Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus

We're used to seeing ports of old games when new video gaming systems are released - it wouldn't be a proper hardware launch without a smattering of port-driven cash-ins.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus for the PS Vita may well be a first, however, as it isn't just a port but a port of a port. The original came out for Xbox in 2004, and the enhanced version landed on PS3 in 2009.

The Vita version is essentially the very same game as the console versions, with some Vita functionality tacked on. Unfortunately, the transition to the smaller handheld screen hasn't gone very well.

Sig-nature move

Ryu Hayabusa is not a happy ninja. The Hayabusa village has been destroyed, and a big hefty fella called Doku has killed the village maiden and taken the legendary Dark Dragon Blade.

On his quest for revenge, Ryu runs, jumps, and slices his way past wave after wave of enemies as he explores the surrounding areas and attempts to find a path to victory.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is a hack 'n' slasher in which you hammer a combination of buttons to cut down all the incoming foes. As you work your way through the game, more moves and combos become available, and you'll quickly be pulling off some seriously slick movements.

It's incredibly easy to make combat look cool in this game, with some brilliant animations and strong, flowing gameplay that keeps the action intense.

Each level features a number of 'lock in' areas, too, where nasty-looking boss enemies repeatedly destroy you. Prevailing against these demon-like baddies is always a great feeling.


If you're looking to play Ninja Gaiden Sigma, however, you're best to stick with the PS3 version.

The controls in Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus don't feel tight enough at all, and simple actions such as running through a door, jumping across a gap, or wall-jumping up to a higher ledge are made frustratingly difficult by the poor thumb-stick controls.

The truly awful camera is still ready and willing to screw you over at every turn, just as it was in the console version - however, it's even worse now, since you're playing the game on a smaller screen.

When you combine the camera issues, screen size, and controls it's a match made in hell. Some sections nearly had me throwing my Vita across the room in a rage.

The Vita-specific controls - such as the rear touch-screen Ninpo powers - aren't worth bothering with, either. You'll find you don't venture much beyond the buttons.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a lot of fun on the PlayStation 3, but don't let that fool you. This port of a port is a shadow of a shadow of the original.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is what happens when a classic is ported too often