Sunday, September 27, 2009

PSN Demo Showcase for 9/27/09

Headlining this PSN Demo showcase is Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, which is out this week. Now, you can my review on Ninja Gaiden II for the 360 if you're curious how disappointed I was with it and how it didn't recapture the magic the first game and Black had. However, after playing Sigma 2, aka the expanded version of NG2, a few times, it is pretty safe to say that some changes were made to make the game better, but some decisions are left to be desired for some of the hardcore folks. First is the toned down difficulty and perhaps this game is more beatable on Mentor and Master Ninja, but still hard enough to be a challenge. Next is the censoring in which I don't mind seeing the purple gaze than the blood, but I can see it being a problem for a lot of people that expected the gore to be as drastic as the original NG2. Graphically, this game looks way better than it did on 360 being flat out sharper and more detailed as if the 360 version was some rush job (perhaps it is being a technical nightmare, which I touched on heavily on my review). The demo had some long load times, so hopefully that won't be the case with the retail version considering it has a mandatory install. Also, this demo is filled with content with about a third of the first chapter as Ryu on all four difficulties (Mentor and Master Ninja have to be unlocked though), a section in the Rome area in the night as Ayane, which is a great diversion from Ryu with her playstyle so she is pretty fun to play as in this game (also way better looking than ever before and arguably the best she ever looked in any Dead or Alive or Ninja Gaiden up to this point). Also unlockable are the team missions in which there are three to mess with (two on Acolyte and one on Warrior fighting Elizabet). Other than the main game, the mission mode is a good side mode for players to go for high scores and online co-op (not in the demo sadly) could be cool as two players are in certain sections of the game fighting multiple enemy encounters. Right away with the first chapter, you will notice the gameplay changes and enemy placements from the get go with the Buddha statue mini-boss at the end of the demo. In addition from what I read from various forums, the various changes made to the campaign really do make it a completely different game with multiple characters having different levels of their own and so on. For Ninja Gaiden fans like myself, I think Sigma 2 will be worth a playthrough to experience the changes Team Ninja made to it even though personally I'm not getting it right away (possibly a Winter Break game).

Next up is Lost Planet 2 and I enjoyed the first game for what I was on 360. I have high hopes for this sequel to deliver on what the first game started, but after seeing the latest videos and playing this demo, Capcom is definitely increasing the ante for this one especially the scale and focus on co-op gameplay. As a lot of people would put it, it is definitely Monster Hunter with guns having a squad of dudes around shooting at enemies and huge bosses. Other than the significant change to the focus of the game, the core gameplay remains the same of shooting, grappling, except with more people around, which is cool. The controls remain the same and you can love or hate them if you play tons of shooters, but Lost Planet 2 is its own experience with its epic scale. I wished the framerate could be 60 fps instead of 30, which would make the game more beautiful than it should be, but we'll see about that. Playing it alone makes things longer in terms of taking out the opposition, but it is more fun to play this with multiple players on your side and perhaps easier if there is teamwork. Other than the framerate issues, the game looks amazing just like the first game. Lost Planet 2 is out in I think Q1 2010, aka let's delay our big games here because of the holiday rush and Modern Warfare 2 taking over the world.

That's it for the PSN Demo showcase for this week. I would talk about the new Uncharted 2 Multiplayer Demo, but since early reviews are already out and my claims of it being "game of the forever" on PS3, I'll wait till the game comes out to give a final opinion on both the campaign and the multiplayer. Maybe next time, I'll talk about Brutal Legend if that demo comes out on Thursday.

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