GDC 2009: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 First Look

Tecmo unleashes Ryu Hayabusa, now with some friends, on the PlayStation 3.

A ninja's life should be pretty straightforward as a general rule. However, Tecmo's Ryu Hayabusa isn't your everyday ninja. The super ninja has had his ups and downs, with a fair share of stabbings thrown in, over the course of the Ninja Gaiden series. The most recent console entry, Ninja Gaiden II, which was released last year on the Xbox 360, is now undergoing a PlayStation 3 conversion to become Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. While this may sound like a straight port of the Xbox 360 Ninja Gaiden II, it's not. In fact, the game is getting a chunk of work done to it, everything from camera tweaks to all-new content, which will make Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 a meaty addition to the PlayStation 3 catalog.

If you're not familiar with Ninja Gaiden II, the game is a prequel to the classic Ninja Gaiden games on the NES. Though there is a story revolving around Ryu Hayabusa's race to retrieve his village's demon statue and save the world, the key takeaways are that killing things as a highly skilled ninja with an arsenal of conventional weapons and magic is good fun and that developer Team Ninja likes to make its games challenging. For the PlayStation 3 version of the game, developer Team Ninja and director/producer Yosuke Hayashi are aiming to refine and expand on Gaiden II. The approach is fueled in part by the feedback provided by fans after playing it on the Xbox 360 and the team's desire to create the best game it can. On the story side, Sigma 2 will tell the story seen in Gaiden II on the 360 and will also add in new story elements tied to the new playable characters.

New playable characters we say? Yes, brand new and even sexier (this is Team Ninja we're talking about). Sigma 2 will feature new playable female characters, which should be familiar to fans of the series and of Tecmo's Dead or Alive. The first is Ayane, the purple-haired ninja from DOA, who will come packing her own unique moves, weapons, magical attacks, and provocatively placed butterfly accessory. The second new character is Momiji, last seen at a lower resolution in Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword on the DS, who will bring her own arsenal of abilities and weapons to the fray. Both characters will be integrated into the story, which will branch off to follow their adventures. Not to be outdone in the new content department, Hayabusa will face off against new enemies and bosses with some new weapons tossed in to help deal with the new foes.

Beyond new playable characters, Sigma 2 will feature an all-new online co-op mode that lets you and a friend team up to work your way through more than 30 challenge stages, which can be played in one of four difficulty settings. Your performance will be ranked and uploaded to leaderboards so you can see how you stack up against the world. The stages will be a mix of original areas and those seen in the single-player game, which are being redone for co-op play. Finally, the game will see a good amount of work put into refining the gameplay experience. The game's camera is being tweaked based on user feedback. You will also get additional cues on where to go next from your playable character because your character's head will look off in the direction you're supposed to go in. You'll also find a variety of additional tweaks peppered throughout the gameplay to help make Sigma 2 a smoother, sleeker evolution of its 360 counterpart.

Sigma 2 is making use of an enhanced version of the graphics engine used for the original game. The game is aiming to surpass the visual quality of the last game by blending new tech into the original engine. The results so far are impressive and bode well for the game's final release.

Just another day at the ninja office.

Outside of the meat and potatoes of gameplay and visuals, Sigma 2 will feature trophy support. But you should plan on logging a good chunk of time in the game's various modes to earn them all, because Team Ninja is sprinkling them throughout both the single-player and the co-op modes. You'll at least be able to look back on all the work in stat form, thanks to an in-depth stat-tracking feature that will keep tabs on fun facts like the number of enemies you've killed, preferred weapons, and so on. Lastly, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will feature Dual Shock 3/Sixaxis functionality, so you can plan on rumble to enhance your experience and shaking your way to more powerful ninpo magic attacks. Based on this early look, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is shaping up to be a worthy follow-up to Ninja Gaiden Sigma. The refinements and tweaks to the core gameplay all sound like they're going to be beneficial. The additional content, especially the online co-op modes and the additional playable characters, beefs up the original Ninja Gaiden II's offerings quite a bit. According to Tecmo, there is roughly 30 percent more content in the single-player additions on top of the all-new co-op content. Fans of the first game on the PlayStation 3 should definitely be pleased by what Sigma 2 is serving up. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is slated to ship this fall for the PlayStation 3. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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366 comments
mark_unix
mark_unix

just look at fable2 for example, that game is re-using textures too many times (clearly due to a lack of storage, and it's a key part why the xbox360 is now losing.)

mark_unix
mark_unix

back to back the xbox360 game looks horribly out of date next to the PS3 version. just look at the PS3 exclusives next to the xbox360 graphic wise, and try to deny that the PS3 exclusives don't look better.

s111s
s111s

people are u really think that NG2 is more difficult then NGS noooooooooooooooooo way

Xenoxion
Xenoxion

I just played NGS yesterday and wow it was easy compared to the x-box version. I sure hope that this isn't gonna be like that again.

dielsonboy
dielsonboy

To: pnferris Good comparation, imagine in this word with Solid Sneak and all of his weapons... The life coud be easy... Serioslly now, the co-op of this game will give a new face never seen before... WATINNNG

sithmaster4563
sithmaster4563

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

pnferris
pnferris

I took a break from NGS last night and played Assassins Creed. In Assassins Creed the sword fights are much slower (but still very satisfying) and I was thinking, boy it would be awesome if I could play this game as Ryu, he would dance through the Assassins Creed universe like nobodies business! I wouldn't even need to hide, just walk straight from objective to objective.

sithmaster4563
sithmaster4563

yeah and another thing is why are they taken out the blood and gore it was fun slicing off the werewolf's arms & heads in ng2 but there replacing this with a essence of some sort perhaps there trying to target the kids or something. but come on ng isn't ng unless there's your cutting an arm off or something.

pnferris
pnferris

I kind of liked battling Doku, it was very satisfying to hear those "slice" sound effects against someone with impervious armour...but he really was a pain in the #$% in the Hyabusa Village level!

pnferris
pnferris

Yeah, I don't know what the deal is with the statue of liberty, looks like lady liberty was pretty pissed! Though I have to admit that I'm curious as to what it would be like to do battle with a huge statue, mabey if Ryu wins he will get a lifetime free pass to visit the statue and take in the view, you know, once things settle down. But for the battle itself, I hope he remembers to bring his whet stone.

sithmaster4563
sithmaster4563

exactly i don't mind the sigma fiends added to the fiends of ng 2 but please don't bring back doku. just like the brought back the dragon fiends from sigma and enhanced them with wings in ng 2 but What the @#$@# is up with the statue of liberty.

pnferris
pnferris

Yeah, I still can't beat Doku when he burns the Hyabusa Village. I'm currently at "The Core" on HARD trying to figure out how to beat the game without anymore shops to buy potions! If you really want to feel like a schmuck trying playing the game on Ninja Dog level, Ayane gives you little ribbons for your wrist to help, give you rice cakes, and asks you insulting questions like "How are you coming along with that bow?" it's pretty funny....I'm looking forward to seeing her #$%@ wiggle like Rachels in NGS2, how do they keep balance, sheeesh

sithmaster4563
sithmaster4563

i remember the first time i played ng sigma i had not played ninja gaiden before i lost to doku the first time. ha ha it was awful and ayane came out and said something that i cant remember know. oh well

pnferris
pnferris

I've not played NG2 but for NG Sigma...hmmmm. I really like fighting the tentacle fiend as it's got a bit of an H.P. Lovecraft vibe going. I really find my battles with Alma satifying, I just love it when I knock her down with a flying sparrow and just wail on her with a Blade of Nitiri, or a UT

sithmaster4563
sithmaster4563

whats eveyones favorite boss battle in ng sigma and ng2 my one from sigma is ishataros and my favorite from ng 2 is genshin with out a doubt,

pnferris
pnferris

You and everyone else Sithmaster

sithmaster4563
sithmaster4563

cant wait till game comes out but im wondering how many extra levels and enemies they're going to add and if they will make the archfiend more difficult.

backatcha
backatcha

I am really looking forward to this game. It seems Tecmo is pulling out all the stops!

pnferris
pnferris

can anyone tell me where online is the best discussion board for Ninja Gaiden Sigma? Thanks in advance

cool_modine
cool_modine

To hell with console wars, I'm just glad Tecmo found a way to bring this game to the PS community, and for sticking it to M$ and they're mountain of cash. I hate all this exclusiviity rights bullcrap. If developers don't feel like multiplatforming their titles, that's fine. It's just a piss off when it happens to games that were intended to be available to both audiences, until uncle money bags shows up with a deal too good to refuse.

pnferris
pnferris

It is astounding to think of all the bandwidth that has been sucked up on the "fanboy, PS3 vs Xbox360" argument. I mean, I know it is mostly just text, and doesn't take up a lot of bandwidth, but if you think of time involved in people framing their responses just right and the mental energy expended on finding little faults in an opponents arguments etc etc it makes you wonder what potentially positive things could have been generated by all that activity, instead of perpetuating an endless argument in a vain attempt at justifying all the money we are blowing on games. It almost seems as if Sony and Microsoft are in cahoots and laughing all the way to the bank with this. The customer loyalty that all companies crave is hardened in the furnace of our fragile egos...if the companies in control play their cards right...And so the battle/support between Microsoft and Sony continues. I think this is okay as long as I keep getting more games like Ninja Gaiden Sigma!

Black-_-Paper
Black-_-Paper

i hope they make the last boss a lot easier, i trying to beat it for 2 days. i have NG sigma which is great and also NG 2 its ok but hopefully NG sigma 2 will be even better. :)

alchemy60
alchemy60

LOL is it just me or is it funny people defensively respond back saying "I'm no fanboy, I own both/all consoles". I'm not mentioning anyone in particular, just a general statement, but I find it funny this is the retort some people use to escape getting flamed. It doesn't matter how many consoles you have, it's how your post is written that people respond to. Since people aren't mind readers or have any proof you own more than one consoles, they're just going to respond to what you post. ;) @thesand212 - Supposedly they have a PS3 exclusive(supposedly brand new title) hitting the console at some point. I believe it's a shooter or something... ... I stand corrected, it wasn't a shooter It's Quantum Theory. Here's link to it: http://www.gamegrep.com/screenshots/15666-tecmos_quantum_theory_new_screenshots/

pnferris
pnferris

Boy, if I had all 3 consoles I would never leave the house, unless it was to buy games. To hold me over I'm trying to finish Mission and Survival Modes in NG Sigma, mabey afterwards I'll be ready to take on Hard Mode

Jubei50
Jubei50

man this is great i knew they was gonna break from that exclusive crap and move to PS3 with even more content.but it's a long wait so i have the 360 version to hold me over that's the advantage having all 3 consoles like i do and so many others.the ones that don't shouldn't complain or hate in the first place.

pnferris
pnferris

Crystos, interesting comment, but I don't think that Tecmo is "screwing" 360 owners, it's just that they can't make the sigma versions unless they know what the main complaints are with the original. But PS3 owners have an advantage here for sure as all the "testing" gets done with the original game. I do think that, to be fair, Tecmo should offer all the sigma updates free of charge (or at least at a low price) to 360 owners though, mabey they did this, I don't know

crystos
crystos

what is the use of this? tecmo is royally screwing with 360 owners!! 2 times now they created NG and then a sigma version for ps3 what is the use of creating of inferior and one superior version? why not just create the sigma version for 360 from the get go? glad i never bought NG 2

pnferris
pnferris

Awesome, I bought a PS3 because I had a PC, wanted to play Force Unleashed, and 360s tend to burn. Then I discovered NG Sigma and was even happier, it is simply one of the best action games I have ever played (and I've played a lot of games since the Commodore Vic 20!). I was kind of non-plussed to see NG2 for 360 only but I just knew it would be re-released in sigma form for PS3, hopefully with all the kinks worked out. And so it will be, really looking forward to NG2 Sigma, the people at Team Ninja have reason to be proud, they created some real value with NG Sigma, for all the primarily single mode players out there, NG Sigma is a constantly challenging and fun action feast! I have big expectations for NG Sigma 2! I think I chose correctly with PS3 with respect to Ninja Gaiden, PS3 owners get the NG games after the 360 "beta" has been tested out, modified, and improved/expanded. Of course it would be really nice if I could play Fable 2 and Gears 2 but that is for a different post (-:

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I'm not upset that this is no longer an XBox 360 exclusive. I'm upset that Tecmo and Team Ninja didn't bother fixing the problems on XBox 360 version with patches.

thesand212
thesand212

Good but what's next for team ninja

rayzero2002
rayzero2002

This is sweet... can't wait until it comes out!!

guyvue
guyvue

this xlovekiller wasn't even 17 years old, how the heck did he get to play NG2 which rated for M? and NGS2 is much better than u, cause we ain't wanna play a guy who sit at home and can stupid talk the stupid talk, but can't walk the walk.

Llainethequiet
Llainethequiet

@xdeiri You deserve what you are willing to pay for with your "bucks", nothing more, nothing less. The only thing you are right about is NG2 was a stinky on the x360 and if a better version appears on the PS platform, joy to the owners then.

jkeplinger
jkeplinger

@xdeiri -- Why do you think a game that has less violence is automatically bad? Important things in a game to me are game play and story. If it's not enjoyable to play and/or the story is lacking then all the violence in the world isn't going to save it. BTW, I'm not a Sony fan, I own all three consoles so I can play which ever game I want on which ever platform I want.

alchemy60
alchemy60

LOL! @ xdeiri - except for the fact it has 'more' stuff then what NG2 version had. Considering the fact the game is 5 months away launching, it's plenty of time to up the violence. But hey, continue with your ignorant, bias fanboyish.

xdeiri
xdeiri

hey congrats, you can now play 1 year old junk sequel which didnt sell well on 360 and brag about it, just because it has more boobs, by the way its less violence, and i dont know about you but if i were a sony fan i will reject this to tell tecmo a massage that i deserve a better treat for my bucks

xdeiri
xdeiri

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

pillar81
pillar81

xlovekiller doesn't seem to understand that whatever Itagaki creates belongs to the Tecmo since they owned Itagaki and own Ninja Gaiden. And xlovekiller is a Ninja Dog and a beeeitch!

SS4-Goku
SS4-Goku

hot damn i cant wait for this game i loved the first one and im really looking forward to this one its lookin really good and whats better its not for the SUCKBOX lol no offence x-box users

balloory
balloory

Nice, good stuff is on its way to the ps3 (no hard feelings,dont take this personally)

joelgargan
joelgargan

@Xdeiri No its not. The games are remade (made better than NG2 was for the 360) and they usually get a completer makeover. For example, Sigma 2 has Better cameras, New playable characters and new story levels AND online Co-op. Seriously, take it to the system wars forum man. (I'm guilty of this too, but it is REALLY annoying dude.)

cool_modine
cool_modine

Awesome. I get to play this game (and a better version to boot) without buying a crashbox.

joelgargan
joelgargan

Oh and @xloverkiller Tecmo is not a Mother *******, they are a game company. You, My good sir, Are the Mother F*cker.

alchemy60
alchemy60

@ xlovekiller Except this title isn't NG2, in fact it's different. Not a port. And has new additions enough to make it it's own title. MS can't do a damn about this title, cause quite frankly, it doesn't infringe upon the contract. You're just sad NG2 got poor sales...and had Itagaki really cared about sales and money, he would have multiplatform the title, seeing how back then a whole load of cash and sales would probably erupt being on both. Sadly, he continued with his fanboyish attitude and it costed his title. Oh well. @ thekey Sigma 1 a joke you say? The funniest thing I read all day to be honest.

joelgargan
joelgargan

@xlovekiller Haha sucks to be you. Such an angry, angry person. Ok this is not NG2 for PS3, its ninja gaiden SIGMA 2 for ps3. As you've probably heard, it's going to be much much better.

SPD_WeBmAsTaH
SPD_WeBmAsTaH

Well this just got me to go back to the first one and finish it. I'm proud of Tecmo.

thekey
thekey

Sigma 1 was a joke Sigma 2 will definately be on my playlist.

Tomboy_666
Tomboy_666

360 fanboys can just go drown themselves

ocdog45
ocdog45

i'll be playing this.