There are a few things guaranteed in life, death, taxes and the Hayabusa Village being destroyed by a rival faction. In Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 this is no different. Going into Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 I had high expectations after finishing the first one but nothing could prepare me for what was to come. It is everything I wanted the first title to be and more. It was fast, looked slick, the gameplay was just all-around better and the story was fuller as you will see below.
The return of the Dragon Ninja
In Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 you return as the last Dragon Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa. One year after Ninja Gaiden Sigma, 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 (First the Demon Blade now a Demon statue…I know, I know)
Ryu returns to his home and finds his father, Joe Hayabusa (Best name ever) duelling with Genshin, leader of the Black Spider Ninja Clan. Unfortunately, the Demon Statue is taken away by the Queen of the Greater Fiends and the Ruler of Blood, Elizébet. 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.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2: Fighting around the world
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 throws you straight into the action as the first one did but with this game being just nuts I found myself taking breaks between chapters as I just needed to unwind a bit because it was so intense. I can see the appeal that people have with the Soul games now (but still won’t play them).
You start in Tokyo which looks spectacular and modern with all the neon lights you could ask for, well that is before a giant Buddha is activated and starts tearing up the place and it is up to you to defeat it. This sets the tone for the boss battles because they are HUGE but somewhat repetitive in how you battle the giant ones (attack those fingers and toes people).
You don’t only get to see Tokyo though, you also get to travel to New York, the jungles of South America, Rome, an underwater city and inside Mount Fuji which are all beautiful in their own way. This for me set Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 apart from the first one. The locations are just bigger and better, yes you revisit the Hayabusa Village and there is another sky fortress but they just look better and make the game just feel that bit bigger and more immersive.
The gameplay and AI seem to have been upgraded as well which I welcomed with open arms. The enemy is smarter and more fierce well until you upgrade your weapons. The enemy themselves vary in each level, from ninjas to werewolves to rocket shooting mechs, you name it this game has got it. As you go along, the game pretty much says feck it and will throw everything at you.
Old and new faces
The great thing I noticed more in this one is how badass they made the female characters whether playable or not. In the Sigma version of the game, there are three new chapters starring three alternate playable characters. Ayane (a kunoichi from the Mugen Tenshin ninja clan, originally from the Dead or Alive series), Momiji (a female member of the Hayabusa clan who uses a naginata) and Rachel (a Fiend hunter from the Holy Vigoor Empire who is in possession of the “Fiend’s Blood” curse).
Each of the three is more powerful in attacks than Ryu which I found weird but great because you only get them for one chapter each and the developers likely wanted you to have a good time. The boss fight with Elizébet, in particular, was hard as balls which goes to show how much they think of their female character in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. It’s refreshing to see. Especially for a game that came out originally in 2008.
I cannot rave enough about this game. They fixed so much that was wrong with the first. The camera angles, the doors and the fact you had to find a key for everything come to mind. In removing all this it just makes the game flow better.
I could also see a lot in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 that I see in Ghost of Tsushima which surprised me. Also, I feel like Sucker Punch must have taken some inspiration from Ninja Gaiden. Please check out my review of Ninja Gaiden Sigma also as I will be moving onto the next one in the Ultimate Edition series, Ninja Gaiden: Razor’s Edge.