"Lost in Translation"
Ninja Gaiden is a game series for the hardcore. For gamers who want to test their skills and push them to the limits. The Sigma series has always offered some stellar, slick smash 'em up / beat 'em up gameplay without dumbing it down. Ninja Gaiden 2 was originally an Xbox 360 exclusive and made its way to the PS3 a couple years back, but now Vita owners will have a chance to play it with the newest port of the game: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus requires players to take care in their use of combos and hits, and to mesh them together with defense moves. This makes the gameplay in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus much more enjoyable than say, something like Lollipop Chainsaw. You won't get tendonitis smashing buttons, and once you figure it all out, Sigma 2 feels like it breaks away from the kind of repetitive smashing you can find in God of War. Still, all that being said, Sigma 2 Plus' combat is decent, but not great. Little surprises like limb dismemberment, energy absorbing (powering up), and neat combos keep things fun. Regardless of its slightly interesting fighting system, Sigma 2 Plus doesn't give us a combat system that keeps us addicted. Even with the flow between ranged and melee attacks, the mix of defense moves and combos, Sigma 2 Plus' gameplay just doesn't take your breath away.
Ninja Gaiden games, as mentioned above, are also an intense challenge. While Sigma 2 Plus tones down the difficulty a little bit, there are for sure some trying times while playing. Whenever I got stuck, I wanted to say it was due to my lack of skills, but often it felt like design flaws. For better or worse, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus makes very little use of the Vita touch controls, which will be a good thing for Ninja Gaiden fans, but a bad thing for those who want a game to utilize their Vita to its full extent.
The Plus port brings us at least as much blood and gore as the Xbox 360 version had, a few new costumes, along with a ninja mode which lets you play through each level with a time limit cap (this is mostly for trophy hunters and completionists). Online co-op mode has been removed, and replaced with an A.I.-heavy Tag Mission in which you and an A.I. partner tackle waves of enemies (instead of working with a real live player). Due to the lack of good A.I. and the fact this mode just simply isn't very exciting, it not really worth the experience.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus isn't a bad game, nor is it a great game. The retail version suffers from major performance issues, and the game in general has a strange blandness, probably due to its age. Despite the handful cool looking moves / combos, Sigma 2 Plus just lacks a feeling of variety; it feels lost in a weak port. There's no reason for those who have played the original version to ever play the Vita version, but for those who have a Vita and are dying to get their hands on Sigma 2 (or just make it portable), then this is the way to go.
GameDynamo's Score for Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus (PS Vita)
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