The carelessness of Team Ninja cannot even be justified. A person unfamiliar with the Ninja Gaiden series might well have enjoyed the Sigma versions of the first two games and Razor’s Edge if not for the quality of the ports. Recall that the series was originally exclusive to the Xbox. Then the first two parts appeared on the PlayStation 3 in the form of special editions of Sigma, where the blood was replaced with purple smoke, the camera was finalized and new content was added.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma
The author was not familiar with the Ninja Gaiden series. After the first launch, only mixed feelings remained. The Sigma version is said to be much lighter than the Xbox original. It is quite possible that this is true, but after running Ninja Gaiden on the Very Hard difficulty level, I had to replay the first location 5 times!
The protagonist Ryu Hayabusa makes his way into the temple occupied by the forces of the Spider Clan. As the young ninja moves deeper into the location, kunai arrive at his feet with messages from his fighting friend Ayane. The only problem is that they make no sense, because the text inside sounds something like this: “To block, press the block button.” Definitely great advice! There is not even a hint of what key it is. Guess yourself.
Throughout the game, Ryu will be haunted by messages of a similar type. The only joke is that in the console versions of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, the display of controls was! You clearly highlighted what you need to press in order to perform this or that technique.
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Well, okay, it’s quite possible to figure it out by touch and even manage to complete the game in this way. Only there are no hints about the environment in the project! What are those burning red or yellow walls? How to break them? And how to use techniques and magic? – Ninja Gaiden Sigma will not answer a single question.
The main problem with Ninja Gaiden Sigma is that it is godlessly outdated in every aspect. And here lies the problem in the developers themselves. Picking up ideas from Resident Evil, Metroid and Castlevania, they decided to mix it all together. Team Ninja didn’t care much about how to play it at all – and they made a project that doesn’t understand what it wants to be at all. The complex of the given mechanics does not work in a single way, but tries to pull the blanket over itself.
Ryu’s ship, flying to the capital, was attacked by the soldiers of the Empire, and he needs to get out. By poking around at different points, the player finds a target – an ID card to access any room on the ship. Having found it, we return to the places already passed. Enemies destroyed a minute ago are in the same places as before. And so – all the time.
Running back and forth here is also enough. And to fulfill the objectives of the mission, and to collect secrets. Why does a slasher need a semi-open world? Run over here, read three words or watch a well-acted cutscene, and then make your way back with more difficult opponents. Toward the middle, you just run past so as not to waste time on endless fights – they are tiring and do not bring pleasure.
If you thought that was all, I hasten to upset you. According to user feedback, Ninja Gaiden Sigma on Steam is a slightly improved PS Vita port! What does it mean? No access to the settings menu from pause, no vibration feedback in the controller, the graphics look good only in 4K resolution, at every step of loading the level. Team Ninja didn’t care so much that they just threw out the portable console version to the stores, slightly reworking the controls!
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
The only part in the Master Collection that I don’t want to scold. The Sigma version has left its mark, but even so the second part plays great. Team Ninja knew exactly what they wanted from the game, turning it from a mournful errand in a semi-open world into a linear slasher with improved combat mechanics.
In the first part, the script was present only nominally, in general terms, telling not the worst story. The second part went much further in the production, and the confrontation between Ryu Hayabusa and vampires and the Spider clan pumped at the gene level is interesting to follow – this is a solid Japanese trash with all the consequences.
Sigma 2 has upgraded the combat system in a quality way compared to the first part. To change weapons, you need to press two buttons, and not go to the menu, look for the desired tab there and confirm the choice of the necessary weapons. This affects the dynamics, allows you to experiment and enjoy the game as a purebred slasher. There was a possibility of quick finishing, if Ryu chopped off some limb of the enemy – it looks just gorgeous. Unfortunately, it is in the Sigma version that there is no blood in the quantities that were in the original on the Xbox 360. But if you have not seen Ninja Gaiden 2, this will not be a big problem.
Intelligible teaching not only tells about the basic things, but also helps to play more beautifully and more efficiently. Ryu knows all the tricks from the very beginning, but they describe to him their scrolls, which lie along his path. Randomly driving in a cool combination of blows on the controller, you can later find it in training – and a field for experimentation, and you definitely won’t miss anything. By calling a special menu, you can see forgotten combinations at any time.
Unfortunately, both Sigma versions have problems with the camera. She constantly strives to fly into the sky, so much so that the way forward is not visible at all. And if in the first part this makes it difficult to explore locations, then the second part is not annoying due to its linearity. Yes, and this is less common in Sigma 2.
Of the common problems, introductory screensavers of poor quality can be distinguished. They were not even stretched to a clear resolution, but the second part was again more fortunate – it was based on the version with the PlayStation 3. Because of this, the graphics look better, and cinematic inserts at 60 frames per second are pleasing to the eye – it even seems that Sigma 2 was being worked on.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
The third part was not kicked only by the lazy. But even the reworked Razor’s Edge managed to spoil the overall impression of Sigma 2. The linear slasher turned into a battle in arenas with pumping, with stealth mechanics and many QTEs. Although the quality of the production has grown, everything else has only gotten worse. Even the graphics look disgusting against the background of the second part of the Master Collection.
In combat, there is no understanding at all of where you are, when the enemies are going to attack, and what they will do next. The first two parts did not throw cannon fodder at you, and even if there were many enemies, you controlled the battlefield. Here, the screen is littered with opponents, the camera is so far from the hero that he is sometimes not visible behind the hordes of enemies.
What was my surprise when, after trying to parry the attack of the enemy, the hero received damage. And only after going through several introductory battles, the player is explained that all known Ryu techniques from the previous parts need to be opened. In the Sigma versions, the protagonist knows everything from the very beginning, except for magical techniques. In Razor’s Edge, even basic skills need to be unlocked with karma points. Whose bright head came up with this idea is unknown.
Segments with forced covert passage cause only irritation. It is necessary to slightly deflect the analog stick in order for Hayabusa to enter stealth mode, sneak up on enemies and kill them. A slightly stronger pressure gives the hero away, and he begins to rapidly lose health from missiles and shots flying at him. Let Ryu and the ninja, but these stages slow down the dynamics.
Enemies in the arenas sometimes just laugh at the player. Running up to the grenade launcher and trying to hit him, I had to observe the following picture: he rolls back and becomes an aiming stance, the player runs closer and strikes, and the enemy rolls again. And so it can go on ad infinitum. The battle rating here is tied to time, and such mockery from the enemy only angers and makes you hate Razor’s Edge even more.
It only got funnier when I managed to kick the Regent boss with a parry + light hit combo. Just in time, by clicking LT+X, and then performing a combination of three weak attacks, I managed to kill the enemy without taking any damage at all! Try to do the exact same thing in Sigma 2 and you’ll quickly realize what’s wrong with Razor’s Edge’s combat system.
As a result, we have a good Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, which may be of interest to newcomers to the series, a tolerable Ninja Gaiden Sigma and a disgusting Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. All this disgrace costs 1333 rubles without a discount on Steam, and now you can buy it for 1199. But you shouldn’t do this even for the second part.
Sigma doesn’t know what game it wants to be, and it’s godlessly outdated. Razor’s Edge doesn’t just follow in its footsteps, it also kills any fun that’s going on with the wry balance of the combat system, the stealth segments, and the innovation in the form of pumping. And only Sigma 2 tries to bring pleasure to the player by telling a good trash story and giving a good impression of the combat system and adequate difficulty.
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma
- Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Questions about this game:
To use Ninpo (magic) in Ninja Gaiden Sigma, you need to have the corresponding Ninpo item in your inventory, and then press and hold the “L1” button on the PlayStation controller while pressing the corresponding button for the Ninpo you want to use (e.g., “Triangle” for Art of the Inferno). You can refill your Ninpo meter by defeating enemies or using items.
Ninja Gaiden 3 has a total of 16 chapters. The first eight chapters follow the main story, while the second eight chapters are known as the “Chapter Challenge” mode, which consists of missions with different objectives and challenges.