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Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Developer: Team Ninja
Medium: Vita Card/Digital Download
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus might be a bit of a mouthful, but it’s a pretty damn good port of the ever-popular Ninja Gaiden from Tecmo and Team Ninja. This is, of course, a port of a port, coming from the previous PS3 release that covered the original Xbox game. As a whole, it doesn’t sacrifice much in bringing the hardcore, sometimes bloody, action title to the small screen. But with the original game pushing the 8 year mark, it does start to feel a little long in the tooth.

This version of the game comes complete with the additions found in the original Sigma. You can still play as Rachel, for instance, and the overall visuals are definitely enhanced over say, Ninja Gaiden Black. The Vita port of the game doesn’t quite hold up to the PS3 version in that department though, some textures have taken a noticeable hit in the port.

Another disappointing thing to mention in regards to visuals is the loss of 60 frames per second, which might be a deal breaker to some. Ninja Gaiden, as a series since its reboot, has always aimed to move butter-smooth on screen, and the Vita version of Sigma certainly doesn’t look as fluid. It does seem to be locked into 30 frames per second, and remains steady throughout, so thankfully the framerate isn’t all over the place. But still, I found myself a little disappointed in the transition.

The campaign content remains unchanged from Sigma, every little secret, move, and enemy you remember will still be present. I do think it’s a bit of a shame this couldn’t be enhanced in some significant fashion for the Vita, with maybe new specific modes or even character skins, but as it stands it’s a really faithful port.

Besides the campaign you’ve also got the optional Ninja Trials to check out. These are progressively harder stages that make a good way to acclimate yourself to the game again, and I would highly suggest that new players jump into this mode to try and pick up on the finer points of combat. The difficulty can still be as punishing as ever, so understanding Ryu’s move set and being able to practice it a bit is a big plus.

I don’t have much else to say about the game, simply because it’s not that different from Sigma, and there’s a very good chance you’ve played this game before in some form. I’d really only recommend this version to either people who haven’t played the original and have no access to a PS3 or Xbox, or for those folks that just think a portable Ninja Gaiden would be a pretty cool thing to have.

It’s a really solid port, but lacks any bells and whistles to attract folks who might not be die-hard fans of the series. It’s definitely worth checking out, but keep in mind that you’re getting the same content here that was contained in Sigma on PS3 nearly five years ago.

Grade: B-