury that the game's comely trio brings to the table. Taking control of one of them while slashing up fiends with a friend is a total riot, as is guiding them through their single-player levels. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 may not have addressed every shortcoming of its Xbox 360 predecessor, but it does a great job of making up for them with raw, unparalleled swordplay.
The fun of slicing hordes of difficult enemies and finding the nuances of a deep combat system manage to escape the clutches of Ninja Gaiden II’s unfair difficulty curve. Still, if you already have a copy of Ninja Gaiden II the additions in this version aren’t justification enough to buy it again for a higher price. Anyone who was either turned off by the difficulty in the original or passed over it the first time around should check out Sigma 2. While bloodless and far from a definitive version, it’s a still a fun and challenging game that any action fan worth their salt should play.
On the outside of this travesty there’s a shell of what would be an amazing action game. Every level is grand in scale and over-the-top. Fighting a four-armed werewolf in a coliseum to an audience of spectator werewolves is awesome. Cutting a bloody swath through a crashing air fortress is exciting. Battling the Statue of Liberty is stupid, but hey, why not? It helps make the ghost fish seem just a little less hokey when you see them nibbling on Ryu’s flesh. Every so often there’s the feeling that you are the master ninja. It does happen, just for bits and pieces, where the combat actually does seem to work and the camera can see everything. And then the illusion is dispelled as all of the game’s faults rise quickly to the surface.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus is a solid enough port of the console game if you’ve missed it or really want a portable version, but between losing features and technical issues, it’s hard to recommend unless you’re a diehard fan or have no other way to play it.