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Forums - Gaming Discussion - "An Unbiased Review" Ninja Gaiden Sigma - a kupomogli review

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Before HD rereleases were a thing, there was Ninja Gaiden Sigma, a port of Ninja Gaiden Black in 1080p.  The resolution that was only used on launch or launch window games before everything this gen went 720p.  I've never played the Xbox games or the Vita game, but being a port I'd assume this also would apply to Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden Black, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus.

In Ninja Gaiden, Ryu's father is away on a journey, while the Dragon Sword and Dark Dragon are being watched over by Ryu and the Hayabusa village.  While Ryu is killing people to meet with a friend, since Ninjas roll like that, the Hayabusa village is attacked and the Dark Dragon is stolen.  The story does get worse the further into the game you get, but the biggest issue with it is Ryu seemingly knows eactly where to go to get relics he won't use until the end of the game.

Combat is stylish action style where you have single attacks and combo strings you'll link together to take damage.  Ryu has multiple different attacks while jumping, running, step attacks, standing ground combos, counters, or charging attacks.  Ryu can run up walls, along walls, defend, and roll to traverse and/or dodge.  There are a myriad of weapons in the game, but the problem is that if the weapon isn't a sword, it's really not worth using.  Every sword in the game, including the two swords, takes most of the Dragon Sword's base combos and then switches a few up in order for it to be a unique weapon.  The hammer, heavy sword, nunchukus, etc, are all too limited when it comes to diversity and amount of attacks, on top of having poor recovery time.  The amount of damage you receive from being attacked, you'll want to cover all bases while still being able to quickly move away or guard after attacking.   

Against regular non boss enemies, the game is actually enjoyable, though one or two swallow slashes or an izuna drop combo, which will be what you use the majority of the time as it gets the job done the quickest while keeping you out of danger and any regular enemy in the game is dead, even on hard mode.  The issue with the regular enemies is that starting at chapter three, for four to five chapters you'll be fighting one type of enemy, then when you start fighting demons you'll fight a different group of enemies for the next five chapters along with a different human style enemy.  Later on that group of demons changes to a palette swapped group of demons which fight the exact same and you'll fight for the rest of the game with some new enemies the last couple chapters.  There are a few different enemies here and there, but you so rarely fight them you may as well think of them as mid bosses.  Hard mode seems like enemy replacement because other than the dopplegangers of Ryu at select points in the game, you fight enemies from the last few chapters and palette swaps of soldier enemies the entire game.

For the most part.  Ninja Gaiden isn't too difficult.  The main difficulty lies in the beginning of the game or the boss battles, which the boss battles are a major issue and easily the least enjoyable part of the game.  The problem with most bosses in this game is that you have to defeat them how they want you to defeat them, because they'll take no damage, auto guard, or auto dodge, even if they're currently attacking.  These bosses, you can't attack them and have to keep doing nothing but dodging attacks until the boss decides to let you "potentially" damage it.  If you're not ready the exact moment you have the chance, that window of opportunity is gone almost immediately.  One boss in particular you can't even guarantee damage since it can still dodge, and this is a boss fight that's mid game, only to fight it again late game which is easier only if you take advantage and abuse the mostly invisible walls, otherwise it's even harder.  If that wasn't enough, on harder difficulties, each boss starts with other enemies on the battlefield who, when killed, will reappear within a certain period of time.  It wouldn't be so bad if the game didn't lock focus on the boss yet give priority when attacking to the regular enemies, so you might be holding the bosses direction when starting a combo, only for Ryu to turn around in a 360 and do the combo in the opposite direction because there's a regular enemy in a somewhat close proximity behind you(which is really the only time the aiming system this game emmploys is a problem.)

Traversing the world the game has that puzzle element to it, not just place this object here, but also requires learning and using your ninja skills.  Ryu can run along the wall, but in order to get past certain parts, you'll need to run along the wall jump to the next one, run along that, jump to the next, repeat.  Aside from maybe one or two parts where it might take you a short amount of time to find out what to do or where to go, it's not really that difficult to find where you need to go next, and sometimes the game even blocks areas to lead you in the correct direction.  At the end when the entire map opens up there's one part that really gives you no clue where you have to go other than new enemies at one section along the way so eventually I found it. 

Although a past gen game, when starting the game and playing through the first two chapters, the game looks beautiful, as there's a lot of detail to the areas.  When getting to the generic looking areas like the city, caves, military base, etc, with the lack of detail to draw your attention, it's very clear that it's a past gen game.  There's blood splatter which is a nice effect though, which will remain in that area until going a certain distance away or killing more enemies, though since blood splatter is just a translucent 2D image, sometimes a portion it'll splatter against an invisible wall and then won't look that great.  The music is ambient with an average soundtrack, Ryu's weapons sound realistic, while guns could sound a better.

While Ninja Gaiden Sigma has good combat and level design, regular enemies are too weak with little diversity and bosses are nothing more than a test of patience. 




New scoring criteria.

Gameplay - 8
Design - 8
Presentation - 6
Balance - 6

Overall - 7

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Played this game back in 2004 on xbox. Tough as hell but back then i had backlog of 0 games so i persisted with my semi noobish hack and slash skills. It looked amazing too and probably one be in top 5 for that generation of consoles.

Seems like the rating has taken a hit with every re-release of the game.

Original xbox version - 94%
PS3 Sigma - 88% and Sigma plus - 72%.

Fair assessment that you end up fighting same random npc between boss fights. Most games have that but they just have to keep things fresh. I think God of War series gives a better illusion in this particular facet and are bit more entertaining.

Great review!

I really hope Ninja Gaiden can improve this generation though. Would be sad to see it fall.