TGS: Team Ninja Debuts Dead Or Alive Dimensions, Ninja Gaiden 3, Ni-Oh
At a subdued Gamasutra-attended dinner event in a "ninja house in the woods of Tokyo," new Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi revealed three in-development titles for the newly-revamped company.
The first is Dead or Alive Dimensions, a DOA title for the Nintendo 3DS, which will allow players to play through the entirety of the Dead or Alive story from volumes 1 through 4, all in "gorgeous 3D."
Hayashi noted that it has been five years since DOA 4, and that this title would be the one to bring lapsed 3D fighting gamers back to the genre, if all goes well.
This is also the one of the first officially-announced third-party games for Nintendo's upcoming console, and certainly the first to be shown as having near-finished graphics, which look about at GameCube level or above.
"Team Ninja is a company from Japan," said Hayashi, indicating that the company has no intention of hiding its origins. "And we've been through some hard times, but we want to show you how strong we've become now that we're past those difficulties."
The second title announced is Ni-Oh, which is being developed in collaboration with Koei, with which Tecmo merged in early 2010. Ni-Oh was actually announced as a PlayStation 3-only title back in 2005, but was put on hold until just now.
As Hayashi said, Tecmo has always been a company with a ninja spirit - but now they have to take up the samurai mantle in order to create this new samurai action game with Koei.
It has not been confirmed whether this title remains PlayStation 3 exclusive, but Hayashi did say that the project is being supervised by "Japanese design legend Kou Shibusawa," who is a founder of Koei, and one of the fathers of Japanese game design.
Lastly, Hayashi announced the long-awaited numbered sequel to Ninja Gaiden, simply titled Ninja Gaiden 3. Though very little about the title was revealed, Hayashi said that the direction the team is going with the game is "summed up in one image," which accompanies this article. The image shows a CG Ryu Hayabusa, the protagonist of the series, covered in blood, tugging at his facemask and looking intensely at the camera. What does this mean for the franchise? That's really anyone's guess.
What was most interesting about the announcement was how low-key and casual-yet-formal it was. The team integrated with journalists during a spirited dinner, during which more questions were asked of us by Hayashi than we asked of them. The intention was to show the media that Team Ninja is back, they are serious about what they do, and that they are going to go about things their own way. No flashy announcements, no pyrotechnics, they just want to make good games and have them be judged on their own merits. And who can fault them for that?