A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a bloody combat game. Ryu kills bad people, moves on, kills more bad people, moves on, solves a puzzle, and then kills more bad people. The game features a lot of bloodletting, wicked and violent combat moves, loads of deathtraps, and use of edged weaponry. There are also demons, monsters, black magic, and sexualized characters.
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What's it about?
NINJA GAIDEN: SIGMA for the PlayStation 3 is an enhanced remake of the awesome Ninja Gaiden: Black for the Xbox, which was an enhanced remake of the classic Ninja Gaiden, also for the Xbox. Master ninja Ryu Hayabusha has a problem. The bad guys destroyed his village and stole an important family artifact; it's up to players to master his moves and defeat the bad guys. Ninja Gaiden: Sigma takes the plot, features, and gameplay from the original, the bonus content from Black and brings them to Sony's next-generation machine with significant graphics enhancements and a handful of new missions featuring buxom beauty Rachel.
Is it any good?
It's worth the upgrade, even if you played the originals to death, because this is one well-crafted action game for players over 17. Ninja Gaiden: Sigma is basically a well-made fighting game that emphasizes combat, with a sprawling adventure attached. While at first, players will button-mash their way to victory -- and frequent death (the game requires skill) -- learning the controls makes the combat elegant and stylistic.
The game is bloody but never feels exploitative, even though this is one of the more violent video games available. The PlayStation 3 visual upgrade makes the game feel like acrobatic lethal ballet. Fans making the upgrade will be disappointed (maybe) that new content is locked, and they'll have to invest 20 or so hours to unlock the new missions. But any adult new to the series will find a lot of stylistic and skill-based ninja violence to sink their teeth into. It's a classic remade in an elegant manner.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Japanese history, culture, and combat. With some Internet research regarding samurai and ninjas, this fanciful game plot could spark an interest into real Japanese history. How does revenge, honor, and combat come into play in the game? Would you want to solve problems in real life the way you do in a game? Why or why not?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.