🩸 A little less blood

It’s weird. Some time ago it was announced that Ninja Gaiden Σ2 would contain less blood than its Xbox 360 original. I remember applauding that stance back then. I had played Ninja Gaiden II at that point in time and the amount of blood in there seemed unnecessary. Especially when I also recalled how stylish and elegant the original Ninja Gaiden for Xbox was in censored shape and how jarring the gore was in the sequel.

It was a bit of a no-brainer to me; it would take away the focus on juvenile gore and provide a more clean environment befitting of the graphical style of the game. But when I played the demo of Ninja Gaiden Σ2, I found myself reversing my stance. Weird…

Nothing really changed from the original statement to put less blood-leaks in the game. Though they did add a rather tacky ‘mystical’ purple cloud to hits. As I played on I noticed how much less satisfying combat was, yet I couldn’t really pinpoint why. Charged karma-attacks were still as ferocious as ever and even though the blood had been toned down, everything was still pretty deadly nonetheless.

I only managed to figure it out by booting up Ninja Gaiden II on my Xbox 360. Indeed, Team NINJA had toned down the amount of blood in Ninja Gaiden Σ2, but they had made the amount virtually the same for every attack. Unleashing a charged karma-attack in the 360 version would result in a visual cue akin to “Will It Blend?” with ninja. Unleashing it on the PS3 still gave the same hits, yet there wasn’t a visual cue to go along with it. The net feel of an unleashed combo had the same visual value as a normal attack.

Yup, Ninja Gaiden Σ2 did look a lot cleaner and I still prefer less blood, but without compensating visual feedback, removing the blood also toned down the enjoyment of the game.

Or maybe I’m slightly more juvenile than I anticipated…