Hands-on at E3 / Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2

The Ninja Gaiden series has a few things going for it. One of them is Ninjas, another is copious amounts of blood, a third is a high difficulty level and now, thanks to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, a fourth is more large bouncing breasts. The upcoming upgrade for the game will be landing on PS3 and along with a few tweaks to the gameplay will feature three new unlockable characters: Ninja Gaiden‘s Rachel, Dead or Alive‘s Ayane and Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword‘s Momiji. Breasticles obviously abound.

As the game is being developed under Team Ninja without lead rock star designer Tomonobu Itagaki since he left Tecmo it’s gone through a few changes — changes Itagaki was eager to check out as he stood behind me as I played the game. I work well under pressure though and successfully got through the the demo level, slicing and dicing the entire time through a whole butt load of blood and limbs. Yes, there is still blood, and yes this is still Ninja Gaiden, it’s just a bit different.

I got to demo the level with Ayane who is far quicker and moves more smoothly than Ryu in battle. The Tecmo people said they were going for a better overall flow to the battle system in general and it does show a bit as Ayane moves from one character to another in a far smoother manner than Ryu ever did. There’s also this new weird purple blur/cloud thing that follows the action that I wasn’t so sure about, but I suppose it was there to make the quick action seem quicker.

The variety definitely lends itself well to the game, as the fights seem to still be challenging, but not as ridiculously hard as the original game. Yes, Team Ninja made the game a little easier this time instead of upping the difficulty like they did with Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Accessibility is all the rage these days, but from what I played the game still features some high quality challenges and some pretty interesting gameplay. And no offense to the man watching me play the game over my shoulder, but Ninja Gaiden 2 wasn’t all that hot and did have some flaws that needed to be addressed. Whether this version addresses them is up in the air, but the gameplay did flow a lot better.

Not on show there was the fact that the game will have online co-op so that you can play with two large chested women as you tear people apart. An online ranking mode will also be present, which sounds really cool because being able to tear through Ninja Gaiden well should always be recognized. It looks like Team Ninja is doing just fine without Itagaki, though the toned down difficulty and adherence to a different fighting style might not pay off. We’ll find out come Fall of this year when the game drops.