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PS Fanboy review: Ninja Gaiden Sigma

A lot of people give Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Team Ninja as a whole a lot of heat because they keep recycling the same game over and over. This review isn't about that, and here's why. I am a PlayStation fanboy. Before I grabbed onto my PS One back in late '95 or whenever, I had mostly stuck to Sega and Nintendo consoles and aside from the Wii, still do. Never has my wallet coughed up the cash for a Microsoft system -- this isn't meant as flame, but a setup to this review. I've played neither Ninja Gaiden nor Ninja Gaiden Black. That's what you're going to get in this review: the viewpoint from someone who has never played the games, but recognizes the basic structure is from years ago. This begs the question: is Ninja Gaiden Sigma a must-have for all gamers, or just PlayStation fanboys who've never experienced the game before? Read on and we'll get you your answer.

Continue reading PS Fanboy review: Ninja Gaiden Sigma

Ninja Gaiden Sigma will silence PS3 critics, says Hayashi

Yosuke Hayashi, producer and director of Ninja Gaiden Sigma at Team Ninja, has promised gamers and critics alike that they've done everything they could with Ninja Gaiden on the PS3. It is the best it can be, remake or not, and will silence those critical of the PlayStation 3's potential. From a speech given at a recent NGS event, Hayashi said "I have heard much criticism of the PS3, but I am confident that Ninja Gaiden Sigma will demonstrate how powerful the PS3 really is." We hope he's right because that demo was darn amazing.

What's most impressive, though, is the final framerate and resolution count. With some advanced effects like self-shading, you'd expect the normal 720p at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps, right? No. Team Ninja is actually delivering those advanced graphical techniques with a persistant 60fps at an astounding 1080p! Hayashi claims that no game has yet to do that, neither on the 360 or the PS3. We can't wait to see it in action.

Ninja Gaiden: Sigma will reward you for playing the demo


As if PS3 owners didn't have enough reasons already to play the incredibly awesome Ninja Gaiden: Sigma demo, Team Ninja is giving us yet another. IGN writes that in the full version, you will be rewarded with an amount of in-game currency (Yellow Essence) depending on how far you've gotten in the demo, allowing you to purchase power-ups and items at the very beginning of the game. Did you unlock Rachel's level? Well you'll get a nice little bonus waiting for you when you start up the final version. Nothing jaw-dropping, but it's definitely a cool plus for those of you who have put in your time on the free demo and a handy leg-up for beginners.

It would be great to see other developers do things like this -- it's always kind of a bummer if you've spent a ton of time on the demo and have nothing to show for it in the full version of the game. Even if it's just pulling in your race times from the Motorstorm demo, that would be really cool. Do you guys know of any other games that have this kind of demo - full version integration?

Ninja Gaiden: Sigma is complete, will sneak into American stores 7/3

Tecmo held a press event in Japan earlier today titled 'Tecmo's Nite Out 07,' where they announced their upcoming line-up of games. Like the other recent Gamer's Days, this was held as a kind of company-specific alternative to the now defunct E3, which would normally be held about now. A number of new titles were announced, and even though there was nothing new announced for the PlayStation 3, we did get some good news.

According to IGN, the director of Ninja Gaiden: Sigma, Yosuke Hayashi, took the stage to announce to the assembled press that they had recently wrapped up development on the highly anticipated re-make of the Xbox classic. They also announced release dates of June 14th in Japan and July 3rd in North America. Unfortunately, no European date was announced. Guess we'll have to wait on Eidos for more details on that.

This means that I have approximately two months to polish up my Ryu skills. I never really played the Xbox ones, so I have been getting my ass handed to me by the demo. The plethora of health items is helpful, but the lack of saves is annoying. Good lord, is it pretty though.

Final Ninja Gaiden Sigma boxart appears

Lately, we've had a lot of posts about pictures, or screenshots, or scans, or trailers without much actual news. The trend continues here, as the final boxart for Ninja Gaiden Sigma has arrived on the scene for some much-needed "oh, so that's what I'll look for in the store"-ism.

As you can tell from the box, it's rated M (for Mothers, Protect Thy Young) and has a neat little fire going on in the background. Some ninja person is in the forefront, but we don't care about lil' ol' Ryu. We want to see that fire! It looks pretty nice, for boxart. There have been some awful boxarts in the past. Just awful. Anyway, this just goes to show you how near the release of this title truly is.

Ninja Gaiden demo strikes the Store

Every Thursday, the PLAYSTATION Store updates with this or that. Ninja Gaiden, the butt-kickingly awesome game from Team Ninja, will be available for play in today's update. The demo will feature multiple weapons, visuals running at 1080p and 60fps, and some mad ninja action. The demo is also supposed to have some unlockable stuff -- that's nice. We recall there being some kind of ninja-esque scoreboard for the demo, so we'll cross our fingers for that. Make sure that when you play it, your PS3 doesn't start to puff out smoke.

Also included in today's update is a demo for Virtua Tennis, and various trailers.

Eidos will distribute Ninja Gaiden Sigma in Europe

Europe, you've not been forgotten. No, Tecmo simply won't let you wait for Ninja Gaiden Sigma any longer than you have to. In fact, they've enlisted Eidos to distribute the game around Europe so that you won't have to wait months after the Japanese and American releases. You'll be getting it this summer, as will Japan and the US. If you want to estimate, take a look at our release date schedule and wiggle in about two, three weeks.
We've talked enough about this game, really. It's going to be a great showcase as to how much a game has changed over just a few years -- visually and otherwise. It may also be a great showcase for the PS3 in general. This summer is going to be fantastic for gamers seeking a next-gen thrill on their beloved Sony console. Perhaps it will have a use other than a mirror to make sure you got the pizza off your face. Not that I did that.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma kicks the crap out of dev kits

Along with explaining why Ninja Gaiden Sigma isn't a "remake" or "port", Yosuke Hiyashi talks about his experience with the PlayStation 3 and what he planned to do with the title in a recent interview with Game Informer. While we'd love to make a list describing the main points of the interview, we're going to abstain this time -- not much is brand new to our ears. But we did catch wind of one question that caused us to grin with anticipation.

Game Informer asked: Dead or Alive 4 blew up a couple of XBox 360's during testing because it pushed the system too far. Have you blown up any PS3 devkits with NGS?

Hiyashi responds: "We've made a couple of devkits smoke, but we haven't had any actually blow up yet...it's really a matter of having a certain goal and then you try to see what you can get the hardware to do to achieve that goal, and by the time you look around you have smoke throughout the entire R&D floor."

Awesome! So the PS3 doubles as a type of fog machine, too? Sounds like a win-win situation. If you'd like to catch up on all the NGS news, take a few minutes and read the entire interview -- it's not exactly a short stop, but it's worth it if you want to gather all the current knowledge on the title.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo coming in four-ish weeks

There's nothing like downplaying poor calendar/mathematical skills with the addition of -ish. Addition, get it? Oh, arithmetic, you have so many applications. That aside, there's some good news coming for those demo-starved individuals hopelessly scanning the PS Store for something new to nourish their next-gen gaming needs. The news is thus: Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo -- April 27th.

This is no "play the first half of the first level" demo, either. Worldwide scoreboards will dictate your mastery of the ninja arts. The level is completely unique and new, not in the final version of the game. You are graced with a multitude of weaponry to play around with. Does this not sound like a lot of fun? Maybe not, but we know it will be. For those skeptics of the game, you can now at least give it a shot! Let's get ready for some ninja fun!

Ninja Gaiden Sigma -- more details to chew on

So, we got a lot of ridiculous flack for posting a comparison of what Ninja Gaiden was and what Ninja Gaiden Sigma has become -- a whole new, gorgeous gaming experience for those who did not get to enjoy the titles on the XBox. Now, don't complain about how it should stay on the 'Box (technically it should stay on Nintendo if that's a concern), you'll probably get this iteration eventually. Possibly bundled with a, gasp, sequel? With that in mind, we're going to present some new details about the game, as told by director Yosuke Hayashi.

  • About graphics: "we more or less are recreating Ninja Gaiden with the most up-to-date graphic techniques in order to take advantage of the hardware...One of the best ways to do that was to have a game that runs at a 1080p with a constant 60 fps, and utilizes real-time self-shadowing. No other game as accomplished all three of these goals at once."
  • About enemy AI: "it's about making sure they have goals they are fulfilling and that they can work together with existing enemies. That's really our philosophy. As far as A.I. goes people have played our game before will see that we've made some subtle improvements. A lot of it has to do with using all the Cell's SPU processors."
  • New dual-wield swords? "We've succeeded in making a weapon that has a ton of moves and is as useful as the single sword you start the game with. We wanted the dual swords to be the second standard weapon. You don't start out with them, but acquire them early on."
  • Difficult to develop for PS3? "The developers that say it's too hard to develop for and complain about it are missing the point. It sounds like an excuse to the consumer to us...If we can do it then other people will be able to do it as well."
  • Online features? "Karma ranking, which is like a leader board for your score. That's something we had back on Xbox but we're going to expand it more to include more detailed statistics on how you played."
  • Working with PS-HOME? "If you wanted to wait for the game to come out for a few more moths we'd be able to, but I don't think anybody wants that."

Whew. It's shaping up to be a completely awesome experience -- one that few action-game lovers should pass up. If we can get our mitts off of God of War 2, which is awesome. Haven't laughed maniacally as I kill a boss in ages (Theseus, on the Steeds of Time). Awesome.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma motorcycle mayhem!

Yeah, we're taking a short break from European launch news. We know, we know, it's important and probably relevant, but no one wants to read solely that stuff all day. So, we're going to present you with this Ninja Gaiden: Sigma gameplay movie where our lovely ninja gets the crap beaten out of him by motorcycle-riding ninja... guys. It's a treat, so enjoy... if you're over 18!

Ninja Gaiden Sigma... stick it on your PS3

The latest PlayStation Magazine fell into my lap yesterday (well, my mailbox) and I perused it briefly. Seems there was some news on Ninja Gaiden Sigma and since we try to keep up with that game here, I'll post what appears important from the article.

  • Resolution is slated at 720p at a constant 60fps.
  • The SIXAXIS will be used to quickly summon up some Ninpou magic (that might actually be annoying... I hold the controller wonky, you see)
  • Normally, there would be about 16 chapters in the game... Sigma is floating on 19.
  • Finally, you get the option of storing the entire game (or parts of the game) directly onto the PS3 -- which would be great. Or you can do the whole disc-inserting thing. Whichever.

Hooray for magazines! We'll stay on top of this thing, since it's shaping up to be a real killer title. Now, if only my camera and laptop would get along, I'd upload a scan of the article. Alas. Next time.

New Tecmo IP is in the works -- maybe Pirates instead of Ninjas?

With the impending release of Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden Sigma, a lot of people have left comments here saying thing along the lines of "rehash" and "milking a single game for all it's worth"... stuff along those lines. Well, today we're here to tell you not to worry! Tecmo's Team Ninja boss Tomonobu Itagaki has come out and said that an all new IP is in the works. No rehashes, no sequel... something completely unique and original.

According to Itakgaki, the new game is a type of game he has never worked on before. He'll be announcing the title a little later on this year. Our vote? Pirates. Why? That epic struggle of Pirates vs. Ninjas has still yet to be resolved. If Team Ninja can create a fantastic game about the adventures of a badass pirate, the only logical thing to do after that is to pit the two titles against one another. Where do your loyalties lie? Be ye a pirate, or a ninja?

Ninja Gaiden Sigma: no load screens, no problem

Tecmo's Director of Ninja Gaidem Sigma, Yosuke Hayashi, recently sat down for an interview about how the game is coming along. It's mostly good news. Let's see if we can pick out the important bits.

  • Development is about 50% complete and Team Ninja is confident the game will be a smash hit. They've gotten used to working with the PS3, too.
  • When asked what was different about Sigma from Black, Hayashi said: "it's going to be endless if I start counting the differences from the original." All the materials are created from scratch and the action engine has been refined, to start.
  • As far as utilizing the PS3's hard disk and PS-Network, Hayashi says Sigma will use the hard disk to eliminate "now loading" screens altogether. The Network will be used, initially, for worldwide scores and rankings. Detailed info on each player will also be available.
  • Hayashi was asked how the PS3 would fare as a console. He replied: "I am not an analyst. I'm just a game developer. My mission is to provide the best action game for PS3 users. That's all that matters to me, and I promise that you'll experience something really fantastic with Sigma." So true.
  • As for a rumored 360 version of Sigma, Hayashi responded: "I would take that rumour as proof that people's expectations for Sigma must be very high. But it is just a rumour."

Great! This game will be pretty sweet, hopefully. We'll keep our eyes out for more information on this game.

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