What’s Next For Team Ninja? The Short Answer Is Ni-Oh

By Spencer . July 15, 2011 . 4:02pm


Our Ninja Gaiden 3 interview continues with discussion about the game’s difficulty level before moving on to Team Ninja’s other titles. Yesterday, Yosuke Hayashi, lead designer of Ninja Gaiden 3 and the head of Team Ninja, talked about Ryu’s character and katana. Catch up here if you missed it.


Ninja Gaiden games are known for being extremely challenging. Is the difficultly level for Ninja Gaiden 3 on par?


Yosuke Hayashi, Team Ninja Head: The Ninja Gaiden series has a history for being difficult even for masters of Ninja Gaiden games. We know there are some fans that gave up playing our Ninja Gaiden games at some point and there is another group of action game beginners. For all of those people, what we need to do is create a gateway, an entrance into Ninja Gaiden. We want players to be able to clear the game’s levels.


For core fans, we will prepare the same challenge level they expect from a Ninja Gaiden title.


How are you going to balance two very different groups of players?


What I meant by entrance is each type of player should have their own way of enjoying this game. One player might want a challenging action game while another person may want to experience other elements of Ninja Gaiden 3. We’re not just going to prepare different difficulty levels, it’s not something like that.


If you make players select "very easy" mode to complete they game you also make them feel bad. You make them feel like they are not good at playing this game. We don’t want people to feel like that, so we don’t want to draw lines for difficulty in that sense this way each person can enjoy playing Ninja Gaiden in their own way. This what I’m thinking about implementing. You may be able to imagine what I’m talking about…


You’re also working on Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge for Wii. What can you tell us about this project?

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is still Ninja Gaiden 3, but we plan to utilize the new controller for the Wii U to do new things. You may remember Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the Nintendo DS, we’re thinking implementing that kind of action and gameplay in an enhanced way for Wii U using the controller’s touch screen.



I see, so what will you do for the Nintendo 3DS version of Ninja Gaiden, then?


Right now, we are concentrating on Ninja Gaiden 3. To be honest with you, Ninja Gaiden for 3DS is still in very early in development.


Team Ninja is also working on Ni-Oh, originally one of Koei’s titles, how is that game progressing?


We ran lots of tests and trials for Ni-Oh. After we ran through these we found a style that fits this title. At Team Ninja, we want you to experience the feel of action in our games. Ni-Oh is set with during the samurai era and we want you to feel what it’s like to be a samurai.



Ni-Oh from when it was last seen in 2006 before Team Ninja’s involvement.


Aside from Dead or Alive: Dimensions on the 3DS, what other plans do you have for the series?


Dimensions was designed to show the history of the series. If you play through the game you’ll see a message from Team Ninja that says the Dead or Alive series will continue. We’re not ready now, but when we can we will show you the next game.


Are you actively designing the next Dead or Alive? You also have Ninja Gaiden and Ni-Oh on the table too.


Team Ninja grew and is quite large now. We can handle multiple projects simultaneously. The order of the titles that will be released goes something like this Ninja Gaiden 3, Ni-Oh, and Dead or Alive. But, we won’t make fans wait long for Dead or Alive!

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  • Well honestly I never feel bad when I choose easy or very easy for some games, but well still thanks for your consideration dude! What he says with different ways does sound very interesting and promising but I would like to see it ingame~
    Also yes please don’t let us wait so long for the next DOA! :D

  • Exkaiser

    “We want players to be able to clear the game’s levels.”

    Aw, come on, you don’t need to let them through. Make ’em fight for it!

    • In b4 Casual Gaiden 3.

      •  Casual Gai— aw nuts. :P

      • and inb4 Harcore Gaiden Sigma 3

    • Crimson_Cloud

      True, you somehow get that nice satisfaction when you finally beat the hard level. But it all depends on the game I guess. If it’s too cheap, then all you feel is frustration.

      • KyoyaHibari

        Lol yea Sigma 2 was my first NG game ;P, I beat it on the 2nd difficulty I think, it provided a decent challenge, but I still beat it in like a day or 2 (I think), if they keep their hardest modes at their toughest for those hardcore masochists I’m sure that will suit most players, I personally hope they have some challenge in the easier modes as well, but my main concern with 3 is having better & more online modes, more customization and characters (or create your own perhaps) and little-no repeat bosses, I mean fighting all 4 Archdemons or whatever AGAIN was pretty monotonous.

        • Crimson_Cloud

          Customization for characters would definitely bring more urge to do multiple playthroughs, especially if you can create a character. Unfortunately I don’t think they would implant that option any time soon.

          Yeah, it is monotonous but for some games it actually works, like Megaman series. Well, it’s alright for me anyway. :)

          • KyoyaHibari

            Well, Megaman is more like some recurring bosses for some games in the series like the Yellow Devil, but in NGS2, you literally fight the same 4/5 bosses twice in the one game, it is more of a diverse experience with a span of Megaman games.

  • AzureNova

    Crossing my fingers for Kasumi and Ayane to be in this somehow.

  • malek86

    As long as the standard (will it be called Hard?) difficulty level is selectable from the start, I don’t have a problem with multiple difficulty levels for more casual players.

    But if they force me to clear the game once to unlock it, well… that doesn’t sit too well with me. In that case, just name it Very Easy and let me play my Normal mode as intended.

  • Nei_chan

    “you’ll see a message from Team Ninja that says the Dead or Alive series will continue. We’re not ready now”

    goddamnit, it’s been over 5 years already!

  • Darkrise

    “But, we won’t make fans wait long for Dead or Alive!”

    We’ve waited forever… Please let the next DOA game be an ACTUAL DOA game instead of resort mini games with 3D girls in swimsuits…

  • OneOkami

    “If you make players select “very easy” mode to complete they game you also make them feel bad. You make them feel like they are not good at playing this game. We don’t want people to feel like that”
    Max Payne’ solution to that was auto-adjusting difficulty based on player performance, and I think it worked very well.

    “we don’t want to draw lines for difficulty in that sense this way each person can enjoy playing Ninja Gaiden in their own way. This what I’m thinking about implementing. You may be able to imagine what I’m talking about…”

    Well I’m reminded of Tomb Raider Underworld, which allowed players to select the difficulty of the puzzles and the action to allow the player to tailor the game to his/her tastes and I think that worked very well.

    • malek86

      System Shock also had different selectable difficulties for each of four categories of gameplay (combat, puzzles, mission, cyberspace). Each category had 4 difficulty levels, from 0 to 3: that way you could have approached the game any way you preferred. For example, you could set Combat to 0 (enemies wouldn’t attack you) and Mission to 3, making it a sort of time-based puzzle game. Or you could set the Puzzles and Mission to 0 (removing all time limits, puzzles and access cards) and Combat to 3, making it a shooter.

      Unfortunately, I don’t see this method used too often. I guess it would be difficult to implement today.

      • KyoyaHibari

        That sounds like an amazing concept for a game, so you can sort of shape the actual genre focus to suit your liking and make a more suitable and unique experience for a wide variety of players to create challenges and easy passes for the different gameplay mechanics, I should check that out. 

  • HarryHodd

    I love Samurai games. Can’t wait to see Ni-oh

    • What I can’t wait to see is a Onimusha Collection and a new Onimusha game from Capcom >.>
      Also a new samurai-IP besides this one would be great.

  • KyoyaHibari

    Waiting forever for Ni-Oh about time lol, and I hope this new DoA is on PS3

    • malek86

      I think it’s already been implicitly confirmed that the new DOA will be multiplatform, so no problem there.

      I’d be more worried at what they might change. DOAD wasn’t exactly the best entry in the franchise, and being made for a portable console can only partially justify its faults.

      • KyoyaHibari

        Yea, initially DoA:D was one of the 3 games that made me want to get a 3DS, although I heard it wasn’t as great as the rest with the story and online capabilities and such, so I can wait for a new main series game with 5 hopefully and save some money by not getting a 3DS.

    • PrinceHeir

      yes DOA on the tournament spotlight :D

  • Crimson_Cloud

    They should just make more games with DoA females and it will sell well.  

    • Tony Andrade

      Are you kidding ? Absolutely not! You are sicko!

      • Crimson_Cloud

        You just insulted every game where you can play as a female character. And their designers as well.

        And I wasn’t wrong, sex sells.


        • KyoyaHibari

          I will agree that for some, a harem of bodacious women with ‘breast physics’ can be a little unsettling for people just wanting to choose a unique character to fight with; it is good to have diversity with the cast as well, with both male and female fighters with different physiques and personalities to provide something for everybody.

  • Setsu Oh

    i want team ninja to watch tangled and rio. and other western animatio.  drink, chew swallow the skin texture and create soemthing new for the skin of their chars for the new DOA.
    that is what i want.
    that texture has left anime in the dust. superb doll like pink. plz do something tecmo

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