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August 22, 2007
Ninja Gaiden Sigma - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
13/7/2007AtariEidosTecmo Team Ninja1None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Graphics are simply jaw dropping.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a remake of a remake – but it is also one of the most important drought breaking games on the PS3. The original Ninja Gaiden was released on Xbox in March 2004 while an updated and improved game, Ninja Gaiden Black was released around 18 months later. This PS3 version takes that Xbox remake and ups the ante in almost every area – improved visuals, improved gameplay, improved, well, everything really. Want more details about this great title? Well read on...

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Check out the stunning character models.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma's storyline sees you play as Ryu Hayabusa. Your clan has been massacred by the Vigor Empire and you want revenge. You hack and slash your way through hundreds of enemies as you see revenge on the Holy Emperor and reclaim the magic sword "Ryuken". The story is told through a series of cut-scenes littered throughout the game and while not the most detailed story we've seen it gets the job done.

In case you haven't quite got the drift from the surrounding screenshots Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a third person action adventure title. The majority of the game sees you playing as Ryu however new and exclusive to this PS3 version are several levels using an all new female hunter named Rachel. Her missions alone account for an increase in game size of around 25% and are every bit as engrossing as the original Ryu levels although you'll have to play through a fair chunk of the game before you get to her, and her weapons including a war hammer and whip. The actual gameplay is fast and fluid as you hack and slash your way through the levels. The game includes standard attacks with weapons including the all-new dual-wielding katanas, but also some magic based attacks called Ninpo. As you progress through the game your attacks become more powerful, new techniques are unlocked and items can be found and bought to increase your powers, provide extra life or more skills.

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Fire effects are simply stunning.
One great thing to note is that Tecmo will be releasing three downloadable upgrade packs online commencing September 13th. The first pack will enable a Survival mode in the game called Weapon Master in which you must defeat as many enemies as possible. Your score will be uploaded to a World Ranking so you can see just how good, or bad, you are. The two other packs, called Speed Master and Rachel Master, haven't been given release dates as yet. A price for these packs has not been announced, but we expect - or hope - they will only be a couple of dollars at most.

So what about problems? Well while not technically an issue it must be noted that this game is tough. It won’t be too far into the game when you’ll see the Continue screen pop up. But that's not a bad thing. It makes you practice your moves, and perfect every sequence. Still, if you're looking for a game that you can casually play through in your spare time Ninja Gaiden Sigma may not be for you.

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There can only be one survivor here...
Ninja Gaiden Sigma allows you to do a hefty install to the PS3’s hard drive to speed up the loading. It must be noted that this 3306MB install doesn’t remove all the loading in the game which is a little disappointing. Another disappointment is that the movie theatre, which allowed you to see all the cut-scenes on their own, is no where to be seen in this PS3 version while the number of puzzles has also been reduced. Another big change is the Ryu can now run and fight on water surfaces. Other changes aren’t as noticeable, and some are for the better, including the removal of a costume or two, altering some of the boss battles, using the Sixaxis’ tilt functionality to power up certain moves, removal of the introduction movie detailing the history of the Dragon Sword and the Dark Dragon Blade and the removal of the original titles as unlockable bonuses.

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Oh yes, there's a tonne of blood.
Visually Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a winner on so many levels. Technically the game is polished and runs silky smooth from start to finish with glorious 720p visuals running at 60fps, and even 1080p visuals for those with capable sets! The first thing that really stands out is the speed at which the game runs at, and the characters rush around the levels. The animation is simply superb and Team Ninja have even improved the already impressive animations from the XBox title. The backgrounds are equally impressive despite the odd texture here and there that lacks a little sharpness or detail. Overall though the backgrounds look fantastic - who will ever forget the opening levels with hundreds of leaves fluttering down from the trees above? Indeed the artwork and artistic design through the entire game is quite superb. Fortunately the effects such as fire and smoke also deserve a special mention, they have certainly been improved over the original XBox game. Finally the cut-scenes, most of which are running on the game engine, also impress with the smalles nuances in character animation, cinematography and visual flare.

Where the game is let down with the graphics is the camera work. While adequate in some places it can get pretty sloppy in others – particularly when confined to indoor spaces. You can manually rotate the camera in all directions, but there remains a sense that this should have been tightened up prior to release.

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You can't get enough screens like this!
Audio in the game also impresses. The music is upbeat and changes tempo according to the action on-screen, although I have to admit that at times the occasional 'rock' styled music doesn't suit the game. Effects are also solid and voiceovers are also high quality both in terms of script and presentation. Throw in some surround sound and Ninja Gaiden Sigma is an impressive game in terms of audio.

While I never played the original Xbox game or it’s updated cousin for more then a few minutes it was probably for the better as I approached this game with a fresh outlook. What I discovered was a very entertaining action title. It’s pretty tough which for seasoned gamers like myself is a great reminder of how games used to be! Overall Ninja Gaiden Sigma is one of the best games we’ve seen on the PS3 to date, and certainly recommended.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSWonderful; great visuals and animation. Cameras do annoy.
SOUNDAudio is also impressive with great speech and effects throughout.
GAMEPLAYFantastic action title which will have you hooked.
VALUEA game made much longer by its difficulty, but good value overall.
OVERALLNinja Gaiden Sigma comes at a time when we’re still being starved of quality titles on the PS3. Fortunately this game will more then satisify those looking for some hardcore action.

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