Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Ninja Gaiden (3)

New game, new story, new everything!

Ninja Gaiden AKA Ryukenden AKA Shadow Warriors AKA Ninja Gaiden Classic was an original game published by Tecmo. What made Ninja Gaiden so special that other ninja games such as Shinobi and Shadow of the Ninja? It's difficulty and gameplay were the two key features.

Ninja Gaiden was revamped or rebooted by fame Tomonobu Itagaki who was the former head of Team NINJA, Itagaki redesigned Ninja Gaiden into our era moreover the game was significantly tied with the Dead or Alive universe. The story for the game was not much intriguing however the cutscenes for the game were exciting that didn't make a lot of sense and raised questions and speculations: Was Ryu revived by the Falcon? did the shrine maiden died by the smoke of the fire?.

What made Ninja Gaiden the critically acclaimed title and awarded best Action Adventure in 2004 by major media?

  • The original combats for Hack n Slash titles resolves around button bashing your way in the game while showing off cool skills and ranking up combo points. This is the true essence of Hack n Slash title, however Ninja Gaiden chooses to redefine how Hack n Slash title can be played. Instead of mindless running into combat and button bash (Dynasty Warriors, Devil May Cry); you have to think of it as a 1 on 1 battle; you need to know the right moves to use, when to use it and when to defend if you want to survive.
  • Difficulty: not only is the game vastly difficulty; it stayed true to the original RyuKenden titles which were essentially difficult! Ninja Gaiden did not sell well because of majority of media and games complaining that Ninja Gaiden was just too difficult to complete, Itagaki designed Ninja Gaiden Black that fixed the difficulty issues and made several changes.

True Hack n Slash: combo, combo, combo

  • Weapons, note only is Ryu limited to sets of Ninjutsu moves; but he can wield all kinds of weapons and non ninja weapons. The best weapons voted by majorities of fans is the Dabilahro.
  • Simply Amazing graphics, 2004 and 2005 was a good year of gaming and Ninja Gaiden did not disappoint with the graphics, it can originally be voted one of the best graphics on Xbox. The FMV sequences were rightfully done and credibly looking that they had to use the same FMV for Ninja Gaiden Sigma, thus it still looked great for a 6th gen design in 7th gen console!
  • Everything else made this game amazing- Mission Mode, Bosses, Enemies, Memorable Soundtrack, UNLOCKS etc.

We all know the story behind Ninja Gaiden Sigma which was to port Ninja Gaiden to the Playstation 3. Directed by Yosuke Hayashi. Many hardcore fans criticised this series while Playstation fans rejoiced and praised it. Dedicated fans of Itagaki wants to see if Yosuke can make a good Ninja Gaiden game without copying and pasting Itagaki's work and tweaking it.

Ninja Gaiden 2 was designed by Itagaki and was labelled his swansong title. The design switch what made Ninja Gaiden to a different level:

  • Fast Pace is the new gameplay: You gotta love fast pace stuff because it challenges you and forces you to think fast and make quick responses! Instead of the original Block, Time and Attack system from Ninja Gaiden 1. Ninja Gaiden 2 forces you to be more offensive than defensive from the NG1. Ryu is more faster and powerful; all the armlets he customizes and equips from Ninja Gaiden 1 are originally placed in him this time making him very powerful. Many loyal fans of Itagaki again approved this change from Defensive combat to Offensive combat even going as far as saying this is the best Ninja Gaiden title. Many fans of Ninja Gaiden do not approve this change because it didn't prove a challenge and didn't feel like the critically acclaimed Ninja Gaiden 1.

  • Difficulty: not challenging as Ninja Gaiden 1, reference and voted by many fans of the game. Once again Itagaki fanboys approved the difficulty. Many gamers said this game was not challenging but more of being cheap with the constant off-screen projectile spamming. Itagaki agreed and apologised himself that Ninja Gaiden 2 was not challenge and was cheap.
  • Utilising the use of Wall attacks, instant Ultimate Technique were all spot on. Ultimate Technqiues were longer and stronger
  • Obliteration Technique was added to Ninja Gaiden 2. Originally OT can be perceived from Ninja Gaiden 1 and it can be performed when the enemy is on the ground, pushing the Y/Triangle button would make Ryu perform a finisher move such as the Fiend Sealer. Though it is nice the OT is more versatile and improved in Ninja Gaiden 2.

Apart from all the drastic changes, Ninja Gaiden 2 is still a mess and did not reach the standard of Ninja Gaiden 1. It drifted away from the confined rooms so Ryu could use the environment to his advantages, dumbed down enemy A.I, and strategic Boss battles. However the only thing it established was the blood and gore in which turned many fans into some sort of a vampire who demands for more blood in games:/

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was released Oct 2009 and directed by Hayashi once again. Repeating: Itagaki fanboys dismisses Hayahsi and wants him to prove himself if he can handle the Ninja Gaiden game by MAKING HIS OWN version instead of using Itagaki's work.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 did a lot of greats things and bad things although the bad things were done because of the Contract made by Microsoft to publish Ninja Gaiden 2. Still many fans fail to know the reasons but act naive.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 did many great things such as:

  • Bringing Online/offline NPC Co-op to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 in terms of Team Mission Mode.
  • Making Sigma 2 play once again like Ninja Gaiden 1 whilst using NG2 mechanics.
  • Fixing many mistakes and bugs from Ninja Gaiden 2
  • Introducing Chapter Challenge

It was in 2010 TGS that Hayashi now head of Team NINJA announced Ninja Gaiden 3. Recently during an interview he said they will be rebooting the franchise.
This is the whole purpose of writing this blog article. The moral is that Itagaki designed Ninja Gaiden in his own vision, Hayashi re-created Ninja Gaiden in Sigma series, though limiting him from showing the world how good he is!

He has the chance to prove he doesn't need to use someone else's work to prove how good he is in terms of Designer and Director. Many loyal Itagaki fans have bragged on if Hayashi is that good, if he would make his own version. So many fans ARE skeptical that Hayashi would ruin the Ninja Gaiden series.

Ninja Gaiden (3) is being designed and directed by Yosuke Hayashi. It will be an entirely new game, causing my blog (wishlists) to be almost pointless. Hayashi said the game would not follow too much from the past game or be BOUND by it. We do not know what Ninja Gaiden will be like, this is a NEW GAME so you have to be open minded to know what NG3 will look like.

Now understand this theory- Ninja Gaiden by Itagaki, Ninja Gaiden (3) will be Hayashi's vision. Another reason why NG will be a reboot is because Hayashi wants to start from scratch, he doesn't want to use Itagaki's version anymore.

*It may not be tied in with DOA world
*Ryu may not even gain his ninpo powers and act more like a stealth ninja
*All ninja characters from DOA might just be in this game
*May not be about Ryu's game alone! Not anymore
*So much speculations!

This will mark Hayashi's first designed, produce (if not) and directed by him, NG (3) will surely go out with a bang. Hayashi and lead team showed TK and the boards an example of gameplay (prototype) and they were pleased by it. TK knows Hayashi's NG version is definitely better than NG2 and Ninja Gaiden Black AKA Best Definitive version and commented that Ninja Gaiden (3) will be "specular". TK is aware of Itagaki's fanboys still skepical about this whole -Hayashi taking over Ninja Gaiden-, and asured that NG (3) does not need Itagaki meaning NG (3) is definitely on a different level and will surely would not disappoint!

On the contrary to Dead or Alive Dimensions- again marking it as Hayashi's first directed and designed game. The series is not actually a reboot but more of story retelling. Phasing out all confused side stories, sub plots and plot twist in the game. We will finally get to see Donovan and Fame Douglas! After Dead or Alive Dimensions, Hayashi will work on Dead or Alive 5 to once again take over the 3D fighting genre and be the best while starting from where DOA Dimensions/DOA4 left off.

From my analogy and theory
We should be seeing more information or prototype for Ninja Gaiden (3) at this year's Games Development Conference GDC 2011. The game will obviously be released 2012 and could aim at Summer if not later than that.

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