Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 cuts back on gore

The difficulty has also been tweaked and all the levels have been reworked from the ground up, so there shouldn't be any more of that ridiculous save point placement that made some sections impossible in the original game.

PS3 owners also get an online co-op mode. According to Hayashi, this will not follow the main story scene for scene, so we expect it to be more arena-based. You will still be able to make use of the magic attacks while fighting alongside your mate, so that should be pretty spectacular to watch from afar.

Above: Magic plays a key role in the hardest fights

While all of the new additions are welcome, we've got the same doubts about the game we had in the previous version. Ninja Gaiden is well known for its hardcore gameplay and steep difficulty curve, we did feel at times that we were watching the action play out instead of being directly in control of every sword swipe.

There's also the fact that the Xbox 360 version is still the better-looking, with far fewer jagged edges and higher quality special effects and textures. Check out these comparison screens:

And in an in-game cutscene:

If the ultimate version would be an amalgamation of the two, sadly we'll never see it. Hayashi made it clear that the new contentwon't be coming to Xbox 360 via DLC, and PS3's Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will not feature a gore slider bar to boost the level of blood. So basically it comes down to what you want from the game.

Would Kill Bill Vol. 1 have had so much impact without the 450 gallons of fake blood? We think not, still, this is definitely worth a look whether you're new to the series or not. After all, ninjas are way cool – especially when they're female and called Ayane.

Above: Ayane > Ryu. In so many ways

30Jun, 2009