When it comes to action games, it's hard to beat the Ninja Gaiden franchise. On the Xbox, Ninja Gaiden redefined 3D action games by bringing an addictive and deep fighting system, coupled with great visuals and production quality. The subsequent Ninja Gaiden Black gave players even more reason to get on the Ninja bandwagon as it brought new enemies and missions. But that was once restricted to the Xbox has now found its way to the PS3 thanks to Ninja Gaiden Sigma. The game brings the Ninja gameplay to a whole new audience and adds quite a bit more to the plate in terms of extra content.
The story in Ninja Gaiden Sigma follows the exploits of Ryu Hayabusa. A fiend named Doku ransacks his village and it's up to Ryu to get revenge for his clan, and recover the Dark Dragon Blade. Ryu is actually defeated by Doku before as the village is being destroyed, but this piece of the story was represented by a cutscene in the Xbox version. But on Sigma, players are actually able to fight Doku on the burning village. That's just one example of extra content that Ninja Gaiden Sigma adds to the experience. The story also features a lot of the beautiful fiend hunter Rachel. But in Sigma, players get to play some parts of the story mode as Rachel, which helps fill in the gaps from the original game.
Sigma definitely has a good story but the first things that players will notice are the improved visuals. Ninja Gaiden Sigma looks gorgeous and is leaps ahead of the original in terms of visual quality. The detail on the character models and the lighting effects really add to the gaming experience. The cutscenes however, have been ported straight from the Xbox version, which makes them look worse than the in-game graphics at times.
Even though visuals are important, gameplay is king when it comes to Ninja Gaiden. And on that front, fans of the series will not be disappointed. A lot of the fighting system remains largely unchanged except for a few additions. The first one being Rachel and her different combat style, which differs heavily from Ryu's. Rachel utilizes a lot of heavy attacks with her War Hammer, whereas Ryu is much more nimble when using his sword. Rachel's projectile weapons are also different since Rachel has a Peluda Tail that allows her to swing from certain objects. On the down side, Rachel can't run up walls whereas Ryu can. Both characters can still use magic attacks, although Ryu's is called Ninpo while Rachel's is called Sorcery. But aside from the new gameplay mechanics with a new character, even Ryu has a few more tricks up his sleeve in this version. Right at the beginning of the game, players can switch from the Dragon Sword to the "Dragon's Claw & Tiger's Fang". Ryu is able to wield the two swords at the same time and this new weapon brings different combos and strategies into the mix. The new weapons might seem unbalanced at first and make the Dragon Sword look useless, but the dual wielding swords do have their faults compared to the Dragon Sword.
The changes aren't just in the gameplay mechanics either, and Sigma brings a lot of new content in terms of level design. There are now boss fights on some spots where puzzles used to be. Even Rachel gets a couple of boss fights during her parts in story mode. Also, some objects needed for puzzles are now located in different spots, and the save points have been put in a lot of extra places to eliminate some of the frustration from the original game. Keep in mind that Ninja Gaiden Sigma is still a very difficult game, but the challenge is much more skill based thanks to the extra save points. In fact, if you've played the original Ninja Gaiden or Ninja Gaiden Black, Sigma will seem much easier. The game also features a lot more things to collect, such as new haircuts for Rachel, new accessories, and new challenges to get those extras. Mission mode also makes a comeback and now includes Rachel as a playable character as well.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma is the motherload of Ninja Gaiden content for the PS3. Even for veterans of the series who have already played through the original on the Xbox, Ninja Gaiden Sigma is still worth a look for the improved visuals, extra story, and new content. And if you haven't played the original Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox, Sigma is a must buy for action fans. The fighting system is as deep as a fighting game, the story is interesting, the babes are hot, and the action is plentiful as well. If you love action games or you're itching for a good game on the PS3, Sigma is definitely worth a look.