This week I got a chance to watch and play the latest game in the Ninja Gaiden series, Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z. This game is the collaboration effort by Team Ninja, Spark Unlimited. and Keiji Inafune, Creator of games everyone knows such as: Megaman, Dead Rising and Onimusha. Although this game carries the Ninja Gaiden name, Yaiba is a step in a new direction for the series and shows a completely different light and style to what you expect from the series, its changes aren’t bad ones, and this game is a great rethinking of what the Ninja Gaiden Series is and the potential the series has in the future.
The game is named after the main character of the story, Yaiba, who is a member of the ninja village that the main protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden series, Ryu Hayabusa, is from Yaiba has been turned into a cyborg and has one goal he wants to achieve; kill Ryu Hayabusa. In order to reach Hayabusa to kill him Yaiba has one obstacle in his path: a zombie apocalypse. This does seem like a ridiculously farfetched storyline for a Ninja Gaiden game, but I absolutely love it. Yaiba is a anti-hero in every way you can imagine, he is the character you love to hate, and he is the exact opposite of Hayabusa, he wants to be taken seriously but never is. Yaiba offers comical banter and gritty violence in the game, and it is very pleasing and fun to watch and play.
The game offers puzzle’s and time based sequences throughout the story, I watched as another person in the room played through a time based sequence and the sequence looked awesome and took some skill to get done (the player messed up the first time.) The game also has several special zombies in the zombie apocalypse, from acid spitters to electric zombies, as well as some boss zombies throughout the game. At the end of the level we played/ viewed there was what the game creators called a “Mini Boss”, that Mini Boss seemed to be as hard as a regular boss and was a challenge to defeat, the player died 3 times trying to defeat it and the creators told us it took some other players a lot longer.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z offer players the Ninja Gaiden Gameplay that we have come to love with a new lens to see it through. Yaiba is made to be more comical, fun, and as the creators told me “not take itself so seriously” like other games and the outcome is great! Yaiba will be available on Xbox360 and PS3