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ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!




“The Path of the Ninja is a difficult and taxing one.
You must hone your reflexes to their fullest in order
to defeat the hordes of enemies that stand before you”

-----------------------------------------------------------

Explain Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden is a 3D character action game developed by Team Ninja and directed by Tomonobu Itagaki, released for the original Xbox in 2004. It was a very significant game in the action genre with its fast paced, technical combat that made it stand out from other games in the genre following the original Devil May Cry. While DMC was about showing off, using your moveset to its fullest to create stylish combos, Ninja Gaiden is squarely focused on conflicts where every opponent was potentially as threatening and capable as the player character, requiring efficient use of your arsenal to overcome them. This approach was influenced more directly by fighting game design than any prior action game and Team Ninja’s previous experience with the Dead or Alive series makes this quite evident.

Needless to say, it was critically well received and was a major showcase for the original Xbox’s power late into its life cycle. But it didn’t stop there for the game. Team Ninja supported it for a good year with two pieces of downloadable content called the Hurricane Packs, and even held multiple online competitions in what was known as the Master Ninja Tournament. With new content and balance changes being introduced to the game, Itagaki and co decided they would leave the Xbox with the ultimate action game package as they transitioned to the 360 in the form of Ninja Gaiden Black. Released in September of 2005, it is considered the definitive version by fans and the creator himself, and is the game that will be the focus of this LP…well, half of the focus anyway.

For this LP, it's a Double Feature with the two best versions of the game: Black, and Sigma.


Wait, Why 2 Games?
Ninja Gaiden is notable in that there have been many rereleases of this game, but unlike most other games that would receive this treatment, Team Ninja were not content to just port the game as is with a shiny coat of paint but instead remix it and add new content in places to make it stand on its own. In the case of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, that version of the game was not directed by Itagaki, but rather current head of Team Ninja Yosuke Hayashi. Sigma uses Black as its base for the core game, and the changes applied are numerous to say the least. This has sparked many a debate on the merits of this version, whether it brings enough to the table that it can improve on the previous version the same way Black did for OG Ninja Gaiden.

The short answer is no, but it’s still worth playing if you’ve never bothered to own an OG Xbox or 360. To make the argument more convincing, a dual playthrough LP is what this will be all about. Showing off Black and Sigma for what they are, what they do well, and so on.

As a disclaimer, I’m honestly no real expert when it comes to playing this game. I may know a lot mechanics wise and the theory behind why Ninja Gaiden’s gameplay works so well, but my playstyle is too reckless and highly un-optimal for higher difficulty play to be entertaining. I’m no AccountingNightmare, I’m no yoshesque, and I’m sure as hell no Mike Kobb. So instead of forcing myself to climb up the spike laden rock cliff face that is Master Ninja Difficulty as a bonus, I figure this dual game approach would be more stand out. After all, it’s not often you see a game get two versions with a multitude of differences that vary from subtle to drastic.

So Just Normal Gameplay?
Yep. Both games on Normal, the default difficulty when starting the game for the first time. Black will be played with the intent of showing as much variety and details in the game as possible, while Sigma will be demonstrating what’s known as a “Karma Run,” playing the game for speed and points above all else during combat. Both are fun ways to play the game, no matter which version. You’ll see soon enough.

So sit back, and watch as me and my co commentator PSWII60 walk down the Path of the Ninja and show that it’s not quite as hard like many make it out to be. Well, maybe just a little.

























============

Video Playlist

ArclightBorealis fucked around with this message at 18:15 on Jul 5, 2017

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ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!





Let's start the journey of Ryu Hayabusa as he undergoes training at a Ninja fortress hidden in the mountains. One of my fondest first levels in all of video games, there's a lot to take in with the ambience and tight design of this environment. Not to mention that end of chapter boss fight. Enjoy a look at how Ninjas do training, where bokkens and training dummies are for pussies and the only suitable target is a living person.

In addition, here are extra materials regarding weapons, enemies, and all manner of information that there simply wasn't enough time to fully cover in the video.



Dragon Sword Lvl. 1
Moveset
A Japanese Sword handed down in the Hayabusa Ninja Clan. It is carved from a dragon's fang.

Ryu Hayabusa's signature weapon, and the most versatile of all of Ryu's arsenal throughout the game. The starting combos are useful when combined with Ryu's mobility, and the sword's Enhanced and Ultimate Techniques remain potent to the very end. While most major weapons have three levels of power, the Dragon Sword actually has four. But we won't see it's final form until much, much later.


Shuriken
A simple cross-shaped throwing star.

The starting projectile of the game, and the one with unlimited ammunition. While dealing minimal damage, it always stuns enemies that are caught without their guard up, leaving them open just a bit longer for a full combo. Like the Dragon Sword, it is intended for use throughout most of the game due to its versatility.


Humans

Lesser Shadow Clan Ninja
Of the ninja enemies present across the game (and difficulty levels) these are on the bottom of the totem pole, denoted by their simple brown garb. Their moveset shares some similarities with Ryu's lvl 1 Dragon Sword, such as a simple two hit combo, a running slash, an upward swing, a simple shuriken attack, and the Reverse Wind technique. Despite seeming like an even playing ground, Ryu can still perform so much more with just a low level sword, and using the full extent of your arsenal can make quick work of these.

Shadow Clan Ninja
The next rung up on the ninja totem pole, these white robed Ninja have a few extra moves that the lesser ninja do not exhibit. For one they're capable of a four hit combo and can wall run around an arena for an opportunity to use a Helmet Splitter attack. They also have a slightly higher rate of using the Reverse Wind technique to dodge attacks, as well as use Shuriken to disrupt Ultimate Techniques. A marginally more threatening enemy.

Fauna

Bats
These bats appear harmless but allowing them near Ryu will lead them to bite and take away health. They are at the very least extremely weak, going down in one hit from a shuriken. In a spot where there's a huge swarm, it's good to destroy them all for extra essence, especially if it's blue.


Crows
These birds just sit around doing nothing unless approached, in which case they just fly away. They can however be hit if you're good at aiming projectiles or can do a jumping slash at the right time. Why would you be so cruel to an animal like that? It drops essence which depending on the situation can be used to immediately start a battle with an ultimate technique, a strategy that is sometimes used in Karma Runs of this game.

Bosses

Murai
One of the most infamous first bosses in character action games, up there with the likes of Phantom and Cerberus in DMC1 and 3 respectively. Murai is a certified Master Ninja with a near impregnable defense, and moves that can counter any action the player may attempt. He's tough to get a handle on compared to the enemies faced before, but like everything fought up to this point, there are ways around him.
  • Murai has a 3 Hit Nunchuck Combo that he can stop at any point to change into another attack. The logic behind him swinghing his nunchucks 1, 2, or three times is based on the player's proximity. He'll be more likely to do the full combo when you are up close and blocking his attacks. Otherwise, he'll stop after the first and second hit to transition into the following attacks.
  • Murai has a powerful forward charge that deals quite a bit of damage, but it's telegraphed very easily, and is the best opportunity to retaliate as his defenses are down. While he charges once and then stops, on the higher difficulties he starts chaining them together, resulting in a triple charge attack on the highest difficulty.
  • If you think to hit him from behind, Murai has a back kick that will also reorient his position to be facing you. It's the weakest of his arsenal and pretty easy to recover from though, but it goes to show he has all of his sides covered.
  • The most devastating of Murai's moves is his ability to bypass your guard by grabbing you, and even perform a DOA style counter if you're attacking way to frequently. Any attack during this can be countered, even an Ultimate Technique. It's deadliness cannot be understated.
  • Shuriken are useless in this fight as any projectile thrown at Murai will be deflected by his nunchucks. And they will hurt you in return. It's possible to avoid damage from them if you throw the shuriken's while running forward on the ground. Throwing in the air or just standing will leave you exposed.
  • If you attack Murai enough times without him grabbing you out of a combo, the two will lock weapons into a clash in which the player must mash the attack button to win. Winning this struggle leaves Murai open for a full combo, but losing will leave you open for the same thing.


Ninja Fortress



Kunai Scrolls

Warren Waters
Feb 27, 2011


Woot, ground floor! Super excited for this, I love this series to death (literally, I've never beaten one).

DMorbid
Jan 6, 2011

Hello! I see you.




To this day I'm not entirely sure how I managed to pull it off, but I once beat this game (the vanilla Xbox release, Black wasn't a thing yet) without dying. I generally consider myself Bad at Video Games(tm) but somehow I was able to memorize the trouble spots and not play completely terribly on that run. It was on Normal difficulty, though, and I don't think I ever actually completed a playthrough on the harder settings.

Treuan
Jun 30, 2011

Go have some COFFEE with CREAM or something! Because I'll tell you something! This is a happy place!


I remember struggling for days on this game. I can say with certainty that my taste in video games was forever changed after beating it.

NinetySevenA
Feb 10, 2013





Put me in the camp of never beating this game, both the original and black.
A few years ago I loaded the save file and it was in some area that I have no memory of getting to at all, still couldn't beat the enemies.

Looking forward to this lp. I know pretty much nothing about sigma so that should be cool too.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Doc Morbid posted:

To this day I'm not entirely sure how I managed to pull it off, but I once beat this game (the vanilla Xbox release, Black wasn't a thing yet) without dying. I generally consider myself Bad at Video Games(tm) but somehow I was able to memorize the trouble spots and not play completely terribly on that run. It was on Normal difficulty, though, and I don't think I ever actually completed a playthrough on the harder settings.

I only played the original XBox version of NG, but I felt that the game had really clear and intuitive rules for good play and once you pick them up you can start owning pretty easily. I loved it.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!




So you know how long the video for the first chapter was in Black? Cut that in half and you get this one. The start of my (attempted) Ninja Gaiden Sigma Karma run. Playing for speed as opposed to survival makes a difference in experience and you'll see how.

Speaking of difference, this video starts the list of major and minor changes between the Xbox and PS3 versions of this game. Obviously with the speed at which these videos go listing them all in commentary is impossible, so I've prepared a detailed bullet point list of every observable change in the game. They're listed in order of areas that appear, so you'll be able to follow along fairly easily.


Pre-Game
  • The opening pre rendered video does not play upon starting a new game, going straight to the chapter title card.
  • The game's hit counter for combos is completely missing. The only way to see your highest combos is through the Karma counter.
  • There is a quick item select for elixers to allow for healing without entering the pause menu. Can be toggled on and off.
Starting Area
  • The geography has changed somewhat. Instead of a waterful emptying into a narrow valley, it is replaced with a more open plataeu with a partial wooden fence. The color pallete is more overtly "autumn" as well.
  • The first battle happens immediately upon gaining control, against two Lesser Shadow Clan Ninja.
  • While the original version had very ambient sounds, the Sigma version of the starting area has an actual BGM.
  • There is a chest with an Elixer at the edge of what used to be the waterfall.
  • The door to the tunnel leading to the Hayabusa Village is moved further out, making the tunnel larger and the player cannot fall off the other edge of the platform with the second Kunai Scroll.
  • The game's second battle (first in OG and Black) now has an actual battle theme that gets used in later encounters.
  • The ravens in the level cannot be killed for extra essence.
Ninja Fortress
  • An Kunai Scroll is founded upon reaching the entrance to the Ninja Fortress.
  • The hallway with the Samurai statue is widened to not obstruct the second Elixer of Spiritual Life on the ground.
  • The Lives of the Thousand Gods (OTTG) is moved to a chest to the right of where you enter the Tatami Mat room.
  • A Lesser Shadow Clan Ninja initiates the next fight by jumping through a hole in the wall, while the rest fall from the ceiling.
  • The chest that previously had the Lives OTTG contains a technique scroll for the Flying Swallow.
  • The candles in the room with the trap door and revolving walls are unlit upon first entering.
  • A group of Ninja ambush you after grabbing the Key of Courage
Inner Sanctum
  • A new battle theme is used for the fight against Murai.
  • The scene of Ayane opening the tunnel door is shot differently to accomodate the shifted location.


Kunai Scrolls


Archives

quote:

Technique Scroll: Flying Swallow
Fly at high speed towards your foe
and cut their head off.

Dragon Sword
While jumping towards an enemy

Kitetsu
While jumping towards an enemy

Dragon's Claw & Tiger's Fang

While jumping towards an enemy
While Jumping

BDA
Dec 10, 2007

Extremely grim and evil.

Are you planning to do any Hard mode videos for NGB? I think the changes are significant enough to be worth showing off.

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


Having never played a Ninja Gaiden game, it's genuinely interesting to see these games played well. Do the two games diverge massively in their level design at points or is it pretty faithful re-creation?

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!


Anime Reference posted:

Are you planning to do any Hard mode videos for NGB? I think the changes are significant enough to be worth showing off.
I've got some bonus videos planned for the future that will show the changes that occur on the higher difficulties. Not a full run through or anything like that.

Arashiofordo3 posted:

Having never played a Ninja Gaiden game, it's genuinely interesting to see these games played well. Do the two games diverge massively in their level design at points or is it pretty faithful re-creation?
Level design stays largely consistent in Sigma, a lot of the noticeable changes come from aesthetic or placement of certain items/enemies. Any actual change to how the level is designed is minor except for one chapter that ends up getting a major overhaul, but that won't be till the second half of the game.

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

Having only gone as far as beating this Ninja Gaiden Black on Very Hard and the first chapter on Master Ninja, I will be following this closely.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



The first time I beat Murai, it was by chipping away at him bit by bit. I think it took me the better part of half an hour to actually beat him, and even then, it took all my supplies.

PSWII60
Jan 7, 2007

All the best octopodes shoot fire and ice.

InfinityComplex posted:

Having only gone as far as beating this Ninja Gaiden Black on Very Hard and the first chapter on Master Ninja, I will be following this closely.

In my personal experience, very hard was way harder to get through then master ninja was due to where some of the power-ups were placed. There's a whole bunch of other stuff but we haven't seen most of it so I'll wait until we get there.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!





Ryu's training is interrupted by a surprise attack on his village from an unknown force. We move from fighting ninja to samurai and mages, and gain some new tools along the way. Also we temporarily invoke a time paradox that has less ramifications for this game but an entirely different one.



Lunar Lvl. 1
Moveset
A staff that is said to harbor the mysterious power of the moon. Crafted from the strong branch of a willow tree.

A weapon that was not part of the original game, but added in the first Hurricane Pack DLC. The hitbox on this weapon is much larger than the Dragon's Sword, and it's speed makes it an ideal weapon when tackling the higher difficulties and it's tough crowds of enemies. In fact, each higher difficulty places the Lunar Staff earlier in Chapter 1, with Master Ninja difficulty giving it to you from the word go.


Smoke Bombs
When used, this item explodes, temporarily blinding all enemies in the immediate area.

Another weapon that was not included in the original game, these projectile items do not do any damage but rather distract enemies in order to leave them open for attack. Kind of a neat gimmick that's in line with what you'd expect from a traditional ninja's tools, but the smoke cloud is incredibly small, and it doesn't really effect enemies that are already mid attack. Used somewhat during Karma Runs, but I prefer the stun effect of the regular shuriken, or extra damage caused by later projectiles.


Bow
A typical bow. As a projectile weapon that makes no sound, it has advantages over firearms.

The bow can only be fired from a standing position and has a first person camera for aiming whenever the left stick is moved (similar to 3D Zelda games of the time). The right trigger allows for zooming which provides greater accuracy but with slower aim speed. Obviously using this leaves you exposed, but even the regular arrows are some of the more damaging projectiles that can disrupt an enemy's attack.



Art of the Flame Wheels
Allows Ryu to control the spiritual waveforms around him and create fire wheels that circle him.

The first Ninpo the player gets, this is in fact an updated version of the Fire Wheels from the original NES Ninja Gaiden. It works the same way by creating balls of fire that circle Ryu, and anything it touches gets seriously burned. However, it is very limited in its power as the strength of each flame isn't enough to deal with later enemies and cannot be upgraded like the other Ninpo arts.


Art of the Inferno
Allows Ryu to control fire at will, first enveloping him in flame and then shooting a fireball in front of him.

While the second Ninpo that the player can acquire, it is the first real one as it has significant attack power, creating a single fireball that can one shot any human sized opponent. It can also be upgraded with special items later on in the game, making the fireball even more potent. It's the first of three Ninpo Arts that serve a specific function, this one being a concentrated powerful hit on a single enemy.



Armlet of the Sun
An armlet engraved with a picture of the sun. When equipped, Ryu's attack power will increase.

An accessory that is highly recommended for the majority of the game, to both new and experienced players. The actual percentage increase to damage is 5%, but despite it being marginal every bit of damage helps in ending fights faster. Whether you want to avoid prolonging a battle any further to survive, or if you want to hit the par times for each fight in a Karma Run.


Humans

Samurai
While not acrobatic like the Shadow Clan Ninja, the Samurai have a much stronger defense, withstanding quite a few hits before having their guard broken. The hardest part is finding a way to open them up and follow up with a full combo before they recover. Still, like the ninja, their difficulty comes in their numbers, but even one on one they're not that much harder.


Mage
These magic wielders often fight from a distance, summoning a ball of energy to fire at Ryu. Getting close to them doesn't solve the problem as their defense is disappearing then reappearing for a quick 4 hit combo with a pair of sai. That said, their constitution is increadibly weak, and once caught off guard are pretty much dead. Also on higher difficulties, the amount of energy balls they fire increases by two, with Master Ninja having these fuckers shoot a whopping 7 at once. Try dodging all of those safely.


Samurai Horsemen
They're treated somewhat like minibosses, as they start on horse back and approaching them is incredibly difficult with the charging horses inflicting damage. They come in two varieties, one being an archer that takes shots from a distance, the other with a large spear that can impale Ryu and drag him along the ground. Once knocked off their horses however, they become just regular samurai, and the same strategies for defeating them still apply.

Bosses

Masakado
Masakado is just a special colored version of the spear horsemen. He has no unique attacks to his own, and the actual challenge is not being caught off guard by the mages that assist him. While it doesn't happen on normal, the higher difficulties show that the boss health bar is actually for the horse, and like the regular horseman, Masakado without his steed becomes just another samurai. A rather resilient, damage sponge samurai that is.


Hayabusa Village



Kunai Scrolls

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

PSWII60 posted:

In my personal experience, very hard was way harder to get through then master ninja was due to where some of the power-ups were placed. There's a whole bunch of other stuff but we haven't seen most of it so I'll wait until we get there.

The main issue with Master Ninja for me is the start. If you can get past the start you can probably steamroll the rest.

The Shame Boy
Jan 27, 2014

Dead weight, just like this post.




From what i can recall back when this game was super popular, most experienced players actually preferred to have minions with the boss on the higher difficulty levels because it actually makes it much easier to get damage off as you have an endless supply of Ultimate Techinques to use.

Granted, the Horseback guy is still a bad boss no matter how you swing it.


Also aren't you able to just blind fire the bow and have it automatically lock on to enemies or am i thinking of Ninja Gaiden 2?

IronSaber
Feb 24, 2009

oh yes oh god yes form the head FORM THE HEAD unghhhh...

Did someone say... Master Ninja?

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

So uhhhh, in one of my runs when playing NGB, I actually knocked off Masakado off his horse. It surprised the hell out of me when I did so and I couldn't redo that in any future runs. Also, Art of the Flame Wheels. It's actually one of my favourite ninpos in the game because of what they do and how they can be used. I actually found it to be one of the more useful ninpo when compared to all the ninpo we get in this game because of one specific function.


Arclight, will you be showing off the differences between difficulties and how to access NInja Dog mode and the difference it has?

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.



Are you going to play the notorious spin off, Metroid: Other M?

I've only played NGS2 out of these and it kicked my rear end on the lowest difficulty. I might pick up the Vita re-releases if I feel crazy.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!


InfinityComplex posted:

So uhhhh, in one of my runs when playing NGB, I actually knocked off Masakado off his horse. It surprised the hell out of me when I did so and I couldn't redo that in any future runs. Also, Art of the Flame Wheels. It's actually one of my favourite ninpos in the game because of what they do and how they can be used. I actually found it to be one of the more useful ninpo when compared to all the ninpo we get in this game because of one specific function.

Arclight, will you be showing off the differences between difficulties and how to access NInja Dog mode and the difference it has?
On Normal? I'm not aware of it being possible there, but on Very Hard and Master Ninja Masakado always falls off his horse once the life bar is depleted (because it's actually for the horse).

And everything that exists in this game will be shown in due time. Especially Ninja Dog, which will be about a few chapters from now actually.

SelenicMartian posted:

Are you going to play the notorious spin off, Metroid: Other M?

I've only played NGS2 out of these and it kicked my rear end on the lowest difficulty. I might pick up the Vita re-releases if I feel crazy.
No, because it's not like Ninja Gaiden and the worst parts of it weren't even Team Ninja's fault. And on a related note, I will never LP Ninja Gaiden 3 of my own volition unless toxxed into doing so.

Kaboom Dragoon
May 7, 2010

The greatest of feasts



SelenicMartian posted:

Are you going to play the notorious spin off, Metroid: Other M?

I've only played NGS2 out of these and it kicked my rear end on the lowest difficulty. I might pick up the Vita re-releases if I feel crazy.

The Vita releases, maybe it's just me, but they feel a lot easier than the originals. I was able to get through the second, and most of the first with far less difficulty.


ArclightBorealis posted:

On Normal? I'm not aware of it being possible there, but on Very Hard and Master Ninja Masakado always falls off his horse once the life bar is depleted (because it's actually for the horse).

And everything that exists in this game will be shown in due time. Especially Ninja Dog, which will be about a few chapters from now actually.
No, because it's not like Ninja Gaiden and the worst parts of it weren't even Team Ninja's fault. And on a related note, I will never LP Ninja Gaiden 3 of my own volition unless toxxed into doing so.

The official Koei twitter feed was doing a giveaway to win copies of the third game back when it first came out. I won a copy.

The games I bought when I traded it in after finishing it in a day or so were pretty good, at least.

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

ArclightBorealis posted:

On Normal? I'm not aware of it being possible there, but on Very Hard and Master Ninja Masakado always falls off his horse once the life bar is depleted (because it's actually for the horse).

And everything that exists in this game will be shown in due time. Especially Ninja Dog, which will be about a few chapters from now actually.
No, because it's not like Ninja Gaiden and the worst parts of it weren't even Team Ninja's fault. And on a related note, I will never LP Ninja Gaiden 3 of my own volition unless toxxed into doing so.

Only once on hard. Even on very hard he never fell off his horse after the life bar was depleted.


I also don't blame you for not wanting to lp NG3.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!





We revisit the Hayabusa Village in HD and get a chance to explore an area not originally available to players in the original. Not as many differences in appearance compared to the Ninja Fortress, but as far as changes from the original go this is one of the few chapters where I'm in favor of it.


Ninja Fortress
  • Murai is standing closer to the window at the start of the chapter
  • The trapdoor stays shut if you walk over it
  • A murder of crows are seen outside the entrance to the fortress
  • The tunnel with the Art of the Fire Wheels is populated by bats
Mountain Path
  • The fence surrounding the small pool near the watch tower is removed
  • No mages appear during the fight near the watch tower
  • Water running is changed to simply holding the left stick in a direction. A kunai scroll from Ayane details this
Hayabusa Village
  • There is a stone pedastel next to where the dead ninja and statue's head are found
  • The Lunar staff is no longer found in the village
  • The bow can be fired while airborne
  • Next to the save point after the fight with the Samurai Horsemen, there is a Muramasa statue
  • Masakado is covered in flames during the fight. Purely aesthetic and does no extra damage, getting run over by the demon horse is enough
  • The Clan Leader's Residence is entirely new to the game, based on what was glimpsed in the original CG cutscene
  • An extra Lives of the Gods is found in this section
  • After fighting Doku and seeing him walk away, the rest of the original CG cutscene plays


Kunai Scrolls

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!





Ryu's comes back from the grave with a desire for revenge against the ones who wronged his clan. We move away from the shadow of Mount Fuji to stowaway on an airship en route to our primary location of the game. New enemies await, and new abilities for Ryu to stand up against the new, tougher opposition. This flight might not make it to its destination in one piece...



Wooden Sword
Moveset
A sword made from wood. It is used mainly to practice sword fighting and is incapable of cutting attacks.

A joke weapon designed for those players who want to place an extra challenge on themselves at the expense of efficiency in battle. The moveset for the Wooden Sword is near identical to the Level 1 Dragon Sword with some minor changes, and on top of being unable to decapitate enemies, it can't absorb essence for an Ultimate Technique. It also can be upgraded up to six times with each purchase costing significantly more than the other, all for no real increase in power. Except, however, for the last one. That last level is a secret, and is fantastic reward for players who choose to spend the essence on it.


Dragon Sword Lvl. 2
Moveset

Level 2 of the Dragon Sword is a pretty logical progression of the weapon's starting abilities, mainly by adding an extra heavy attack to certain combos. But more importantly, this upgrade paves the way to the two most important moves in Ryu's repitoire (one of them still requires the purchase of a separate scroll): The Flying Swallow and the Izuna Drop. The former closes the gap between Ryu and his enemies while providing a near instant kill in some cases, while the Izuna Drop is the ultimate finisher to any enemy. XYXXXY. Burn that button combo into your loving brain. You'll never forget it.


Humans

SAT Commando
The SAT Commando (and its brethren) are the first enemies in the game to be able to grab the player out of a guard, a move which lines up nicely with the acquisition of the Counter Attack technique at the end of last chapter. They also change their attack method depending on distance, either attacking with a stun rod at close range (or grabbing) or by firing a handgun from a distance. These enemies are definitely the start of the player needing to guess what the AI will do in their next move.


SAT Riot Guard
The all black SAT Riot Guards have higher defense then the commandos, thanks to their arm shield and ability to quickly recover from a guard break. They still exhibit the same techniques as the SAT Commando, but the window of opportunity to attack is much tighter. In fact, the most reliable means to break their guard, counter attacking, is also the riskiest. Thankfully, the chances of a SAT enemies running at you and then doing a grab is almost non existent.

Bosses

Dynamo
The third major boss of the game, Dynamo's not a reskinned enemy like Masakado but is not varied in his moves or attack strategies like Murai. In fact, the position you should be in for most of the fight is typically the opposite of the fight with Murai. Staying at close range is much more manageable than being at a distance.
  • Dynamo's biggest and most prominently used weapon is his lightning gun. He'll charge it for a second before firing at your last known position. While the game had encouraged using the Reverse Wind technique and jump to avoid attacks, simply running a circle around Dynamo circumvents it. Except...
  • At 25% remaining health, Dynamo's rate of fire changes noticeably as it becomes far more accurate and erratic. Dodging each shot is extremely difficult, but typically is a mix of just running and an expertly timed Reverse Wind technique.
  • Dynamo has two melee swings and a grab move. The first one, the over head swing, I've found to be the least used one in experience. Is most frequent combo is a side swing with his lightning gun, followed by his command grab. Moving away at just the right distance will trigger him to stop the combo and go straight into charging his gun. At which point, you go back into close range and he reverts to his melee combo and repeats the cycle. Sometimes though he'll quick fire a bolt to disrupt things, but it doesn't destroy the fight.
  • Occasionally though, Dynamo will try to keep the pressure off of him by creating an electric shield that extends past the range that triggers his melee attacks. Meaning for a brief time you will have to stay out of range and avoid his long range attacks until the barrier goes down. Being inside the barrier when it activates will damage you and then knock you out of its range.


Airship




Kunai Scrolls


Archives

quote:

Technique Scroll: Counter Attacks
Contains the Counter Attack techniques
"Gleaming Cross" and "Fiend's Bane Kick" which
allow Ryu to counter enemy attacks immediately
after blocking them.

Command: While blocking or

quote:

Technique Scroll: Izuna Drop
Contains the technique "Izuna Drop", an attack
in which Ryu grabs the enemy in mid-air and
slams them down on the ground for massive
damage.

Commands:
Dragon Sword

While Jumping

Lunar
While Jumping

quote:

Letter from Murai
If you wish to find the Dark Dragon, you must
simply start killing.

It is said that the Dark Dragon's power grows as
chaos and destruction grow in this world.
There is no need for you to spare the subjects
of the Vigoor Empire. You go there for revenge,
do you not?

The Dark Dragon revels in killing and destruction.
If you provide these things, it is certain to
call out to you.

That is your destiny as a Dragon Ninja.
Be aware of this as you enact your revenge!

The Shame Boy
Jan 27, 2014

Dead weight, just like this post.




Ah the Izuna Drop, for how bad the newest Ninja Gaiden was, they at least made it look really badass


https://youtu.be/tFb83e4ViWQ?t=165

For reference, thats YOUR character getting Izuna Dropped, Ryu is a bad guy or some poo poo? I don't even know, the game looks pretty bad TBH


Also i haven't really played DOA 5 as of yet but in the older games Ryu and the other Ninja type fighters were pretty much top tier, but him in particular because he has like 5 different ways to do an Izuna Drop on you, which depending on the situation can easily be 25-50% of your health lost over a single mistake. Also if the ceiling in the room was to low you'd just bounce off of it and you'd go sideways for more of a Izuna Torpedo.

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

The Izuna Drop, such a good loving move. Which reminds me that Ninja Gaiden, compared to other character action games that came out in recent years, is that you are always playing defensively, even when you go full on aggression. You're always going to be trying to control the battlefield or knowing when to attack no matter where you go.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





HOOLY BOOLY posted:

Ah the Izuna Drop, for how bad the newest Ninja Gaiden was, they at least made it look really badass


https://youtu.be/tFb83e4ViWQ?t=165

For reference, thats YOUR character getting Izuna Dropped, Ryu is a bad guy or some poo poo? I don't even know, the game looks pretty bad TBH


It IS bad, by all accounts, but Ryu's still the hero. You're just playing as an rear end in a top hat who wants to kill him. But you get over the grudge because reasons and team up against the real villain, because reasons.

Black Mage Knight
Jan 25, 2012

stop biting my cape

To give an idea on how bad Yaiba is, it is a Ninja Gaiden where you can't jump. Also the protagonist is really lovely and unlikable alongside that.

Actually another way to put it is that it is in part by the people who made Mighty Number 9.

DMorbid
Jan 6, 2011

Hello! I see you.




Those spiral staircases on the airship are an absolute nightmare to navigate on the PSVita version, as the controls on that version are a lot more slippery than they used to be. Getting up those stairs was the most difficult challenge I faced in the time I spent playing that version, alongside the awkward touch screen implementation where some dingbat had decided that you should go into first-person mode if you as much as slightly brush the edge of the touch screen. There was an option to turn that poo poo off, but it didn't do anything at launch.

KeiraWalker
Sep 5, 2011

Me? Don't worry about me...

Grimey Drawer

I realize the signs were all there, what with this game having at least one character from Dead or Alive in it, and with memory of the original Ninja Gaiden game... but I gotta say, the modern day setting as seen from this chapter forward really seems to come out of nowhere in NGB. It's like, there's no indication at all you aren't in feudal Japan during the tutorial chapter, then BAM! You're on a zeppelin.

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

Doc Morbid posted:

Those spiral staircases on the airship are an absolute nightmare to navigate on the PSVita version, as the controls on that version are a lot more slippery than they used to be. Getting up those stairs was the most difficult challenge I faced in the time I spent playing that version, alongside the awkward touch screen implementation where some dingbat had decided that you should go into first-person mode if you as much as slightly brush the edge of the touch screen. There was an option to turn that poo poo off, but it didn't do anything at launch.

Too bad there wasn't an option to turn off the gyroscope controls for first person view. Made some things really drat annoying.

BDA
Dec 10, 2007

Extremely grim and evil.

I could be wrong since I haven't played it in a long time, but IIRC in the original Ninja Gaiden Dynamo didn't have that electric shield move, and as a result you could cheese the fight fairly easily by just continually baiting and punishing his melee attacks. Now you're forced back into gun range at least once per fight and it makes him a much bigger threat.

This is a theme of Black -- lots of changes designed to counter OGNG cheese strats.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!





The airship gets a massive visual/atmopsheric overhaul, and a brand new weapon is added to the mix. Also our very first combat challenge, a concept that Black doesn't even introduce until way later. The game continues to mix things up substantially as we're still in the early hours.


Airship
  • The music that plays during the level prior to destroying the generator is different
  • The room numbers above the doors in the living quarters are no longer there
  • The first Kunai Scroll of the level is on a table in one of the rooms instead of next to the bed
  • The layout of the main deck is changed to be more open
  • There is a Kunai Scroll explaining the Sixaxis gimmick for using ninpo
  • Ther is now an enemy encounter inside the main deck
  • Inside the room that originally had a Lives of the Gods is now the Dragon's Claw and Tiger's Fang
  • There are now explosive barrels in the Middle Cabin & Aft Cabin, which contain essence and deal damage to both enemies and Ryu
  • Going to Muramasa's Shop with a Golden Scarab in your inventory automatically gives it to him
  • In the room at the back of the Living Quarters, there is now a combat challenge that rewards a Lives OTTG
  • Dynamo now has a taunt animation where he laughs, and this plays right at the start of the battle.



Dragon's Claw & Tiger's Fang
Lvl. 1 Moveset
Lvl. 2 Moveset
Two Japanese swords that were reputedly the property of a famous dual-sword master.

The exclusive weapon added to Ninja Gaiden Sigma, it is an interesting addition to say the least. "Hacked In" feels almost like the most appropriate way to describe it's inclusion, though to say it isn't neat would be a lie. Unlike the Lunar staff, which was a weapon created after the game original shipped and still felt like a natural part of the game's combat, the Dragon's Claw and Tiger's Fang are like a half step between the combat of this game and what would eventually be Ninja Gaiden II. Compared to the other weapons, these dual katanas have the biggest movelist in the entire game, with some commands requiring inputs that the rest of Ryu's arsenal doesn't even require.

That said, level 1 of this weapon is fairly restrained as most of the moves you get at the start are ground based, with a limited selection of air attacks. With level 2, which can be earned immediately upon acquiring the weapon, things start to get really crazy with multiple types of Izuna Drops and moves requiring multiple forward inputs, or ones that are dependent on whether you and the enemy, while airborne, are close to a wall. That said, the weapons start to feel awkward in certain spots as the recovery frames on various combos are significantly longer, and this attempt at "balancing" goes more to highlight how sometimes out of place they are compared to the game's successor. Still a fun way to break specific fights in ways that weren't possible in Black, so the bad/awkward points don't outweigh the good.


Kunai Scrolls

IronSaber
Feb 24, 2009

oh yes oh god yes form the head FORM THE HEAD unghhhh...

As cool as they were, I never really found a use for the Dual Swords. I mostly stuck with the Dragon Sword and the [REDACTED].

InfinityComplex
Feb 5, 2011

Nothing better than swinging around a little girl like a flail.

Christ, I forgot what the vita's version of the ninpo qtes were. I still don't use them unless necessary though. I ultimately still prefer to use the firewheel ninpo though.

PSWII60
Jan 7, 2007

All the best octopodes shoot fire and ice.

Anime Reference posted:

I could be wrong since I haven't played it in a long time, but IIRC in the original Ninja Gaiden Dynamo didn't have that electric shield move, and as a result you could cheese the fight fairly easily by just continually baiting and punishing his melee attacks. Now you're forced back into gun range at least once per fight and it makes him a much bigger threat.

This is a theme of Black -- lots of changes designed to counter OGNG cheese strats.

Yep, Black was made to be specifically less spammable. The shield on Dynamo got added to make you move more and the throws that the SAT troops have were added to make you less able to turtle up.

ArclightBorealis
May 28, 2014

You are HUGE!
That means you have HUGE ESSENCE!

RIP AND TEAR YOUR ESSENCE!!


So, one thing I didn't quite fully elaborate on in the video or post regarding the dual swords, the reason why they feel hacked in here whereas their Ninja Gaiden II counterpart feels fully realized is because of how battles are set up in 2. Specifically, in Ninja Gaiden 1 you tend to usually fight 3 enemies at a time on average, and the arenas are typically limited in scope so that you can't have more enemies on screen than the engine can handle. By comparison, NGII has you often fighting around a dozen at a time, so battles become quite crowded already but can increase as you funnel enemies from multiple parts of the level into a particular section (which as I've recently discovered is fairly unrestrained when playing the unpatched version, the trigger for causing enemies to despawn is not as strict as you'd think). In situations like that, moves like its 360 Triangle attack, or just any combo that has both swords swinging wildly in various directions have more use there because even if it's not in front of you, someone WILL lose an arm or a leg in the process.

It's kind of what leads this weapon to feeling quite unwieldy the whole time. It's not just that the recovery on attack strings are longer than normal (this principle still applies in all future games), the problem is that you're still facing the same 3 enemies at a time that are usually spread about the arena, making most of the swings feel like they're being wasted just trying to cut up one foe.

InfinityComplex posted:

Christ, I forgot what the vita's version of the ninpo qtes were. I still don't use them unless necessary though. I ultimately still prefer to use the firewheel ninpo though.
I'm glad there are people in here that can point out some of the extra differences in Sigma+ for me, because even if I had a Vita or VitaTV I'd have little reason to show it off as a bonus, since the major sticking point already for me was it being at half the frame rate.

Hell, I already got plans to show off a little OG Ninja Gaiden much later on the in thread since the differences there compared to all future versions is so much more fascinating. Too bad there's no way to get the Hurricane Packs anymore...

Gideon020
Apr 23, 2011


Kill the dogs. Kill those drat dogs.

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SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.



Are you cutting out menu loading times or does Sigma 1 not have the horrible pauses I've seen in S2?

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