The Ninja Gaiden franchise has come a very long way: the first title was released in 1988 on NES, and followed up with Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos in 1990. From there, the series has just expanded, being released on almost all platforms known to entertainment… aAlthough, the franchise had a dry spell from 1995 to 2004, when no new titles were released.
Sticking to the original hack-and-slash format, players of the series can look forward to a new iteration: Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, set to be released in March. This time, gamers will take control of the powerful ninja Yaiba Kamikaze.
According to sources, “he was once part of a clan that tested the abilities of its ninja by putting them up against a highly skilled member, in this case being Yaiba himself. However, he eventually grew tired of his weak apprentices and decided to massacre his clan and leaving the survivors to their deaths.” Riding high on his victory, he challenges Ninja Gaiden mainstay Ryu Hayabusa. As the dust settles on their epic battle, Yaiba realises that he has lost the fight, with Ryu managing to cut off him arm and injuring his eye.
One mysterious organization later, and Yaiba has his arm and eye replaced with mechanical replicas. While working for the organization, he learns of an outbreak – and here is where the title gets interesting: zombies. Still reeling from his defeat again the great Ryu, he agrees to work with the organisation to exact his revenge against Ryu, while also agreeing to help put a stop to the spread of zombie infection.
“Only now, a zombie outbreak threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Now literally and figuratively armed by cutting-edge technology, he’ll have to carve a path through legions of grotesque and deformed undead to reach Ryu Hayabusa. With Hayabusa racing against time to determine the source of the infection, Yaiba must leave his own parallel trail of destruction if he’s to exact his revenge,” developers Team Ninja stated.
Ninja Gaiden Z takes on the same combat system as before, with a score multiplier on the right-hand of the screen accumulates the player’s hit-count on the enemy. However, there is one difference – Ultimate Technique mode has been replaced with Bloodlust which, when activated, allows Yaiba to decimate multiple enemies around him in quick succession.
In terms of zombies, there will also be a number of different kind, all with different abilities. While the standard infected will be enough of a headache, there are Electric Infected, Burning Infected, Toxic Infected and even The Terrible Two – the result of an experiment gone horribly wrong, this two-headed monster is as big and destructive as a tank. The Ninja Gaiden franchise has been known as being one of the more difficult games to master, but fans of the franchise should definitely get this one.
By combining a great franchise with zombies is either a good thing, or very bad.
Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
PC, XBox 360, PS3