Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2’s big changes

PlayStation Universe was in London recently for the Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 press conference, and we’ve returned with some excellent info. Sigma 2 is a change of direction for the Ninja Gaiden series in many ways, but most of those changes seem positive thus far.

Where to start? The first news, which you may already know, is that the game is coming this fall. Next month we’ll get a solid release date.

Yosuke Hayashi, producer at Team Ninja, took most questions through a translator and played a demo of the game. He was pretty evasive about why the PS3 was chosen to be the exclusive platform, but he did say that development was driven more by the PS3 fanbase than PS3 hardware.

Some differences besides the release time:

–There are two new playable female characters, Momiji and Ayane. They will have their own plotlines that intersect with Ryu’s, and some levels will belong to them only. Some levels will have cooperative play with these characters, but not all of them.

–This one will not be so violent and gory. The new approach is to make the game more “cool.” Hayashi noted there are plenty of violent video games and he doesn’t wish to emulate that; he’d like to do something different this time.

–Someone asked about whether the camera had been improved. Hayashi said the it has “already received a great deal of praise” and that the camera and difficulty were the two primary concerns. We got the opportunity to try out the demo for ourselves and have to agree—the camera is much more responsive to sudden changes than in the previous Ninja Gaiden games.

–DLC is not currently in the works, but Hayashi noted he’d consider it if they find there is enough demand for it.

–Speaking of challenge, we’re not sure how much that has actually changed. The first question was “Ninja Gaiden traditionally features an extremely high difficulty level. Has anything been changed in NGS2 to tweak the experience for the casual gamer?” The somewhat evasive answer: “The game is designed for people who enjoy action and that it is purposely designed to challenge.” Now, Hayashi played the game himself and he almost died twice on the boss, having to use two full life potions. He was hit many, many times. Maybe it will be somewhat easier, but one thing’s for sure: the old challenge is still alive and at least an option, if not required.

Now that you’ve heard all about it, why don’t you take the opportunity to see it, too.