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Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Demo Impressions

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I thought I was going to be writing up some Brutal Legend demo impressions today, but it turns out the demo is only for those who’ve pre-ordered the game. Bored and disappointed by the North American offerings, I switched over to Japan’s store which held one juicy demo for Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. Thankfully, it was in English and since I’m not a bloody thirsty sadist who needs to see oodles of blood, I was willing to give the Japanese demo a try.

On a technical level, Ninja Gaiden 2 was rough around the edges. And after trying the demo, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is still rough around the edges. To Team Ninja’s credit, the PlayStation 3 release did bump up the resolution to 720p with 2x MSAA, touched up numerous assets and improved the lighting model. The only thing they didn’t iron out is the screen tearing and the frame rate drops. I’m hoping it’s simply the fact that this is an early demo. If these technical issues are still present in the final build, it’ll be tough to warrant a purchase in the near future — even with all the added content.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is offering a fair bit of new content including three additional playable characters and online/offline co-op Team Missions. The demo featured Ayane and the Team Missions (sans live co-op partner). Ayane is a lot of fun and not because of her boobies. She’s a faster and more nimble version of Ryu Hayabusa which is an automatic plus in my books. I couldn’t gauge the Team Missions mode well with just myself and an A.I. partner, but I like the idea. I’m assuming it’ll work best over the network than on the same screen though.

Other notable changes involved the controls themselves. A revamping of the bow configuration allows for shooting while aiming with use of the triggers and the left analog stick. It makes life a whole lot easier. I just hope they kept the ability to charge arrows (it wasn’t in the demo). Lastly, they dedicated the L1 to resetting the camera and pointing Ryu Hayabusa towards the next objective. It’s a common function nowadays and was questionably absent from the original release.

Seeing how I’ve already completed and still own Ninja Gaiden 2 on the Xbox 360, I knew it was going to take quite a list of changes to warrant a purchase of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. As a fan of the series, I tolerated the annoyances found in the Xbox 360 release. So I don’t want to put up with any of those annoyances with the PlayStation 3 release; it has to be as close to pristine as possible — especially on a technical level. Thus, I will take the route of patience and await post release impressions.

For fans of the Ninja Gaiden Sigma and haven’t played Ninja Gaiden 2, consider this worthy of your dollars.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 releases September 29, 2009 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. For more information, visit the official website.

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