In case you were wondering, that silver line in the right half of the header image above is Ryu Hayabusa's katana. It's a long samurai sword, and I couldn't fit all of it into the picture. That sleek blade is the last thing that many of Ryu's foes ever see -- if they see it coming at all, that is.
In "The Way of the Ninja," the first chapter of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, Ryu deftly wields his sharp-edged instrument of death, effortlessly slashing lesser samurai. It's not surprising that his exertion seems minimal; this isn't his first time around the block. Sigma Plus, a PlayStation Vita launch title, is a port of a 2007 PlayStation 3 game, Ninja Gaiden Sigma -- which itself was a port of the Ninja Gaiden title that launched on the Xbox in 2004, and was re-released on that platform the following year with additional content.
Confused yet? That's not even all there is to Sigma Plus.
Although it's been eight years since Ninja Gaiden came out on the original Xbox, the source material for this port of a port remains a veritable classic, and an Itagaki-less Team Ninja has achieved a mostly smooth transition to the Vita. The handheld's dual analog sticks are key for a third-person action title; camera control is paramount in a game where ninja frequently sneak up on Ryu from behind. And its snappy face buttons do their job, holding up to the assault from your fingers as you furiously enter combos. I never felt like the device got in the way; success or failure depended only upon my skill, and that's how it should be.
You'll need some new skills to do well in Sigma Plus, though. Sigma launched in mid-2007, a time early enough in the PS3's life that developers were still shoehorning motion controls into their games. In that game, you could shake the Sixaxis to make Ninpo (magic) attacks more devastating. As a Vita launch title, Sigma Plus is similarly tasked with exploiting its platform's various abilities. Team Ninja has shifted Ninpo powering to the rear touchpad, while adding gyroscope support for first-person aiming and touchscreen controls for launching projectile weapons. None of this stuff appears in the first chapter, which is all I played, so I can't comment on its implementation. Oh, and it's all optional, thankfully.
If you're having trouble with the exacting combat, you now have a couple of options. Practice sessions come in the form of Ninja Trials, 76 bite-size challenges in which you can hone your skills on the go. But in case you want an easier experience overall, feel free to choose the new "Hero Mode" difficulty setting, which automates dodging and provides unlimited Ninpo. Another first is Trophy support, since Sigma came out before PSN Trophies existed.
As you can see from the trailer and screenshots here, Sigma Plus is showing its age. It doesn't look bad per se, but it's clearly not up to par with the best that the Vita's launch lineup has to offer. Texture detail is lacking throughout, and environmental effects such as flames look simplistic. Luckily, the game retains its trademark fluidity; I experienced no frame rate issues.
If you've already completed Sigma, there may not be a lot for you to do in Sigma Plus. But Team Ninja has designed this port with an eye toward accessibility, so folks who might have been turned off by Ninja Gaiden's renowned difficulty have a reason to check it out. Look for a full review from Dale later this week.
Photo Gallery: (14 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys
This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.
Niero Desu Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menuFlegma Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.Agent9 Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong. Casus Gaming After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.lewness me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helmPixie The Fairy Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.Nekrosys Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?VIRGO Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.Parismio Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
http://ymirsbian.tumblr.com/post/133929995113/thepositivefuture-kuroutsubasaShinta Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.RadicalYoseph Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.OverlordZetta Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img]https://i.imgur.com/vq3nuYD.png[/img]The Dyslexic Laywer Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!Shinta https://vine.co/v/e30YQw30uTJ
You're welcome.GoofierBrute Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.Nekrosys I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?OverlordZetta Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.RadicalYoseph Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.EdgyDude Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to www.support-indivisible.com
Agent9 Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_-
I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.