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Ninja Gaiden Sigma (Playstation 3)


Romier S
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Brian posted some rumors about this in the Xbox thread, but it's news that deserves it's own thread. It looks like this is no longer just a rumor as a recent scan from Famitsu has appeared showing screenshots for the game along with a list of features to expect:

 

[ATTACH]2226[/ATTACH]

 

IGN also has a report about the game being moved over to Sony's new console:

 

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/733/733714p1.html

 

Team Ninja is improving upon the Xbox version in all areas. The visuals, including characters, stages and effects, are being upgraded. Event scenes are being redone, and new scenes are being added. All cinema scenes in the PS3 version will be real time, Famitsu specifies.

 

On the gameplay side of things, players can look forward to new moves, actions and weapons for Hayabusa. Racheal, one of the series' heroines, will be playable, and when using her, you'll get to experience the storyline from her perspective.

 

Development on Ninja Gaiden Sigma is currently at just 25%. A Japanese release date has yet to be announced.

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So, can someone explain to me why Team Ninja is working on yet another iteration of this game? Don't get me wrong, I love Ninja Gaiden and thought that Ninja Gaiden Black was a great update. So, why not leave it at that and move on to Ninja Gaiden 2 instead? Personally, I don't think this game needs yet another update with better graphics. The only thing that could get me to change my mind on this is if they include a lot of new content to make it worth my while.

 

We'll see, I guess. I may change my mind about this one, but for the time being, I'm putting it in the MAYBE pile.

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This sounds like a very significant upgrade. And for Playstation fanboys who would only play the game on their console, this is their first opportunity to play the game. There is probably a lot of people there, so I don't think this is strictly a triple dipping sort of thing.

 

Also, as Brian pointed out, I bet this serves the purpose of both a product release, and an R&D PS3 project toward future releases on that platform.

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I agree that trailer looked very impressive. I'd like to see a direct feed version of it, preferably in high definition.

 

One thing that is encouraging is that so much of what they show in that footage is completely new and didn't appear in either verison of Ninja Gaiden so far. Whether this is footage from an expanded version of the story mode or new scenarios in mission mode is hard to tell, but I do like the fact that it's not just the same crap as before... only prettier.

 

Oh, and I can't wait to wield two swords at the same time. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's an interview with Itagaki about Ninja Gaiden Sigma as well as DOA Extreme 2. Itagaki mentions he is not directly involved with Ninja Gaiden Sigma and has handed the game off to one of his capable producers. You can watch the whole interview here:

 

Itagaki interview

 

I'm not sure why there's a whole semi-apology for bringing Gaiden to the Playstation 3. It's nice that he's committed to the Xbox platform, but anyone that's actually upset about Ninja Gaiden reaching a whole new audience needs a reality check.

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Because it's an easy way to make a big release on a new platform while building a toolset to do more games down the line?

 

No, that can't be it ;) I'll bet they haven't even added the giant crabs yet...

 

This is cool but if I buy a PS3 I'll likely skip it. I barely survived NG on Xbox just playing the "Normal" difficulty. I played the "Hard" mode for about 2 levels and then cried myslef to sleep in front of the TV, no need to do that again. I can barely imagine what sorts of new difficultlies Team Ninja is dreaming up for the PS3 version, maybe "Forced Waterboarding While You Play" mode or "Hot Schrapnel flying into Your Face upon Level Start" mode?

 

With the PS3 power though and Team Ninja's commitment, the pretty will be off the hook. They set the graphics standard last gen, why not do it again with the same game this gen?

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  • 5 months later...

New hands on preview, screenshots and video at 1up:

 

Of the game's 19 levels, Rachel stars in three. For those not keeping count, the original game (Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden Black) featured 16 levels, so the new ones have been added to flesh out the story. While the game's director, Yosuke Hayashi, remains mum on how many weapons Rachel will control overall, we tried her out using her signature Warhammer. Hayashi told us in a previous interview that Team Ninja was going to great lengths to ensure that Rachel's play style was tangibly different from Ryu Hayabusa's.

 

Hayabusa is a "super ninja," according to Team Ninja, and Rachel is a "fiend hunter," so there's no reason for them to play alike. In terms of animations, Rachel definitely offers a different appearance, standing upright and moving with articulation that's distinctly feminine, in contrast to Hayabusa's crouched, feral attack stance. Taking enemies down with the Warhammer is comfortingly familiar, though.

 

Visually, the game now runs at a solid 60 frames-per-second at 720p (and, interestingly enough, 1080p in the final product as well), which looks phenomenal on an HDTV. People who might by now take Team Ninja's graphical prowess for granted only need see this running on a high-def setup to appreciate how much work the developer has put into making this a true next-gen title.

 

Ninja Gaiden Sigma further gives you that new car smell via all new enemy animations, and new animations for Hayabusa, like the new looks given to his evasive maneuvers. Previously, if you rolled out of the way, there was only one animation for that move. But now, depending on the direction you're moving, the man in black will react differently. Enemies too recoil from Hayabusa's attacks in a variety of ways, giving Sigma a more organic feel.

 

Besides the higher polygon counts, the high-definition fidelity of the graphics, and the new real-time cut-scenes, an abundance of self-shadowing is evident on all of the game's characters. While there are currently no plans for the game to support rumble functionality, Ninja Gaiden Sigma does support Sixaxis functionality. When using Hayabusa's ninpo or Rachel's magic, shaking the controller vigorously results in a stronger magic effect. Hayashi rationalizes this by saying that the moments in which you need to use magic are probably high stress situations in which you'll probably already be shaking your controller as you frenetically try to kill as many enemies as possible, so shaking the Sixaxis while using ninpo is a logical extension of that.

 

http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3158174

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  • 3 months later...

So today was the today for happy surprises. On my way home from work, I stopped in my local Sears store - and what do I find but a copy of Ninja Gaiden Sigma just waiting for me to purchase. Call this one aquired a little earlier than expected. I'll post some impressions as soon as I have a chance to sit down with it, but that might not actually be until Friday night.

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Okay - so not wanting to wait to at least get a taste of the final game, I decided to give it a quick test drive. First thing I did was to use the install feature of the game (which still seems odd on a console - but whatever) and while it appears optional to improve game performance, it installs just about 3 gigs worth of data to the HD. Having done so I can say that the load times are extremely minimal. Moving into the game I only played up through part of the Village (so shortly after the demo ends) and based on that play time, the videos that have been shown, and the demo on last week's "On the Spot" over at GameSpot - I'm pretty much sold that this will be the definitive version of Ninja Gaiden (until of course they release Ninja Gaiden Sigma Black :) ). Also, while I haven't revisited Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox since the original release of Black on it - I can say this game is all sorts of pretty - not only from a graphic texture standpoint, but from the animations and overall pack a punch impressions standpoint.

 

Now having said that I'm going to try and demostrate some self control since finally after 2+ years I'm finally working on my 1st playthrough of Resident Evil 4 - and being on Chapter 5 (which appears to be pretty close to the end) I want to wrap that up (along with the Ada missions, and I may or may not choose to play around with the Mercenaries game) - but once that's complete - I can say without hesitation that this will be the next game I sink into. Also, even after playing through two versions in the past, it's been long enough that the game feels fresh and not so much like a replay - plus with the added content brought into the game; I'm pretty well psyched!

 

Finally - for the record, I seem to remember that Nunchuck guy in the Xbox edition told you some technique after sitting down and chatting with him. However here once the news comes that the village is under attack - talking to him only elicits a response of "there's no time - go save your people" - another minor difference, or just a memory lapse - I'm not quite sure. Hardly a big deal since I didn't buy this as some sort of compare and contrast experiment - I bought it since I was totally engrossed with the game on the box and see no reason that the love affair won't be rekindled anew on the PS3.

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Finally - for the record, I seem to remember that Nunchuck guy in the Xbox edition told you some technique after sitting down and chatting with him. However here once the news comes that the village is under attack - talking to him only elicits a response of "there's no time - go save your people" - another minor difference, or just a memory lapse - I'm not quite sure.

 

He did teach you something. He taught you how to execute ultimate attacks by drawing in essence with your sword. I wonder if they teach you that elsewhere in the game.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I received this from Gamefly earlier in the week and I finally got to sit down with it last night. I played through most of the original and all of Black. It is amazing how good Sigma looks. You can tell that Team Ninja really took the time to improve the graphics, the speed, and the animations of the game. The fighting just seems more fluid than the previous versions. I am at the midpoint on the Airship and I have not decided if I am going to play through it much more since I have already essentially played this game. I can honestly say though that if you never played the Xbox versions, Sigma is a must have.

 

He did teach you something. He taught you how to execute ultimate attacks by drawing in essence with your sword. I wonder if they teach you that elsewhere in the game.

You learn this off of one of the scrolls that Ayane leaves for you now.

 

-Dean-

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  • 3 weeks later...

After some 14 hours of play time over the past week I finished off Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the good old Playstation 3. If there's any one thing that's good about my 360 being off for repair it is that I get to sit down and play through some of these titles I've been ignoring. For those not in the know, I won Ninja Gaiden Sigma at a picnic a few weeks back (free is good:)) so I was in no hurry to really get to it to be honest. Regardless I started playing last week and felt the need to play through again (I beat the original Xbox game but never bothered beating Black).

 

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'm confident in saying this is the best version of Gaiden out there right now (with some complaints I'll get to shortly). Its got a fairly nice facelift for its PS3 debut and it's easily the most content rich (featuring almost everything in Gaiden/Black outside of the original three unlockable games and more).

 

The visuals are the main reason folks are going to want to pick up this version and they are lovely. The opening two to three levels really showcase the work put into giving everything an entirely new look. You'll find foliage where there never was any and some added environmental elements old Gaiden players will appreciate. That having been said, the game never betrays its Xbox roots. While the opening levels look astonishingly good, it seems as though Team Ninja didn't take quite as much care with later levels. Mind you, they do like quite a bit better...but the disparity isn't as eye popping as the first time you load the game up.

 

There are other smaller issues. Such as the claims made by several previews early on that Team Ninja was redoing all of the cutscenes in real time. This is completely untrue in the final game. The first cutscene at the finale of the Hayabusa Village level is now playable and you now have to actually battle Doku instead of him just slaying Ryu outright. Outside of that, all of the other cutscenes are as they appear in the original game (in their original 480p glory at that:( ) . It's a damn shame that the time wasn't taken to present these scenes in full high definition considering the amount of work that went into so many of the other visual elements and the space available on the Blu-Ray disc.

 

Nonetheless, playing Ninja Gaiden in 1080p with redone visuals and a silky smooth 60fps framerate is hardly something worth complaining about (too much) in the end. Everything about the gameplay is completely intact and it actually feels BETTER on the SIXAXIS than it did on the Xbox or 360 controllers for me. Pulling off some of the more complex combos is completely natural and the additional SIXAXIS based Ninpo attacks are gimmicky but fun in the end. It's 100% the game you know and love from the Xbox with some wonderful additions like the dual wielding swords! Probably my favorite weapons in the game.

 

The most notable addition to the game (outside of the visual upgrade) is the ability to play as the Fiend Hunter Rachel for the first time. Team Ninja touted this feature quite heavily before release and I wish I could say it was a success. Rachel's missions are a real bust for me (no pun intended). She's dreadfully slow and just outright unfun to play in comparison to Ryu. She also happens to have one of the worst run animations I've seen in a game. The story elements her levels are supposed to flesh out feel completely tacked on and useless to the overall mythology. Thankfully her later missions do get better and there are some Fiend challenges that will give even the best Gaiden players a workout - but all in all the game would have been better if you could choose to activate or deactivate her missions entirely. I wouldn't have missed them at all.

 

My only other issue with Sigma is technical/polish related. The game gives you the option to install almost 3GB worth of data to the hard drive for a "better game experience". I had the exact opposite. The game would periodically freeze on me when I would activate a save terminal. It would simply sit at the red screen and never bring up the option to save at all. I would have to quit the game entirely and restart it losing chunks of play time because of the problem. After having this happen several times I deleted the installed data entirely and found that the issue completely disappeared. It's worth nothing that there is almost no difference in load times whatsoever regardless of whether you chose to install the data or not. I can't speak for everyone that will sit down to play Gaiden (and I'm sure there are those that may not experience any issues) but in doing some research I found the save screen freeze is a somewhat common occurrence so take that for whatever it's worth.

 

Despite the above mentioned issues - and I may be coming off a bit negative - this is the most definitive version of the game out there - warts and all. I've never considered myself to be a drooling Gaiden fanboy (Devil May Cry for me:)) but I like the game and can appreciate its gameplay and visual acumen. If you're looking for a truly solid and fun action game to take up some time on your Playstation 3, you can't go wrong here. If you've already played the hell out of it I would probably suggest a rental. Unless of course you're a truly obsessed Ninja Gaiden fan.

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