The last Ninja Gaiden game, the third in the rebooted series, wasn’t very good – though it was made a little better when the game was re-released on the Wii U. It was the first one to be made without Itagaki’s involvement, and it shows. Team Ninja really seems to have lost its spark. for that reason alone, I was pretty excited when it was revealed that the next Ninja Gaiden game, a spinoff, would be made by somebody else.
Remember how Team Ninja’s Dead Or Alive 5 was supposed to be a more mature take on the fighting franchise, by ditching the overtly sexualised women for something more realistic. Of course, fans (read: 12 year old boys) weren’t happy and Team ninja reneged on that; but a new patch for the PS3 version makes it even worse – by adding Team Ninja’s patented motion-controlled breast jiggling physics.
Ninja Gaiden 3, the first in the series since the departure of Team Ninja’s perpetually-sunglassed Tomonobu Itagaki, has been re-released for Nintendo’s Wii U. This is not the game that was so bloody awful that it very nearly turned Darryn in to a homicidal maniac. It’s been entirely re-tooled and is now just bloody.
Ninja Gaiden 3 was not particularly well received. Despite my warnings, our own Darryn picked it up because it was still Ninja Gaiden, and I was obviously wrong. Silly Darryn. He ended up hating it so much that he asked you lot the best way to destroy the thing, to help purge its existence from his memory. So yes, Ninja Gaiden 3 was a steaming load of horseshi…nobi. Somehow though, despite ripping the very soul out of the game, Tecmo’s Team Ninja is surprised by the game’s poor reception.
Tecmo’s Team Ninja seems to have completely lost the plot following the departure of their sword-wielding rockstar former leader Tomonobu Itagaki; as evidence by the absolute pile of horse manure they produced that made a mockery of Ninja Gaiden’s once proud heritage. It seems they’re just as confused and directionless when it comes to Dead Or Alive.
Recently, I got my hands on Ninja Gaiden 3, dizzy with excitement for the shinobi action contained within. I’d ignored the warnings of Geoff, who pleaded with me to not waste my time and cash on the game. But I thought, how bad could it really be?
Tomonobu Itagakai, Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive designer left his home at Tecmo and started his own studio - Valhalla Knights. Its first game was to be published by the financially troubled THQ, who’d sunk what seems like gajillions of dollars in to its development. In a bit of a shock move, they dropped the game from their line-up, saying it didn’t fit their profile - leaving many to wonder what would become of crazy action game Devil’s Third.
I’ve always been a fan of the Dead or Alive series thanks to the ease of gameplay and yet still indepth fighting mechanic and well maybe also thanks to the sexualised character depiction.
If you ignore the Dead or Alive Xtreme Volleyball garbage the series has been exceptionally well received and while Dead or Alive 3 is still my favourite I did enjoy the 4th one and am looking forward to the 5th.
The Dead or Alive series is known - unfortunately - more for its amazingly inaccurate boob-jiggling physics than its fighting mechanics. Truth is it’s a pretty deep and surprisingly complex fighter, but most people don’t get to see that because they’re too busy mashing buttons and watching female ninjas’ bits wobble. The series has even traditionally included cheat codes to increase the size of the female fighters’ already ample bosoms.
It even spawned a tacky spin-off centered around the series’ femme fatales doing beach activities in their underwear. Classy! Team Ninja now wants to dial back the overt, forced sexiness - making Dead or Alive’s women more realistically proportioned.
That’s going to go down well.
Few fighting game franchises have survived in recent years, necessitating a makeover or reboot of the very core of the game to be successful in today's crowded market. One of the few games to keep its signature style and attitude intact, has to be the Dead or Alive series of games.
Team Ninja is hard at work on the fifth game set in the top-heavy universe of Dead or Alive, and this time, they want to strike a balance between easy to learn gameplay and challenging progression.
Team Ninja’s current boss Yosuke Hayashi, who took over when the enigmatic, perpetually sunglassed Itagaki stepped down to form his own studio, claims Dead or Alive 5 will do something this generation’s “simplistic” fighters haven;t done; utilise current-generation hardware to the full. Them’s fighting words!
One of the best things about being a badass ninja, has to be the ability to cleave through scores of nameless henchmen, mutilating and maiming your way through an ocean of antagonistic meat shields.
But what if each we knew exactly who some of those soon to be limbless minions actually had a back-story? What if they had hopes, dreams and a family to support, and you knew about it? Would you still go ahead on a killing spree of legendary proportions until you reached the end-game boss, or would you spare their lives? Thatâ€™s something that developer Team Ninja is hoping to explore in the upcoming Ninja Gaiden 3.
Iâ€™ve made no secret of my love for the Dead or Alive series before and how I felt that Dead or Alive 3 was the pinnacle of fighting games.
Obviously not when it comes to fighting mechanics and technical ability but more when it comes to entertainment and that all important fun factor.
Youâ€™ve got to love ninjas. Theyâ€™re cool as hell, awesome assassins that will make your â€œDeath by Ninjaâ€ tombstone the coolest piece of granite in any graveyard. Theyâ€™ve dipped their stealthy throwing stars into all forms of media, from comic books to that guilty pleasure of mine, Michael Dudikoff and his American Ninja films, and any video game featuring them is always going to have at least one awesome showdown. The Ninja Gaiden games have proven this time and time again, despite boasting difficulty levels that are the digital equivalent of mental torture, but this time, newcomers to the series might get a gentler start to the game.