PlayStation 3 owners finally get some thumb-splitting action with an exclusive game in the "Ninja Gaiden" series. But not all is what it seems with "Ninja Gaiden Sigma."
It's an important caveat for anyone who's already played the game and doesn't want to experience a case of ninja deja vu.
• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Video Gaming Center.
"Sigma" does just about everything better than "Black," however, and that's saying a lot considering how uniformly excellent this action franchise originally was.
With the PS3, we get a host of extra goodies: razor-sharp, fluid high-definition graphics, new animated cutscenes, and the ability to play as a heroine, Rachel, as well as mainstay hero Ryu Hayabusa.
An important note: This game is hard — brutally, unforgivingly hard in a way that only a true game junkie can appreciate.
If you're new to the series, prepare for lots of trial and error as you master the fine art of high-precision button mashing.
You'll need the fingers of a master concert pianist to perform the tough, rapid-fire button combinations to pull off the most devastating attack moves.
But you can't just blindly press every button and hope for the best; that will only lead to your character's quick death.
Even for those who consider themselves hardcore gamers, success likely will prove elusive at first.
Once, or if, you succeed, there's a real feeling of accomplishment that doesn't come with more facile action games.
Combat is what "Sigma" is all about, and it really shines here with a nonstop assault from all directions.
There's a massive variety of foes to battle and they grow increasingly difficult as the game progresses.
You'll start off with small gangs of evil ninjas but the enemies soon grow to include demons, dragons and hulking cyborgs who sport laser blasters.
"Gaiden" is a welcome addition to the content-starved PS3, but it's too bad Tecmo and the developers at Team Ninja couldn't have created an entirely new game for the system.
We'll just have to live with this remake for now. My fingers are ready.
Three stars out of four.