The Ninja Gaiden series, renowned for its surgically precise yet frenetic gameplay, has had a bit of a rebirth on PS Vita. With Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus helping to launch the system, and with the impending release of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, Ryu Hayabusa has never been more mobile.
With Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus launching today on game card and on PSN bundled with an exclusive costume pack and DLC, we asked Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi to shed light on the perks of the PS Vita version. Read on to learn more about the new Ninja Race and Tag Mission modes, PS Vita development details and more.
Yosuke Hayashi, Head of Team Ninja: We wanted to make sure to keep the feel of the controls identical between the different platforms, thus the inputs and control adjustments have been worked on in detail. Also, the color pallet has been adjusted accordingly to make the visibilities better suited for the compact screens.
PSB: Technically, how difficult was it to recreate this visually demanding PS3 game on PS Vita?
YH: One of the challenges was adjusting the graphics to the hardware’s capabilities, which involved adjusting the character models, sceneries, animations, and numerous effects, to name some. Sceneries in the PS3 version were detailed in all areas, thus allocating the polygon resources to the essential and visible parts that were required without diminishing the overall graphic feel for all the maps. Also, our designers and programmers went over more than 100 of the in-game effects to make it more suitable for the hardware performance without jeopardizing any of the intended look and feel compared to the PS3 installment.
YH: First will be “Ninja Race.” The objective is to complete a map before the clock runs out which will require the players to pick up “Essence” to gain extra time by killing the enemies on the way. The key here is to quickly eliminate the enemies so different tactics are essential compared to the other modes. Also, the “Tag Mission” requires tactical switching of characters during the numerous challenging missions, which will become unforgiving as you enter the second half of the mode.
PSB: Are there any other noteworthy new features that PS Vita owners should keep an eye out for?
YH: Additional costumes have been prepared especially for our character loving fans in mind. Also, the “Hero Mode” is in place similar to Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, which assists players who had difficulties completing the PS3 version. The latest “Hero Mode” will not simply auto guard for you, but will increase the chances of body deception whilst attacking, making it easier to eliminate enemies.
Also, from the action parts, improvements have been made where possible, such as the target switching of your enemies when being surrounded, which allows for intuitive straightforward gameplay at all times.
YH: “More speed, more beauty, more blood” is the concept for the game, and with the PS Vita version having a more compact screen, we enhanced the violence level making it closer to Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’s impressions to make sure the attacking effects and feel can be seen and understood properly by players.
PSB: What kind of ninja gear is floating around your office? Has anyone looked the wrong way and stepped on a shuriken?
YH: We do have ninja swords lying around in the office, but I think all our staff members carry their individual ninja weapons for self-defense. Obviously, I don’t get to see such weapons since they are hidden on a normal day at the office.