Ninja Gaiden Sigma Hands-On Update

We check in on Tecmo's PlayStation 3 exclusive iteration of its acclaimed ninja action game.

Tecmo unsheathed a near-final version of its upcoming Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the PlayStation 3 for us. The game is a beefed-up version of Tecmo's update to its popular ninja franchise. With a demo on the PlayStation Network that includes new playable character Rachel, most folks have gotten a taste of what to expect from the upcoming game. Still, when Tecmo dropped by with the game, we weren't ones to pass up the chance to see some of the other new content being put in the game.

We played through a sampling of the game, which is essentially a director's-cut-style reimagining of the Xbox installments in the series, Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden Black. The game features all the content from those games and adds a number of refinements to the experience, such as gameplay tweaks, Sixaxis support, and a new playable character.

We checked out a few of the levels in the game, from both the single-player and mission modes, to be reminded of the pleasure and pain of the game's intense action. The good news is it handles like a dream on the PS3, and the tweaks, such as mapping the item quick-select to the D pad, are a great fit. The ability to hit the D pad and call up an item ring, which can be rotated and then selected by hitting down, is key to not dying horribly. It's still going to happen, mind you, the game is still uberchallenging, but this should reduce some horrible deaths. We do miss rumble, but we got used to playing without it. The whole shaking of the Sixaxis to power up your ninja magic is a bit odd, especially when playing around other people, but it's handy. Rachel has seen some tweaks from when we played the game earlier as well as how she handles in the PS Network demo. While we were already taken with her unique blend of hammer slamming, zip-line shooting, and bosom heaving, she now feels more responsive. When playing with Rachel, you'll also gain rankings unique to her status as a fiend hunter, which are comparable to Hayabusa's ninja ratings. In Rachel's case, you'll earn labels such as novice, common, and legendary for your performance at the end of a level.

The levels in which you play as Rachel are all-new.

While the Rachel content in the game is, of course, new, the reworked Ninja Gaiden content benefits from both gameplay and visual tweaks. When we faced off against the game's most annoying boss, the filthy horse-mounted boss on the bridge that's conveniently placed toward the start of the challenging adventure, we noticed a number of tweaks. Our mounted foe was on fire, which looked cool and also alerted us to his irksome rush attacks, since he lights up the area when he approaches. Keeping track of him is helpful when you're fending off other enemies. Once you get past him, you'll find yourself in one of the new areas, a flaming section of the village you'll have to make your way through, dispatching ninjas and dodging fatal blasts of fire that will kill you in one shot. Eagle-eyed players will recognize the locale as the area shown in one of the first trailers for the game. Farther into the single-player game, you'll come across a new weapon, the dual katanas, in the airship level, which features some drastic reworking of some of its interior sections. As far as the missions mode goes, we tried several different missions as both Hayabusa and Rachel and received some vicious smack downs--though we gave as good as we got. As with the mission mode in Gaiden Black, the content is fun, action packed, and designed to test your skills. For those who pick up the collector's edition of the game, mission mode will feature five exclusive missions.

In terms of how the game looks now, if you've played the demo, you know what to expect from the title. The already-gorgeous game has been buffed up for the PS3. Higher polygon counts, improved lighting, and special effects all pop at 720p. The game's frame rate, which was a bit inconsistent the last time we saw it, has been tightened up and appears to be running smoothly now.

Based on our sampling, Ninja Gaiden Sigma is looking like it should deliver on the promise we saw when we first played it. The game is challenging, has impressive visuals, and offers a meaty chunk of content to play around with. Factor in the online leaderboards so you can brag about your master ninja skills to the world, and you have a PlayStation 3 game that will be worth your time if you're hankering for some action.

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148 comments
daveg1
daveg1

to me the final game doesnt look as good as the demo did..they went carzy with the bloom!

123coolgirl
123coolgirl

i have the black version which look ok but after playing the demo for the ps3. i went out and pre order this game.

TrueIori
TrueIori

xxThyLordxx when this game is released, it will be the best next gen game. but until Devil May Cry 4 is released. Ninja Gaiden Sigma is better than all X360 and Wii games released. Hey nimrod you do now that this is a Remake of a Remake tagged at full price mind you and it better than all the 360 and wii games .....yeah..i just wasted brains cells responding to you.

TrueIori
TrueIori

are you serious $65 bucks for a other remake when ninja gaiden black (a other remake mind you) was 30. Man the only people that should buy the game are people that never touched the other Gaiden. Man is team ninja suckering ps3 owners into buying this.

gusnitro
gusnitro

i dont really like the idea of the two swords.Looks kind weired. like it better with one sword. Looks more ninja.

TTDog
TTDog

I'll wait until the proper follow up comes out on 360, if I wanted a revamped version of the original I'd have bought Ninja Gaiden Black on the original Xbox.

Sycosi
Sycosi

Just got the game via ebay and all I can say is WOW!!! The game is actually a little easier than the demo. If you've played the demo and liked it then you're going to love the full game. You don't have as many of the weapons as in the demo and you're dressed in a purple suit and not the black one as in the demo. Also there's more variety in the interaction boxes, not just energy power up's! There's some really challenging game play and bosses to beat and has a strange Resident Evil feel to it. Only on the 2nd stage but its really hooked me. The only draw back is that the game I ordered is all printed in Japanease!! Still excellent hack and slash fun like Tenchu with superb graphics!!

FaytOfId
FaytOfId

I am still trying to beat the demo level on very hard, but doing so I think has prepared me to beat the game in normal mode (I played ninja gaiden on xbox before I sold it and it seemed almost impossible. Hopefully I'll get past Alma this time :). But the dual katanas should help greatly, they are really fun to play with.) I personally can't wait, though I am disappointed they delayed the game from june 26th to july 7th, though it could have been delayed more, I will at least take solace in knowing that it was probably done for the better. and 1080p much? thank god, we needed a good 1080p fully 3d game (not pre-rendered probably like nba street I'm guessing was) game that you can run around killing in. I like killing, and killing in 1080p is all the more enjoyable, especially in a good game where you kill ninjas.

Lorddeath2
Lorddeath2

Well it was only a matter of time. Sonys war drums are getting louder and in the Q3, Q4 of this year and the Q1,Q2 of next year will be exciting times for PS3 owners. Just to get a word across BTW. Why did everyone knock the PS3 when it was realised? why do people continue to do so now? i read alot of the chat saying how crap the PS3 was and how awesome the 360 is. Think about it though reisistance IMo is one of the (if not THE) best release game ever launched with a console! easily better IMO than what the 360 got. Sony is starting to clear its throat and soon we will see the true power and possibilities of the PS3

wars45
wars45

this game will be hard to complate but i will do in the end

cborowik
cborowik

Seems good, sounds cool but if what I've heard is true Ninja Gaiden 2 is still planned for the 360, finally a proper sequel (Praises the gaming gods), if I had the money for a PS3 I'd buy one for this game mainly, but I'll stick to my 360 now (no offence to anyone who has a PS3) if anyone gets this tell me what it's like please.

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

I was very upset when they dropped NG Black for XBox, & didn't do a cover for the PS2. Now, this should satisfy me some for the PS3! :D I'm lookin' forward to this 1.

ranman1990
ranman1990

this looks sick .very very sick .... ive had ninja gaiden for the xbox and loved it , now that this one for ps3( when i get a ps3) looks amazing

ositotrap
ositotrap

i cant wait to get my hands on it too. I had the one for xbox too and hopeing to play and look better then the xbox vertion.

tyzee
tyzee

The Demo absolutely Kills...

grego714
grego714

I have played the demo of this game and it plays GREAT! and....it looks even better...the graphics are Amazing..set your LCDs on 1080p or 720p you'll be awestruck. The game play is soooo responsive! This game is done right !

reeco411
reeco411

i cant wait either, i love the gameplay i finished the first 2 on every difficulty and i cant wait to do it some more with the new weapons and graphics. and it does feel better on the PS3 controller. still tough as nails though. boo! qweg horay Ninja Gaiden Sigma. lol

qweg
qweg

booooriiiiiiiiinnnnnngggggg.......remake.......

PS3_MidwestKing
PS3_MidwestKing

Heavenly Sword, Lair, Killzone, Ratchet & Clank, Warhawk; mentions PS3 edition of Wipeout Fusion. and Home and HAZE,Ninja Gaiden now ......................................................................................fuc Halo3 Haze look way better and fun lots of good games

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

I have the xbox version. The first stages were really nice looking, but the further I got into the game the stages only got lamer and less detailed even... It got really boring, fast... It's really no surprise that they decided to make a remake, the xbox version felt so unfinished and rushed. I felt ripped off... Hell of an action game though. I love fast paced action games. But I'm not gonna get this new version unless they add ALOT of new content so the game deserves another run based on something I've already pumped the life out of...

REVOLUTIONfreak
REVOLUTIONfreak

Well, it's essentially a port covered up by shiny new visuals... if it were new I might be more interested.

richigro
richigro

i really expect much better graphics for this game

wateverboy
wateverboy

if this game do good on the ps3, i hope team ninja will release ng2 for the ps3.

rogerarmoo
rogerarmoo

Love this game can not wait for it to come out!

koopi
koopi

Sounds cool. I've never tried a Ninja Gaiden game before this, and I'm having a ton of fun in the demo. I might pick up the collectors edition when it comes out!

Berliner
Berliner

When will they make a new Ninja Gaiden game rather then rehashing the first one, albeit with better graphics and some extras? Just like Black, I dont think it justifies a purchase. I played the first and loved it, though I thought it was just slightly easy on the default difficulty setting =p Team Ninja needs to make a REAL sequel

Andy_THFC
Andy_THFC

Never played these games and always wanted to, just never got round to it.. at last i can justify paying the £425 i paid for my ps3, about time considering i have not touched it for about 2 months other than blu-ray playback, maybe i will finaly not regret buying the black george forman grill.

lord_andross
lord_andross

Loved it for the original box, know im gonna love it for this. Ninja's will rule in 2080!

Demmi_Argo
Demmi_Argo

I can't wait for this to come out. and for the PS3 prices to drop. >_>

skass
skass

its the brutality of the game that makes this game totally desirable =P

Ensabuhnur
Ensabuhnur

The demo was pretty fun, though other than the extra sheen on the characterf models it really doesn't dwarf the original xbox versions. The only reason I would buy this is that you can choose the diffulculty. The xbox version was great, but it was also brutal to play through. Team ninja needs to work on a totally new Gaiden after this release.

phoenixboyz
phoenixboyz

i never play this game before, until yesterday i downloaded the demo for PS3, i would like to said is fun, and fast action, but...... the ninja move too fast..... a little....unreal..... i was thinking i wanna buy the game or not? any advice

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

PSPZERO "Why would Tecmo bother releasing Sigma on 360, xbox already has the original and black" Because even though I own the original and Black I'd still buy Sigma if it came out on 360 and I bet loads of other people would to. Plus the people who own a 360 and have never played Ninja Gaiden before would probably buy it. Team Ninja are just being lazy.

unknown37
unknown37

finally a good game besides resistance exclusive to the ps3. Hope they don't lose this one too =[

Fire_of_Contee
Fire_of_Contee

wow, i'm going to play through this installment of ninja gaiden.......... AGAIN, if they don't come out with a new one soon i'm going to go to the studio and beat them up personally!!! (but while i'm mustering up the energy to do that i'll be glued to my PS3 playing Sigma).

skass
skass

it'd be much easier for players who own 360 if they wanted to play sigma instead of wasting more money on ps3 just on sigma pspzero

dannyrun56
dannyrun56

Hopefully this game will be as fun as the other ninja gaiden games!

noPeKin
noPeKin

Its a good thing i pre-ordered the special edition... I CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY IT!!

Latinbro1
Latinbro1

looks like great fun! played it for the xbox now can't wait to own it for the PS3. my top 3 action games in order: 1) Ninja Geidden Black (challenging & fun) 2) God of War 2 (great story and extremely fun - if it had been longer it be #1 on my list) 3) DMC 3 (cuz it's fun but it still fills more repetitive than the other two)

HaaZ
HaaZ

Love this game

Elrebel
Elrebel

omg i cant wait till this game is released: and i dont even have a ps3!!! i played gaiden, gaiden black, beat the campaign about 6 times literally and i STILL love this game. just like the halo series, it will never die out

PSPZero
PSPZero

Skass, why would Tecmo bother releasing Sigma on 360, xbox already has the original and black

skass
skass

is it possible for sigma to appear on the xbox platforms?

eViL_kA
eViL_kA

I don't mind playing an upgraded remake of one of the best games that the original Xbox had to offer before it died.