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Microsoft Unveils  Ninja Gaiden II, Rez HD  In Japan

Microsoft Unveils Ninja Gaiden II, Rez HD In Japan

September 12, 2007 | By David Jenkins

September 12, 2007 | By David Jenkins
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More: Console/PC, Indie

Microsoft has hosted a pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference in Japan in which it has confirmed Ninja Gaiden II as an Xbox 360 exclusive and announced a number of cult Japanese and indie titles for Xbox Live Arcade, including Rez HD, Ikaruga and Number None's Braid.

Although Ninja Gaiden II was technically the only newly announced game at the media briefing (despite accidently being revealed on the Japanese Microsoft website a day earlier), Microsoft was able to unveil a much wider range of Japanese developed titles than ever before.

Considerable speculation had arisen over whether Ninja Gaiden II would be a multiformat title or not, following the release of Ninja Gaiden Sigma on PlayStation 3. However, Tecmo’s Tomonobu Itagaki was on hand to confirm the game as an Xbox 360 exclusive. Although visually similar to the recent PlayStation 3 remake the new game is notably more gory than its predecessor, which is likely to see it experience considerable problems in territories such as Germany and Australia.

Other prominent titles demonstrated at the event include an almost complete version of Mistwalker’s Lost Odyssey, from Blue Dragon and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. The game was given a release date of December 6th in Japan and February for North America and Europe.

Western exclusives Halo 3, Project Gotham Racing 4 and Viva Pińata: Party Animals were also confirmed for release this year, along with Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and Beautiful Katamari. The latter two titles were both reconfirmed as Xbox 360 exclusives, despite Namco Bandai’s U.S. website listing Beautiful Katamari as also on PlayStation 3 and Wii and continued rumors concerning Ace Combat 6’s multiformat status.

Koei’s Dynasty Warrior 6 was confirmed as a multiformat PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title, alongside Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 from Konami, Assassin’s Creed from Ubisoft and Capcom’s Devil May Cry 4.

Particular emphasis was also given to multiformat Square Enix title The Last Remnant, with a new trailer demonstrating the Unreal 3 Engine powered role-playing game due next year. Although announced at last year’s Tokyo Game Show there was also a new trailer for the tri-Ace developed and Square Enix published Infinite Undiscovery – now the Xbox 360’s most significant role-playing game exclusive not from Mistwalker.

Aside from standard retail products Microsoft was also able to make a number of prominent Xbox Live Arcade announcements, including a new version of Sega cult classic Rez overseen by original producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Every Extend Extra Extreme, a new version of Mizuguchi’s PSP shoot ‘em-up, will also be released for Xbox Live Arcade.

Other titles confirmed for the download service include a version of Taito’s PSP action puzzle title Exit, Treasure’s fan favourite 2D shoot ‘em-up Ikaruga, Dreamcast shoot ‘em-up Trigger Heart Exelica from Warashi/Sega and new title Omega 5 from Natsume/Hudson.

Finally, Microsoft noted that Jonathan Blow's time-shifting platformer/puzzle game Braid (recently featured on Gamasutra) would also be coming to Xbox Live Arcade in early 2008. The company also confirmed The Behemoth's Castlecrashers for early 2008 and Torpex's Schizoid for later this year.

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