Part 40: Ninja Gaiden Sigma: Post Game
Ninja Gaiden Sigma is also a game with value, but most of that is stuff that's carried over from Black and largely intact. Even with Sigma's specific weird changes you'll face a lot of the real challenging stuff in the same way. That said, this video's gonna be way shorter and not cover anything in the campaign, because the same still applies from Black. There are however some new challenges in Mission Mode, as well as a special set of missions only available through a series of (low priced) DLC.
Mission Mode keeps all the same categories that were in Black's mission mode, but the individual phases themselves are mixed around. Some are the same, others are moved elsewhere, others are removed outright in favor of new ones that make use of Sigma's exclusive content. Ultimately, it's still worse than Black's because, you guessed it, there are Rachel missions as well and we all know how much I love playing Rachel.
There is one extra category in the list that is actually hidden from most players. You see, the game had a collector's edition when it came out and it gave players access to a set of five extra missions, which were actually 4 reused missions from Sigma plus a Rachel version of a dual boss fight that she is not suited for. But it's still available for everyone that has the game normally if you input the following code on the mission mode screen:
Up, Down, Left, Down, Right, Up, Square.
And there you go, 5 extra missions that the Sigma team had no real reason to hide, as they aren't anything super new or special. Good job, Hayashi.
Ryu doesn't have that many new missions considering that the base game did not add much in the way of new content for him. There are missions such as a fight against Gamov, inside a burning building in the Hayabusa Village, a 100 fiend battle, and a dual boss fight between Dynamo and Alternator. Of all those that I just described, I don't need to say which of those is absolutely awful.
Rachel has a few missions of her own, with one in almost every category (and actually two in one case). Most of the time Rachel's missions are in the last phase of a category, and sometimes it's easy to tell if it's her because the thumbnail will be very similar to another Ryu mission (such as the 100 man fights, though in her case that number is lower). She even gets a fight with Doppleganger Ryu for whatever reason, and of course she gets a dual boss fight against Nicchae and Ishtaros just like in the main game. Except only you have to win it. It's shit. Moving on.
Survival Mode is the most interesting addition to Sigma that isn't even available on the disc. Yes, Team Ninja got on the DLC train pretty early in the PS3's life cycle and released a series of three, $2.99 packs of missions with different rules from the actual mission mode. It would've been nice to actually have these as part of the game, especially since that was the point of Black after NG Vanilla had the Hurricane Packs that can't even be acquired anymore (PS3 PSN's gonna have to stop existing at some point so that's where my main critique of this comes from). But I digress. Each of these packs contain five missions that focus on a different goal, and a major change to how essence works to facility the survival aspect of this mode. In this mode enemies do not release Yellow Essence when killed by an Ultimate Technique. It will instead be blue.
If this was in any other context this change would be ruinous, but for a mode where you're trying to survive for a long period of time this seems pretty logical. After all, using UTs give you karma points and absorbing blue essence isn't gonna give you health back anyway. If you're heavily damaged, getting off a UT and absorbing blue essence that is worth 50% of your health bar is a godsend. Plus, at certain points you won't have the option of getting blue if you're fighting a boss, so the missions still aren't a cakewalk by any stretch. I think it's a novel change up overall.
Lastly, there are bronze, silver, and gold rankings for each mission that are based on killing 30, 60, and 100 enemies respectively. Of course a skilled player will find this irrelevant for certain missions as 100 enemies killed is far from the possible maximum.
Weapon Master has Ryu limited to a single weapon, and each gauntlet holds 3 to 4 bosses separated by an arbitrary number of enemies that must be defeated prior to each boss. 100 enemies is how much you need to beat in order to repeat the cycle, and it's during the boss fights that the biggest screwups can happen, such as dying.
One thing to note is that starting out, the enemies and bosses are fairly weak health wise. Like, a well placed UT or heavy attack can deal significant damage on the first run, but as the gauntlet repeats, the defense gets better and better until they become much harder to kill and they start hurting you way more in return. Combined with the blue essence released from enemies killed by UT, that decisions starts to make a lot more sense.
Speed Master, unlike Weapon Master, has a set timelimit of approximately 10 minutes and you aren't limited to a single arena. In fact, part of the challenge involves getting to that single arena as you have to run a small gauntlet with enemies impeding your progress. This makes sense as the difference in score between players would be way smaller if there wasn't a chance for someone to be set back.
Any weapon can be used during this, and some of the gauntlets themselves can get pretty tricky to run through. Hell, the third one is crazy as you reach a spot where the only way to progress is to murder a bunch of rats, something you might not thing to do if you weren't already keen to doing karma runs and extracting essence from the weirdest places.
The final category is based around using Rachel, and is closest to the Weapon Master category (with the final mission more resembling Speed Master). As you'd expect, these aren't particularly fun as the similarities to weapon master mean having boss fights that aren't well designed for Rachel's playstyle. Plus it gets dull after a while going through that same format and not having the benefit of other weapons to mix things up. Kinda wish I didn't just blindly buy this pack along with the other Survival missions, but hey, I need 'em for preservations sake.