There Will Be Purple Essence
Last year Ninja Gaiden 2 was released to not so stellar reviews...at least not compared to its predecessor Ninja Gaiden. Despite the disappointing reviews fans were amazed by the amounts of blood they could pile up on the screen in one battle, and the impressive variety of weapons that featured many unique throws and combos to keep your ninja fix for a very long time.
It was of no surprise that Team Ninja announced a recreation of Ninja Gaiden 2 earlier in the year as the company has a tendency to re-release 90% of the games they make. This may sound pernicious but their recreations have ALWAYS been twice as good as their originals including: Ninja Gaiden Black, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore and one of the best fighting games EVER made Dead or Alive Ultimate. Sigma 2 is no different as it's superior to the 360 original in almost every way possible.
Sigma 2 plays almost exactly as you played the original on the 360, and while this sounds like a bad thing, game mechanics is what the original did perfectly. Ryu Haybusa the super ninja is incredibly fluid and will gracefully dive through an enemy with his Dragon Sword, or will brutally chop in half a werewolf with his Eclipse Scythe. He's got a lot of ways to dominate his opponent whether it be with an Obliteration or Ultimate Technique. Now the Obliteration Technique is one of the new elements to Ninja Gaiden. You first dismember an enemy and then shortly after you must press the triangle button to finish them off in an exciting way.
Team Ninja's once superior graphics engine is starting to show its age, but Sigma 2 still looks very sharp and clean on an HD set. The purple essence that flies out of enemies actually looks really nice and the dismemberment moves look AMAZING. The game runs way better than the 360 original and feels fluid despite a terrible camera that prevents this video game from getting a perfect score.
The replay value in Sigma 2 is what really dominates Itagaki's swan song to the Team Ninja fans. Sigma 2 gives you a wide array of new things such as:
-Team Mission Mode (which spans around 30 missions)
-Two new weapons for Hayabusa (they are powerful, and incredibly fun to use)
-Three new characters that aren't tact on (Ayane, Momiji, Rachel)
-Three new missions
-Several new boss fights
-Ultimate Ninja difficulty (Team Mission)
-A horde of new costumes
The way the new stuff is presented is well done. The new chapters don't really break off into NEW grounds but gets into some areas not seen before. The Mission mode is a warm welcome. The characters are all unique and done much better than Rachel was done in the first Sigma. The new boss fights are cool, and pretty tough, as you would expect.
Overall, players are going to be very impressed with what this game has to offer newcomers and veterans alike. If this game has any cons at all it's the cut scenes presentation. I know blood baths were cut out of the core game, but even in the cut scenes? It really kills the joy of watching them in the first place since the story isn't very good. But despite a clunky camera and a cut from the gore Sigma 2 is the best Team Ninja experience since Dead or Alive 4, and fans with a PS3 need to pick up this sleeper hit now!