YAIBA: Ninja Gaiden Z Being Developed On Unreal Engine 3

By Ishaan . March 27, 2013 . 10:15am

Back in November, Siliconera reported that YAIBA: Ninja Gaiden Z was likely being developed using Unreal Engine 3, going by job listings on developer Spark Unlimited’s website. This morning, Tecmo Koei announced that this is indeed the case, and that they’ve licensed the engine from Epic for the game.


“We couldn’t be happier to develop YAIBA: Ninja Gaiden Z on Unreal Engine 3,” said Keiji Inafune, who is involved with the project. “In the past I have been involved with numerous projects built upon Unreal Engine 3, so I understand its benefits and reliability. Unreal allows us to focus on making the game fun, and to push the boundaries of visuals and gameplay in the shortest time possible.”


Team Ninja head—or rather, Ichigaya Development Group 1 head—Yosuke Hayashi added: “YAIBA: Ninja Gaiden Z is not a sequel. It is a new experience for gamers. As with any new title, there are many new challenges, from the game design to art style and even development team structure.”


“Unreal Engine 3 is a great ally to have when taking on those challenges. Unreal Engine allows us to quickly and efficiently iterate on countless ideas, and YAIBA is now taking on a life of its own. We can’t wait until gamers everywhere get their hands on the ultimate ninja zombie experience.”


More information on YAIBA: Ninja Gaiden Z will be revealed in the coming months, say Tecmo Koei.


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  • Armane

    “Hayashi explained the game doesn’t need to adhere to past Ninja Gaiden
    gameplay conventions or necessarily run at 60 frames per second.”

    Well, that’s one title to strike off the list. Good job Team Ninj… Ichigaya Development Group 1.

    • Lexaus_the_Alchemist

      Doesn’t make me very happy at all. I mean, you have “Ninja Gaiden” added in the friggin’ title! That’s what I expect from that series: fast and smooth gameplay!

    • Solomon_Kano

      Spark Unlimited, actually.

      I’m skeptical as to what Ichigaya DevGru 1 is even doing on this title, since most of the work is clearly being handled by Spark. Spark doesn’t exactly work with the kinda quality I expect from NG. Then again, after NG3, neither does Ichigaya DevGru 1.

      I’m really wondering why this is being made at all, actually. Inafune working with TN on a zombie action game sounded interesting. Letting Spark develop it killed all of that, so I have to wonder why this is happening at all.

  • eilegz

    oh well the combat could be like DmC very mash friendly which its not a bad thing

  • I can’t even be excited about this until I know how it plays.

  • Strid

    The Unreal Engine is also lazy, but they can’t say that now, can they? Typically, when I see something is using the UE, I forget about it… but with Inafune being in the house, I’m not sure what to do. Then we’ve got Hayashi being Hayashi stinking up the place with his crummy philosophies. Who knows.

    • Asura’s Wrath was made with the Unreal Engine and it looks great.

      • Strid

        It’s not so much about looks, besides, that game had much worse going for it.

        • Christopher Nunes

          I quite liked it frankly. ^_^

  • Rick R

    Yay for 30FPS and screen tearing. Seriously WTF mang? Couldn’t you use a good engine? I hope this will be on PS4 so it’ll run like it should.

    • Next thing, Ryu Hayabusa will become a hipster like Phil Fish(!)

    • Solomon_Kano

      Epic has yet to support UE3 for PS4. They’ve announced support for UE4 on PS4, but not UE3.

  • Alexander Marquis Starkey

    I would think that they they would move on to Unreal 4 by now.

  • Göran Isacson

    I was noncommitant until I remembered that DmC was in Unreal and that wasn’t always a hit, at least on the PS3. Fun, but just not as slick as it could have been.

    Then agian, as they say… maybe this will be a game focusing on a new playstyle than Ninja Gaiden, one that will be better suited for the Unreal Engine? Not sure what to think about that kinda change, especially after most people would probably WANT a good game in the old NG style after 3 didn’t exactly lit the world on fire.

    • Solomon_Kano

      According to IGN it plays like NG3 — not even RE, vanilla NG3 — with even more cinematic finishers. So, yea, ALLLLLLL OF MY HYPE… is gone. It looks stylish, I like the premise, Inafune’s on board, but between UE3 and it apparently playing like NG3 and running on UE3, I’m out.

      • Göran Isacson

        Oh, thaat’s… doing very little for my hype and hopes, I must admit. Do you have a link to the preview article/video, perhaps?

        • Solomon_Kano
          • Göran Isacson

            Hmmm. A Dynasty Warriors-esque game with dimension-alterations, a lot of dark humor and gore. On the one hand it sounds kinda amusing, but I can also see how it can go very wrong and Yaiba just ends up very unpleasant and uninteresting- I was honestly hoping he’d be a bit more noble and provide an interesting counter-part to Ryu, but it kinda sounds like they just want to make him into a villain that’s playable instead.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Well, he was never going to be noble. The initial concept was that one of the many random soldiers Ryu’s cut down over the years got a new lease on life. The soldiers he goes up against are generally pretty bad dudes. Making him Deadpool-like could be interesting for the game’s tone, I think. With an actual Deadpool game coming though, I dunno that we need another actioner with dark humor.

            It playing like DW with QTEs sounds horrible to me, but I’ll wait til somebody actually gets hands-on time with it and shares their thoughts. Right now though, it’s not sounding good.

          • Göran Isacson

            Mmm, that was mostly my concern- that they will just make the game “dark”, not actually “funny”. I can’t say that previous NG games have really been very witty, so I had an easier time imagining them going for the “the bad guys turn out to be not so bad” trope instead of going with the “eff morality, be a hilarious bad guy instead!” trope. LIke I said, COULD be entertaining, but I guess I can see mroe things go wrong than they can go right. WE’ll have to see.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Indeed. E3 will clear things up.

  • I know I saw some pop-in textures playing the (surprisingly good) demo of NG3: Razor’s Edge the other day. So maybe the difference from other games won’t be all that noticeable?

    Anyway, cautiously optimistic about this one.

  • Hossi Blumengaarten

    Spark Unlimited

    LOLOL they make crap games

    jesus christ why hire them unless they are doing it for dirt cheap

  • isfuturebright

    I’m excited for this but it’s more like… I hope it does well so Inafune can keep working on great games.

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