|Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2|
Template:Country data EU Tecmo Koei
|Platform||PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch|
|Release date||NA September 29, 2009|
JP October 1, 2009
EU October 2, 2009
NA June 10, 2021
|Genre||Hack and slash|
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, (Stylized as Ninja Gaiden Σ2), is the redefined PlayStation 3 version of Ninja Gaiden II. It released on September 29, 2009 in North America and October 1, 2009 for Asian territories.
As an upcoming re-release, Sigma 2 is available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch through the NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection, released on June 10th, 2021.
The game is notorious for containing significantly less bloodshed and gore-related violence than the original Ninja Gaiden II, as well cut content, despite introducing new ones.
Though Team Ninja developed the title, it was not designed by Tomonobu Itagaki, who left Team Ninja after developing Ninja Gaiden 2. Yosuke Hayashi, director of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, produced and directed Sigma 2.
The PlayStation 3 version has been graphically upgraded from the Xbox 360 version, the native resolution is now 720p HD, compared to the original 585p. The upgrade is commented by Digital Foundry as "Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 often has the visual edge, not just thanks to its massively increased resolution but also through the accomplished use of the RSX's pixel shaders".
The Collector's Edition of Sigma 2 are featured a comic version of the Install's Prologue, and the original soundtrack. The Collector's Edition was limited to Gamestop in North America and HMV for the UK. Pre-ordering either edition at Gamestop warranted a code for a special Sigma 2 costume, mildly resembling Joe Hayabusa's own outfit.
There is also an option to 'jiggle' breasts using the SixAxis controller.
Ryu Hayubusa: the central protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden series. A master ninja, he is a descendant of the Dragon lineage and current wielder of the legendary Dragon Sword. He is controlled through the vast majority of the game.
Changes from Ninja Gaiden II to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
While Sigma 2 has additional content not in the original Ninja Gaiden II, a large amount of existing content was also removed or altered.
- The game now uses the engine from Ninja Gaiden Sigma. With that, many textures throughout the chapters completely replaced to vastly improve the visual appeal of each environment. Character textures were mostly unchanged.
- Almost all the gore has been removed. Purple mist now burst from enemies, along with reduced blood splashes. Dismembered body parts no longer stay on the ground, but vanish. Additionally, cinematics have been altered to remove dismemberment, dissection, and blood effects. In the Asian version of Sigma 2, the player can only decapitate monsters and other non-human enemies.
- In Story Mode, Karma Scoring is separated and now only done in Chapter Challenge.
- Three additional chapters were also added, one for each of the new characters (Momiji, Rachal and Ayane).
- Tests of Valor were also removed, scattering the rewards across Ryu's chapters.
- Mission Mode had its single player version removed, and is now called Team Mission Mode, where players can now play online with another character. If playing offline, the player is instead given computer-controlled partner.
- The total number of enemies in the game has been reduced, keeping few characters on screen at all times; enemy health was raised to compensate.
- Chapters are more linear and streamlined, with keys have been completely removed, doors simply popping open now. There is also a button to tell the player where to go (R1).
- Five new bosses were added, replacing two old boss encounters. Additionally, there is one new boss for each alternate character's chapter (including returning bosses from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Ninja Gaiden 1). A dragon now replaces the double Quetzalcoatl fight (though Quetzalcoatl can still be fought alone as in Ninja Gaiden 2), and two giant statues; a giant Buddha Statue, and a Statue of Liberty animated by Alexei. The Tunnel Worm has been omitted, causing Ryu to fall through a tunnel leading from dark night to bright day.
- A new melee weapon, the Enma's Fang greatsword, has been added, serving as a spiritual successor to the Dabilahro.
- The Weapon Upgrade system has also been altered to restrict upgrades, similar to Ninja Gaiden Black. Players can only upgrade any weapon once per special shop (marked as Muramasa statues with a blue light). On the other hand, upgrades are now free, no longer requiring Essence.
- Ranged weapons now have unlimited ammo. Because of that some changes were made for balance purposes:
- The Incendiary Shuriken and Windmill Shuriken have been removed. Incendiary Shuriken are now Ayane's main projectile weapon.
- The Fiend's Bane Bow had its Ultimate Technique removed, as it would be too powerful. Most flying enemies were also removed due to infinite ammo.
- The Harpoon Gatling Gun was removed, and with it, all water combat.
- There is a new ranged weapon, the Howling Cannon, a heavy cannon with a slow projectile speed but destructive firepower.
- The Action button was changed from RB/R1 to Circle, which is now also the Shuriken button, while other ranged weapons have been assigned to the R2 button. This allows both the Bow/Cannon to be equipped at the same time as the Shurikens. The player cannot unequip the bow or cannon. Thus, the two weapons bulk up Ryu's appearance even though they don't appear in cutscenes.
- Healing items are found in become an abundance, and are the only thing the player can spend essence on since weapon upgrades are free.
- Most chests are now simply yellow, blue, or red essence.
- Players are no longer allowed to hold onto Life of the Gods, Lives of a Thousand Gods, or Spirit of the Devil. Instead they are automatically consumed upon pickup.
- Changes to alternate costumes, with removals and additions.
- All costume recolors have been removed.
- Biometal and Shadow Walker, which were DLCs in Ninja Gaiden II, are not player-selectable, and instead are used by the returning enemy Ryu clones in Team Missions.
- New costumes are the Doppelgänger (returning from Sigma 1), the Sigma 2 Special (Ryu dressed as Joe Hayabusa the Prologue), Choun Shiryu (Ryu dressed as Zhao Yun from Dynasty Warriors), and Classic Ryu were added.
- Fiend Hayabusa costume remains.
One year after Ninja Gaiden, master blacksmith Muramasa is setting up shop in Tokyo. A CIA agent named Sonia enters the place and asks for Ryu Hayabusa's whereabouts, until members of the Black Spider Ninja Clan attack the shop and kidnap her. Enter the Dragon Ninja Ryu, who fails to stop Sonia's kidnapping and makes haste around the Tokyo skyscrapers and rescues the agent, who informs him of an attack on the Hayabusa Village by the Black Spider Ninjas, who wish to steal the Demon Statue they possess and protect.
Ryu returns to his home and finds his father, Joe Hayabusa dueling with Genshin, leader of the Black Spider Ninja Clan. Unfortunately, the Demon Statue is taken away by Queen of the Greater Fiends and the Ruler of Blood, Elizébet, and Joe urges his son to retrieve the statue at all costs. Ryu travels around the world with Sonia, in pursuit of Elizébet and the Demon Statue, while encountering legions of Black Spider Ninjas, Fiends, and three other Greater Fiends: Alexei, the Graceful Ruler of Lightning; Volf, the Invincible Ruler of Storms; and Zedonius, the Malevolent Ruler of Flame.
Ryu tracks Elizébet down to South America, where she offers the Demon Statue to Infernal High Priest Dagra Dai, in order to resurrect the ancient Archfiend, Vazdah. Elizébet duels with Ryu and he defeats her, but Elizébet proclaims her return. An overlooking Genshin explains the Archfiend will emerge from Mount Fuji back in Japan and states that is the place where Ryu shall die. Ryu returns home, cautioning Sonia not to follow him.
As Ryu overlooks the fire-brimming Mount Fuji, Ayane enters with the Eye of the Dragon, a gift from Joe Hayabusa, and Ryu equips the relic onto his Dragon Sword, forming the True Dragon Sword again. Heading to the mountain's summit, Ryu finds Genshin waiting for him at the crater's entrance and the two ninjas fight to the death. Genshin falls and Ryu leaps into Mount Fuji.
Ryu fights past hordes of Fiends and singlehandedly defeats Zedonius, Volf, and Alexei, and rescues a captured Sonia. He instructs her to stay put and to not move. Ryu heads into another room and finds a resurrected Genshin, transformed into a Fiend, and dispatches him. The mortally wounded Genshin hands him the cursed Blade of the Archfiend to use, and dies without regret for having allied with the Fiends. A furious Elizébet appears, and chastises the Black Spider Ninja for losing, even with his power. Ryu finishes her off, claiming the overlord had more to live for than she ever will.
Traveling deeper into the Underworld, Ryu confronts Dagra Dai, who is nearly finished with the Archfiend's resurrection, and defeats him. As a last resort, the Infernal High Priest offers his life to Vazdah, and the Archfiend is reborn. Ryu takes down the monstrosity and heads to the surface with Sonia, but a drop of his blood from an open wound accidentally spills onto the fiend and revitalizes Vazdah, who ascends to the summit in its true form. Amidst an erupting Mount Fuji, Ryu squares off with the Archfiend in a climatic duel to decide humanity's fate and wins. Sonia and Ryu reunite and climb to the top of the mountain, sharing the sunrise together.
In a post-credits scene, amongst a field with countless number of blades embedded into the ground, Ryu plants Genshin's Blade of the Archfiend into the ground and bows in respect for the Black Spider Ninja. The Dragon Ninja takes one last look back, noticing Kasumi from behind, before taking off into the fog.
Development and release
Though Team Ninja developed the title, the series' creator Tomonobu Itagaki did not design it, as he left Team Ninja after completing Ninja Gaiden II. Yosuke Hayashi, director of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, produced and directed NGS2. Hayashi as the new director of Team Ninja had the game ported from its original Xbox 360 engine to the engine used to create Ninja Gaiden Sigma. The game's native resolution became 720p, compared to the original 585p in the original Xbox 360 version, with an increased use of bloom lighting effect. Eurogamer commented that the game "has the visual edge, not just thanks to its massively increased resolution but also through the accomplished use of the RSX's pixel shaders."
As a trade off for increased resolution, the amount of on-screen action has been reduced in the PS3 version to keep the game running at an acceptable speed. Eurogamer pointed out that there are fewer enemies spawned at one time in the PS3 version of the game, and the developers "blatantly remove polygons in the Sigma edition in order to maintain frame-rate." Also of note is the reduction of bloodshed and gore-related violence than the Xbox 360 version. Sprays of blood have been replaced by purple mist, and dead enemies and severed limbs will vanish from the battlefield "almost instantly" after killing an enemy. Hayashi had many textures replaced to vastly improve the visual appeal of each environment, but left most character textures unchanged.
Those who purchased the Collector's Edition of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 were treated to a comic version of the prologue, titled The Vampire War, and the original soundtrack. The Collector's Edition was limited to GameStop in North America and HMV for the UK. Pre-ordering either edition at GameStop warranted a code for a special Sigma 2 costume, mildly resembling Joe Hayabusa's own outfit, which that costume along with others can be purchased from the PlayStation Store.
- After the merge of Tecmo, the series' producer, with Koei, alternate costumes from Koei's Dynasty Warriors 6 and Musou Orochi Z were added; Ryu Hayabusa gets Zhao Yun, Ayane gets Sun Shang Xiang, Momiji gets San Zang and Rachel gets Diao Chan.
- Due to complaints about the lack of blood, the Vita version, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, reverted the purple mist back to blood.
- Gamasutra:Q&A: The Way of Team Ninja - Hayashi on Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
- Tanaka, John (2009-07-01). Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Dated in Japan. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-07-01.
- Scammell, David (2009-07-27). Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 hitting UK in October. GamerZines. Retrieved on 2009-07-27.
- Torres, Ricardo (March 24, 2009). GDC 2009: Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 First Look. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-07-03.
- Ashcraft, Brian (March 17, 2009). Xbox 360 Exclusive Ninja Gaiden II Coming To PS3. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2009-07-03.
- DigitalFoundry at Eurogamer: Face-Off: Ninja Gaiden 2 vs. Sigma 2 (page 2)
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Seakes Into North America First. Siliconera (2009-07-27).
- Stewart, Kemuel (2009-03-17). Ninja Gaiden Σ II Coming To PS3 [Updated]. Game Centre Online.
- Digital Foundry at Eurogamer: Face-Off: Ninja Gaiden 2 vs. Sigma 2
- Digital Foundry at Eurogamer: Face-Off: Ninja Gaiden 2 vs. Sigma 2 (page 2)
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will contain less violence. IGN (2009-07-08).
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Seakes Into North America First. Siliconera (2009-07-27).