Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Same Ninja Gaiden Experience, Hero Difficulty, Exclusive Vita Features, Ninja Trials to Keep You Busy, Trophies Included
Bad: Some Vita Features Are Useless, Not a Remake but a Straight Port
User Score
9.4
(5 votes)
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When you think of insanely difficult games, Ninja Gaiden usually comes to mind. Following its successful original release on the Xbox, Tecmo re-released the game on various platforms to showcase it’s greatness. PS3 gamers were lucky enough to receive an improved version of Ninja Gaiden Black. The port was well received by PS3 fans and with the release on the PlayStation Vita, gamers can now play the game n the go.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is the third port that the game has received and with the promised intuitive Vita controls, will it be worth another purchase? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs in our review of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus.

HOT

Same Ninja Gaiden Experience
Everything from Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the PS3 can be seen on the Vita. Nothing has been altered in terms of design, story and visuals. For a portable title, I’m amazed at how the quality remains intact, and I can pretty much have to say that it has the same visuals as the PlayStation 3 version.

For those who haven’t played any of the Ninja Gaiden titles, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is a brutal hack and slash game where you follow Ryu Hayabusha in his quest for vengeance and the retrieval of the Dark Dragon Blade from Doku, a man who killed the Shrine Maiden of Hayabusha Village, Kureha. Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus has nineteen chapters, so prepare to experience an incredible journey where you will most likely get frustrated due to the game’s high difficulty. Expect several bosses along the way that will give you a serious challenge and in the end, you’ll know exactly why Ninja Gaiden games are for those who have a high tolerance for difficulty.

As for the controls, they feel responsive just like previous versions of the game. The second analog stick makes everything easier when guiding Ryu through tough various challenges. Additionally, the controls for Sigma Plus are similar to what you would expect from the console version.

Hero Difficulty
Whether or not you you’ve played Ninja Gaiden Sigma before, there’s a chance you’ll have a hard time finishing certain chapters. In order to make it friendly for beginners or even veterans of the series, a new Hero difficulty is available from the beginning of the game. Compared to normal difficulty, I would say that Hero mode’s boss battles and overall combat is more tolerable and easier than Normal.

Exclusive Vita Features
To make use of the Vita’s capabilities, Tecmo added a few exclusive features. One of the useful unique features is the use of the first person view by tapping the screen. While in first person mode, you can use the Vita’s gyro controls to adjust the camera. If the motion sensing feature isn’t your thing, you can use the right analog stick to adjust it. This feature is useful for scoping out enemies to develop a battle plan and for gazing at the Vita’s beautiful visuals.

Ninja Trials to Keep You Busy
One of the benefits of a portable game is playing it on the go. With the Ninja Trials, you can participate in bite-sized missions anytime and anywhere. The only way to unlock the missions is to play through the game. After clearing certain chapters, you’ll unlock missions where sometimes you might replay boss battles or meet an objective by killing enemies within a certain time limit. For those who want more challenges aside from what the main campaign offers, Ninja Trials will be up your ally.

Trophies Included
When Sigma was released on the PS3, trophy hunters were disappointed as trophies weren’t included. However in Sigma Plus, there are 51 challenging trophies to collect. The trophies is the hardest trophy set for the Vita so far. This is due to it containing both campaign and mission modes. If you’re up for the challenge of achieving the Platinum Trophy, all I can say is good luck.

NOT

Some Vita Features Are Useless
While I find the use of first person view an advantage, there are others that are pretty useless for this kind of game. Due to the game’s difficulty, its pointtess to use the gyro controls or touch the screen when using Ninpo Magic. By the time you use any of the Vita controls, you’ll most likely find yourself dead.

Not a Remake but a Straight Port
It’s been almost a decade since the original Ninja Gaiden was released. One of the things veterans will see is how the game feels dated despite impressive visuals and gameplay. The manual saves are what annoy me the most in playing this title. Not having an auto save option or check points makes the game even more frustrating, especially on a high difficulty.

As mentioned earlier, nothing has changed much when it comes to this version of the game. Due to this the game feels rushed. Sorry folks: this is not a remake, but simply a port. However, if you wish to play the game for a cheaper price and have the same gameplay experience,  you can buy a used ps3 copy for $9.99 at Gamestop.

VERDICT

Despite being Ninja Gaiden’s fourth iteration, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus still seems to be worth your time and money. The graphics look incredible and the combat is still as fun as ever. If you skipped the Xbox or PS3 version due to its challenging gameplay, there’s always Hero mode to simply play through the game. Perhaps the biggest factor working against Sigma Plus is that Ninja Gaiden Sigma is available for the PS3 at a much cheaper price, making this Vita title hard to justify. However, if you’re looking for a brutal hack-and-slash game on the PlayStation Vita, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is definitely worth the price.

[Editor’s Note: Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus was reviewed on the Playstation Vita platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus Review, 9.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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1 Comment

  1. HTMLiam
    February 21, 2012, 7:15 PM

    What’s the framerate like. Is it 60?

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