We've been tailing the development of Ninja Gaiden Sigma quite closely for a while now. Needless to say, we're pretty excited about the game's arrival on the PS3. We now know that the game will run at 60 frames per second at a resolution of 720p. These details were expected, and not surprising, considering Team Ninja's focus on attention to detail. The developer's chief, Tomonubu Itakagi, has always expressed his sentiments (no matter how crude) stating that they would focus development on the most powerful console. So far, the developer is very content with the PS3 which bodes well for PS3 owners.
The recently released demo really demonstrates Team Ninja's desire to not just re-create the original Xbox classic, but to completely change the way you look at it. Visually, it indeed shares absolutely nothing with its original counterpart. The day settings are different, the textures are completely changed, and the environments don't even resemble their original design. The only similarity between the redesigned stages and the originals is the structure; in other words, the way each area is laid out. And the way Sigma animates makes the eyes water; it's beautiful. Character detail is superb, especially that of the main characters and bosses.
Most importantly, though, is how well the game plays. An abundance of control response makes Sigma one of the tightest action titles, ranking among the likes of Devil May Cry 3 and the God of War titles. The controls are lightning quick in response, but the game requires proper tact in order to progress in. Unlike games such as God of War, the Ninja Gaiden series prides itself in its difficulty and combo system. Button mashing will only get you beaten down, as you'll have to block frequently and jump around often, utilizing the environment's space to your advantage.
The demo exhibits some annoying camera issues, which makes extremely quick runs a little dangerous (for instance: you can fall into a trap if you don't have the proper view of your surroundings). You can control the camera yourself, or center it whenever you need to by hitting one of the shoulder buttons – and that's a plus. Still, hopefully Team Ninja does tighten up a bit, so that it works better when controlled automatically.
Lastly, Rachel's mission isn't really a mission, so much as it is actually an all out melee. Her controls are completely different than Ryu's, and possibly even slower. You're pitted against a gauntlet of demons that have to be all defeated within a time limit. The stage is nothing more than a ring, so you don't have any room for exploration, which makes the Rachel portion of the demo a little underwhelming. Regardless, it is a great opportunity to demonstrate her controls, and it's certainly better than nothing.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma is fast approaching its release. Stay posted as we find out more and more on the game.