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Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus Review

The ultimate ninja returns once again for some serious chopsocky action with Team Ninja following up their faithful recreation of the classic Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus with a remake of the sequel, Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma Plus for the PSVita. As with the previous release, Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma Plus includes all of the previous content plus a few extra tricks up its sleeve with a huge selection of modes on this definitive release.

Getting up to speed with the story via a rather well presented motion comic prologue, Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma Plus starts off in Tokyo, with the blacksmith Muramasa setting up shop and a stranger approaching him in search of Ryu, hoping to warn him of the impending rise of the Archfiend. With them both being ambushed by the Black Spider Ninja Clan, Ryu arrives just in time, but not before having to take on some enemy ninja and a giant boss statue. This fast paced tale then whisks us to Hayabusa Village and around the world trying to locate the Demon Statue before retuning to Mount Fuji for the final battle.

Becoming one with the ninja ways is vital to progress as there is an abundance of equal foes out there wanting to hack you to pieces. As you make your way through the game Ryu will discover a variety of weapons, starting with his trusty Dragon Sword and also including the Lunar Staff and Falcons Talons, metal claws that fit his hands as feet, with each weapon having a very original fighting style to master. Along his travels Ryu will come across the Muramasa shop where for a fee can purchase health and Ki items and also perform upgrades to the weaponry. Add to that shuriken, a bow and arrow set and a steady supply of ninja magic called Ninpo and Ryu is ready to take on all comers.

The fighting is as ever, tight and rather punishing with a heavy reliance on learning blocks, counters and the attack patterns of the enemies, but even on the easier settings there is a great challenge. It has been well documented that the Ninja Gaiden games are some of the hardest and most challenging games on the market, requiring ninja like reflexes to progress through the later levels and this version is no different, with many grisly deaths occurring at the hands of the Fiends and the Black Spider Ninja Clan. For the sadistic amongst us there are a few difficulty settings to try out, thankfully for those of us that have no chance of seeing the endgame there is a hero mode, using the lowest difficulty settings and an auto block that will spring into action when you need it the most, switching itself off once you regain health, a great addition for those of us that just want to see the story.

Aside from the lengthy story campaign there are also a few other modes to hone your blade skills on, with a Chapter Challenge allowing you to revisit previous levels, a Ninja Race that sets a course through parts of the game, the aim to hack and slash your way to the checkpoints within the time limits, boosting combos and the clock with kills and finally Tag Missions. These missions are similar to a horde mode with there being a constant flow of ninja, fiends, dogs with swords and werewolfes attacking you and a computer controlled team mate. Strangely there is no online or local ad-hoc mode associated with this, just the ability for you to switch between characters, the computer picking up what you leave behind.

With all of the improvements, Ninja Gaiden 2 Sigma Plus still manages to throw a few annoying moments in there, the most common problem being the awful camera, with foregrounds blocking your view with stupidly awkward angles, it really does frustrate when trying to take on a swarm of enemy ninja whilst also battling the camera stick. Though not effecting gameplay there is a rather strange occurrence in where the characters go all pixelated, this is usually just after a pause screen or change of weapons, add to that the occasional slow down when a large group of enemies are present and it's clear the PSVita has a lot to deal with here.

Overall though the transition from PS3 to the portable PSVita has been a good one, retaining the stunning visuals and effects and all of the limb lopping goodness. Graphically the game on most counts manages to impress, with only the previously mentioned pixelating really deterring from a great looking game, especially when it comes to the trademark gore which in this version is all intact, with plenty of limbs being lopped off and enemies still staggering towards you, gruesome decapitations and the fancy looking Izuna Drop that hurtles enemies into the ground, smashing their body into a bloody, stumpy mess on the floor.

After the mixed bag that was Ninja Gaiden 3, this is a solid reminder that the Ninja Gaiden games are some of the toughest and most satisfying fighting games on the market and well worth a purchase for your PSVita.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


- Faithful port of console classic
- Lots of extras to enjoy
- Hero Mode


- Occasional slowdown
- Pixelation of characters

Edited On 06 Mar, 2013

( 5 )
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
So I recently picked up NGS 1 on Vita. And besides an occasional frame rate slowdown, it was near perfect and an awesome excuse to play again. This port seems to be just as faithful, an almost guaranteed purchase for me I think.
PrometheusFan's avatar
It isn't as polished as the first game. Framerate is definitely less stable than the first, plus it uses a dynamic resolution that kicks in when switching areas/closing menus that makes the screen pixelate badly for a few seconds(As review says). It's still a lot of fun, but it's got it's flaws and no mistake.
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
It's still a good game, but it isn't as well put together as Sigma + was, which I guess was inevitable given there was literally a generation's worth of difference in the design of the original versions of both games. Even so, I was really annoyed to see the multiplayer was removed and the framerate issues(Especially in tag mode) are distracting. Quick tip for anyone else with the game though: Go into options and set the two gauges for camera sensitivity/speed to MAX and turn off the gore. This helps dramatically with most of the framerate issues for some reason.
troublemaker's avatar
Cheers for the info man, and the advice.
troublemaker 4 years ago
JMeeks1875's avatar
JMeeks1875 4 years ago
Vita needs all the love it can get at the moment, I'm undecided on purchasing this though.

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