Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Review

8.5 / 10 Banzai!s


Widely known as one of the hardest games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Ninja Gaiden gained notoriety with its brutal respawns and platforming and combat that required lightning quick reflexes. It was also known for it’s amazing music and for being (one of) the first game (s) with cut scenes. The sequels Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom were no different, and their difficulty is why 12 minute speed runs of the games are so incredible.

From 1993, the series had been dormant until the 3D revival Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox in 2004. This was remade into Ninja Gaiden Black, and then again into Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the PS3. Ninja Gaiden II, the sequel on the Xbox 360, was remade into Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 on the PS3 (and most recently NGS2 Plus on the PS Vita), and incorporated all of the DLC into the game, added a few extra levels and characters, and reworked the trophy list.

And it’s hard as balls.

The mantra of the game has not changed since the original NES game. You get better or you die.

And you will die a lot playing this game.

You can start on either Acolyte (easy) or Warrior (normal) difficulty, and until you get used to the game’s combat system either one will prove a worthy challenge. Far more than just a hack and slash, you will want to block, counterattack and evade attacks on your way to becoming a master ninja. If you perform a certain combo, you can cut a limb off an enemy, then by hitting the strong attack button (triangle) you can perform an Obliteration Technique. Hold the strong attack and you can charge up to perform an Ultimate Technique, a massive series of attacks which will usually defeat a few enemies (at least on lower difficulties.)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 ReviewWhat makes combat even more interesting are the eight additional weapons you can pick up along your way to stopping the Black Ninja Clan from resurrecting the Archfiend with the Demon Statue. (If you have played the original Ninja Gaiden, it’s basically the same story, only much more developed and with CG.)

You gain the Lunar Staff, Kusari-gama (a traditional ninja weapon that looks like a sickle attached to a chain), Dual Katanas, and Enma’s Fang (a massive Final Fantasy type of sword), among other weapons, as well as using shuriken, a bow, or a handheld cannon for projectiles.

You also have access to four ninja spells or “ninpo.” The Art of the Flame Phoenix is your basic fire spell, the wind spell is great for cutting off limbs and opening up Obliterations, and there is a dark magic spell which is useful against fire-based enemies. There is a fourth ninpo that conjures protective flames, but I found it to be quite ineffective.

Once you beat Acolyte or Warrior difficulty you gain access to Mentor (hard) difficulty. This is what makes this one of the most difficult games of Generation 7 games.

Master Ninjas (with machine guns) attack you from the beginning of the game, enemies deal three times the damage as Warrior difficulty, archers become Rocket Ninjas, and the enemies all become very grabby with devastating suicide attacks. They also start to evade ninpo attacks, the prices for healing items goes up, and they are less effective as well.

Get better or die.

And to top that off, next is Master Difficulty. If you can beat that, you have a chance to get the platinum, but this is one game where you should play up to where you are comfortable once you experience the story, and then only continue if you are masochistic, an elite gamer, or you really love the game.

The key is blocking, counterattacking, evading, and chaining together Ultimate Techniques. When you kill an enemy, you can absorb the essence, charging the next UT more quickly. Perform several of these in a row to clear and area and you might have a chance of surviving until the next wave of enemies.

There are nine weapon trophies, each for getting 1000 kills with each weapon. This may seem like a lot, but if you manage one playthrough for each difficulty, and again complete each chapter in Chapter Challenge mode, you will have completed the game eight times with over 1000 kills each time.

Chapter Challenge mode pits you against the regular enemies, and gives you points, or “karma,” for beating a level in a quick time or with less ninpo used. The time and ninpo are basically extra points, as you seem to be able to get Master Ninja rank on a level if you manage to kill all the enemies on that level. The best part about Chapter Challenge is that you have access to all the unlocked weapons and ninpo at their maximum level and you can tear through the early chapters (on easier difficulties) or even out the challenge (on the harder ones.)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 ReviewThe final mode is Team Missions, and if you thought you had to be a Ninja Gaiden master to beat Master Ninja difficulty, well, there’s a reason 0.8% of people have this platinum.

You team up with an online partner (or AI if you prefer) to complete a series of survival missions. You start of with basic waves of ninjas, demons, or werewolves, then progress through ever more difficult missions. After the initial waves, you may fight a boss, or on the most difficult missions you may face all the bosses in a row, with up to three fighting you at the same time!

Needless to say the AI is not very well equipped to deal with these types of threats. The only thing is, as the game ages, fewer people are playing online, and certain players will refuse to play with you unless you have completed the main story on Master Ninja difficulty.

The best thing about these missions is that they are standard on disc for Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, whereas for the 360’s Ninja Gaiden II the missions are DLC.

Also different from the 360 version are the Momiji, Rachel, and Ayane missions. They are fun missions, and offer more insight into the story, but Momiji and Ayane are not nearly as powerful as Ryu, and you will find clearing their chapters more difficult. They also have their own 1000 kill trophies, and extend the story to 17 chapters, which can get to be a little long after multiple playthroughs.

At the end of the day, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 lives up to its reputation. If you like a challenge or are a massive fan of the series, you should definitely play this game. If you are a completionist, you might have a problem with Master Ninja and the missions.

The graphics for this game are excellent. There is plenty of blood and limbs flying around, and rarely if ever does the frame rate drop because of all the excess. There are also cut scenes that blend flawlessly into gameplay (and vice versa) at times. You really feel like you’re in the heat of the action, so the graphics and the controls make a great combination.

It’s a fun hack and slash that requires skills and finesse. Button mashing will get you killed, and quickly. And just like the original, it’s not impossibly difficult.

Fun: 8

Sound: 8

Story: 8.5

Replay Value: 7 (Repetitive after a while, and difficulty may be an issue for some people.)

Trophy Difficulty: 10


written by Benjamin Adkins

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Trophy Guide

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Trophy Guide. Difficulty: ****  A third-person hack-and-slash action game and part of the Ninja Gaiden series which began on the NES in 1998. The Platinum not only demands a minimum of 7 playthroughs, but some serious skills as well.

Game Name Difficulty Trophies Developer Country Bronze Silver Gold Online DLC
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 **** 51 Team Ninja Japan 38 10 2 1 0

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is a hack and slash action-adventure originally released on the Xbox 360 as Ninja Gaiden II in 2008, and updated for the PlayStation 3 in 2009 with trophy support and retitled Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. The game is part of the Ninja Gaiden series which began on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1998, is a prequel to the original NES trilogy and a sequel to the 2004 Ninja Gaiden.

After failing to rescue CIA agent Sonia from being kidnapped by the Black Spider Ninja Clan, Ryu Hayabusa is set on a quest that not only involves her rescue, but a plot by the Clan to capture and use an ancient Demon Statue with unspeakable powers.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 received positive reviews with an average score of 82%, praised for its spectacular graphics, improvement in gameplay, and fun challenge.

For more information, check out our Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Review.

Obtaining the Platinum on Ninja Gaiden Stigma 2 is arguably just as challenging as clearing the original Ninja Gaiden the NES back in 1998. Not only is the game time consuming since it requires a minimum of 7 playthroughs, but you'll need some serious skills to complete the game on Master Ninja difficulty mode. Plus, you'll need a co-op partner also possessing serious skills in order to get through the Team Missions. This is not a game for the feint of heart, but certainly a Platinum to be proud of.

Expect well over 100 hours for the Platinum, though this is heavily skill dependent.

Since the difficulty mode related trophies do not stack, you will need to complete a minimum of 7 playthroughs. We say 7 rather than 8, because there is a trick to avoid having to play the Path of the Acolyte (Easy) level. Instead, start your playthrough on Path of the Warrior (medium) and play till the end, thereby unlocking the Cleared The Path Of The Warrior trophy. After that, play and complete chapter 17 in the chapter challenge mode on Acolyte mode, which will then unlock the Cleared The Path Of The Acolyte trophy.

Of course, if you prefer to get used to the game on an easier setting and don't mind an extra playthrough, then by all means start on the Acolyte mode. Essentially, you'll want to simply play through and try to master the controls as well as the techniques to prepare you for the harder playthroughs - particularly the Ultimate Technique.

Once that's done, it's time for your next playthrough, this time on Mentor (hard) difficulty in order to unlock the Cleared The Path Of The Mentor trophy.

Now comes the fun part. It's time for your playthrough on Master Ninja (very hard) difficulty to unlock the Cleared The Path Of The Master Ninja trophy. This is not easy, as it only requires a couple hits from the enemies until your dead, or even by a single throw. Chaining the Ultimate Technique will help you get through this, as well as some of the strategies under our Links tab.

If you've managed to clear Master Ninja difficulty, then you should be ready for the Team Missions. These don't need to be played next, but if you with to get these trophies out of the way, we suggest finding a boosting partner with serious skills to help you get through. Check out the boosting forums under our Links tab to find someone. If you can get through the Master Ninja difficulty playthrough, then the Team Missions should be fine - though it will still depend heavily on your co-op partner's skills.

If you've done all that, then congratulations. The hardest part is over. Last, there are the Chapter Challenges. This will feel much easier than everything else you went through, only time consuming.

Finally, if there's anything you're missing, now is the time to mop-up those last few trophies. And enjoy that Platinum at the end. You deserve it!

First, here's a text-based Walkthrough by VampireHorde:

And IGN has a Walkthrough here:

Zongorillacska has a useful Trophy Guide here:

And a useful Trophy Guide by Jeanmi96:

And Eli-Mad has a useful Trophy Guide here:

And a good Trophy Guide by Phorus:

Here's Part 1 of a Master Ninja video demonstration by Kagerasimaru:

And some Team Missions Tips by CogniVision:

And a Team Missions Guide by SnapGW:

And a Bosses And Enemies Guide by Devilryuujin:

If you're looking for a co-op partner, here's a Boosting Forum on PlaystationTrophies:

Finally, here's a basic Trophy List:

From Japan: So, You Want To Be A Ninja?

While people in Japan may role their eyes when hearing a Westerner mention the term “ninja,” these mysterious assassins have captured the imagination and been the inspiration behind numerous sources of pop-culture, from 1970’s martial art films, to James Bond movies, to video games like Ninja Gaiden and Shinobi, to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  But the question is, were the ninja merely a product of this pop-culture, or did they actually exist?

Yes, they did.

While fact and fiction has been blurred, due to what little information has been uncovered (their whole profession was stealth, after all) many historians believe the ninja predominantly existed around the Sengoku era (around 1450 to 1600) when Japan lacked unification, resulting in military conflict and social upheaval.  While the Samurai were all about upholding rules on honor and combat (known as Bushido) the ninja fought “unfairly” by hiding in the shadows and pouncing on unsuspecting enemies.

Ninja GaidenAs their profession grew, Nina Clans began sprouting around Japan – particularly in Mie Prefecture – where they would train and graduate, before being hired as either a spy or mercenary, usually by the more desperate lower-class Shoguns.  Some well-known historical events involving the ninja was the Shimbara Rebellion (1637-1638) in which the Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa hired ninjas to kill the Christian rebels stationed in Hara Castle in Nagasaki Prefecture.  And in the early 1700’s, Yoshimune Tokugawa started the Oniwaban, a kind of medieval CIA which employed ninjas for their secret intelligence, gathering on government officials and Daimyos.

Where can we see ninjas today?

If you head up to Nikko, you can visit the Edo Wonderland, which is mainly a studio set up to resemble an ancient village used for filming Japan’s historical dramas.  There, you can witness mock ninja battles as they fly through the trees on cables swinging their swords, or fighting in a play dubbed “Ninja Kabuki.”

Last month, a “Ninja Training Session” was held in Chiba Prefecture which ran a two-hour course for only 500 yen, teaching the ways of the ninja such as throwing shuriken (ninja stars) and climbing trees.  The catch?  You have to be a kid.


written by Damon Finos