Friday, July 28, 2000

Ninja Gaiden Sigma | 9.0

I bought this game because I had played the previous versions of Ninja Gaiden in other old platforms, and, surprisingly, this was much less expensive than I expected.

This is a much better game than so many I have seen. It is not easy, the enemies attack in group, adapt the offensive and get tougher with time. Your character dies all the time and you have to try again countless times, but once you finish off a chapter boss you feel a real sensation of accomplishment.

What I like the most about this Ninja Gaiden version is that you can't expect the enemies to behave the same, even when you are trying again and encountering the same group of foes in the same situation you had before. The AI is very good. Depending on how you face them, your first strike, your character's position, etc, they will change the strategy. Also, as other reviewers mentioned, most enemies have some attacks that can't be blocked (you must try to evade them), if you block for too long or at the wrong time, they will break it and if you use the same attacks many times without varying, the enemies will adapt, blocking or evading them.

The graphics and sounds are good, but not too impressive, but I prefer challenging AI with good/average graphics to weak AI with mesmerizing graphics any day.

If you want real tough action, try this title (there is a demo at the Playstation store), but if you get frustrated easily, don't bother. There are easier titles around.

One criticism I have is that the saved game loading (when your character dies and you want to continue) and chapter loading (once you complete the previous one) are slow (at least, for me), even after installing the game in the hard drive (though it does improve it). But, it is a minor issue that don't affect the rest.

Advice: master the combo techniques. There are several of them and some require a sequence of 6 buttons to work. Your path will be smoother and the chapter bosses fall faster.

In the end, a great title.

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