Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Ad

While browsing one of the games sites a few weeks ago, I saw a link to an ad for Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, the PS3 update of the Xbox 360's Ninja Gaiden 2. As with the original Ninja Gaiden Sigma, it is an updated version rather than a simple port, with new stages, new weapons, new enemies and new playable characters. I think it even includes a co-op mode, although it would have to be system link or online, because you could never get two players working together on the same console because the camera is diabolical enough when it only has one player to worry about. I digress, however. What they also added, to leverage the unique power of the PS3, is the ability to jiggle the female characters' breasts by shaking the sixaxis controller. Yes, rumble was a last generation feature, motion control is clearly the way forward.

As regards combat, Ninja Gaiden 2 is probably the most viscerally entertaining third person action game I've ever played. The speed of the combat put other games to shame, and the ferocity outdid even God of War. The game fell short of greatness due to the nonsensical nature of the plot, the lack of any strong characters, a general inability to match the epic nature of the action to any epic form of drama. And the camera was anything but helpful for much of the time. It was a punishing, thrilling action game, but nothing more. And the main character was a badass ninja, so I loved it anyway. It did not occur to me, however, that it would have been a better game had the female characters' norks been more interactive.

Okay, so they have stated that this is a viral ad, which implies they know it is too ridiculous for mainstream channels, and it was released in Japan, which allows us to shake our heads and snigger about those crazy Japanese, but it was nevertheless released by Tecmo's advertising department, and is thus an official ad for the game.

I like boobs as much as the next guy, and as a person who writes a games blog it's fairly safe to assume that like I the polygonal representation of them. I actually rented Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball when I was in the States (conclusion: it's not a very good game). Maybe I'm getting old and sensible now, but this just embarrasses me. I'm not one to argue that games need to become highbrow entertainment in order to gain further acceptance and respect from mainstream (ie, non-gamer) audiences, but I had hoped that we could at least limit these sort of juvenile excesses to appropriate products.

To think that this "feature" adds anything to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, which currently appears to have been more favourably received than the game it is based on (metascore of 85 compared to 81) is ridiculous; to think that it is being used as a unique selling point in the game's advertising campaign defies belief.

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