Both games are getting “Plus” added to their titles as Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja bring Vita-specific features to the fighter and the hack and slash early next year.
I’m taking this as kind of a good news/bad news thing: the Vita has unexpectedly become a fine place to play a certain kind of fighting game (particularly those without six-button control schemes). And in spite of some reservations, I really liked “Dead or Alive 5,” so seeing it make the jump to portable is good news. And while 2008’s “Ninja Gaiden 2” was a mess, if the first “Ninja Gaiden Sigma” on the PS3 proved anything, it’s that Team Ninja can take and synthesize fan feedback in remakes/rereleases of their popular titles, plus in spite of its many, many issues, “Ninja Gaiden 2” offered the kind of punishing difficulty and technical combat we’ve come to expect from the series.
So what’s got me all worried? Well, the addition of some–as I understand it–wholly optional Vita-specific features have given me pause, particularly given how poorly the touch and tap stuff is usually implemented. “Dead or Alive 5 Plus” will allow you to execute moves with swipes, taps, and pinches, and will include a vertical, first-person mode using the Vita’s motion sensor.
“Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus” is also getting front and rear touch controls along with a new “Hero Mode” which boosts attack power when your health is low as well as “Tag Mission,” where you can take on a series of missions with an AI-controlled co-op partner ninja. You can swap between your own ninja and your partner on the fly, which seems interesting and I imagine will factor into some platforming/puzzle-solving stuff.
Both games are due on the Vita in the first quarter of 2013.
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