Enter The Ninja, Baby. Hands On Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

By Spencer . June 20, 2013 . 8:16pm


Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z opens with a duel between NInja Gaiden lead Ryu Hayabusa and Yaiba who takes a swig of sake before the fight. Yaiba makes a cocky comments, but Ryu gets the last laugh when he slices Yaiba’s left arm off. A fountain of high contrast blood bursts out of Yaiba and the demo began after his cybernetic transformation.


Yaiba says he’s "a ninja, baby" after a bloodlust fueled rage. True, but he’s a different kind of ninja than Ryu Hayabusa. Yaiba’s basic attack is a one button sword combo. His cybernetic arm gives him a rocket punch attack. The enemies in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z are appropriately brainless, which is different from other Ninja Gaiden games. You will run into groups and zombies and Yaiba can cut through them in seconds. If a zombie has a B button icon flashing over its head you can do a quick execution move. Yaiba can also use zombies or better put parts of zombies as weapons. If you grab a large zombie you can rip off a zombie’s arms to make nunchucks or turn a regular sized zombie into a Meat Slapper which is like a whip with a zombie on the end.




An employee from Comcept explained that they wanted to make zombies tools in Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. In one of the game’s puzzles, Yaiba has to grab a zombie from a dumpster and throw it into a bulldozer. Instinctively, the zombie turns the bulldozer on and starts driving. Another zombie walks right in front of the bulldozer and the driving zombie waves its hand in an attempt to warn the zombie in the way. The doomed zombie doesn’t get the message and is crushed with an explosion of blood by the zombie in the bulldozer. Later in the same level, Yaiba throws a zombie into a truck that drives right between a giant pair of legs on the roof of a sex shop. Yeah, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z doesn’t take itself seriously. The gore is over the top too. When you trigger Bloodlust, a rage meter like power, Yaiba does his impression of Ryu’s ultimate attack and kills zombies with one hit.


When you aren’t killing zombies, you’re leaping from buildings. The demo also had bits of platforming elements where Yaiba ran up a wall and vaulted off it towards another building. While you’re in mid-air, Yaiba has to smash a wall to move forward. A girl with red pigtails (who Comcept staff said still hasn’t been named) acts as Yaiba’s navigator. She gives you objectives, but you still need to figure out how to get there. That’s where Cyber Vision comes in handy. Yaiba’s robotic eye highlights where to go next and which walls you can run up.




Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z also has an elemental weapon system. In the demo, Yaiba can use fire by turning a flaming zombie into a weapon. Comcept explained there are other elements and players will be able to combine elements to create other effects. The game is 30% complete, so Spark Unlimited, Team Ninja, and Comcept have some way to go before it comes out in 2014 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. At least from what I played, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z has responsive and fluid controls like other Team Ninja games. However, Yaiba is more of a straight hack and slash game than the modern Ninja Gaiden titles which have a tougher enemies and a stylish flair to them.

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  • Jesse Torres

    I thought this was coming out for the vita as well.

  • ShadowDivz

    Yaiba should consider himself lucky Ryu only took his arm.

    Ryu once went to the underworld, kicked arch fiend ass, and came back in one piece, in the same day.

    How do i know?….I saw him do it.

    • AndyLC

      Yeah, Yaiba is lucky that Ryu miss-timed his decapitation maneuver and only took an arm, hahah.

      • ShadowDivz

        The thing about Ryu is… He never fucks up twice.
        *suspensful music*

    • DyLaN

      I think Yaiba also lost 1/4 of his face along with his arm.

  • psycho_bandaid

    I dunno. It has a cool artstyle and concept but I dont know if I am sold on the gameplay. Hopefully the bosses put a little bit of that challenge back in.

    • Psycho_Calibur

      i feel the same way. the style and concept are interesting, and i understand why its more hack and slashy since you’re fighting mindless zombies, but without the challenge can it really be considered a ninja gaiden game?

  • Wake

    All Yaiba has to do is bring an eagle, wait for Ryu to jump, and let the eagle tackle Ryu in the air.

  • almostautumn

    Glad to hear this is more arcadey/hack n’slash. Personally, the Ninja Gaiden games were always more frustrating to me than difficult, and so I’m glad I will (probably) be able to experience this title without the mountains of concentration and effort of other NG games.

  • AndyLC

    CYBORG NINJAS are all the rage now, I guess!

    • AndyLC

      Of course, you can never have enough Cyborg Ninjas in videogames!

      • ShadowDivz

        Everyone loves robots and everyone loves ninjas.

  • Solomon_Kano

    30%? Holy shit, wasn’t this announced back in 2012? Not exactly encouraging.

    That said, the preview makes it sound cool enough. I’ll need to go see if anybody’s got gameplay footage from E3…

    • Ixbran

      Originally the game was going to be a cell phone game, but decided against that late in development and moved it to the PS3/360. So they are kinda having to re-build the game from the ground up due to the move i imagine.

      • Solomon_Kano

        It was going to be a cellphone game? When did that happen? It was for PS360 already when they announced it 2012. There’s also an iOS version, but I heard nothing about them starting development over.

        • doubleO7

          Pretty sure it was planned as an iOS exclusive originally before becoming a console title.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Again, does anybody have a source on that? Because everything that I saw originally and that I’m finding now trying to look for that is that it was announced with no platform, then Spark Unlimited’s job listings gave away that it was for PS360. I see nothing about it being iOS exclusive at any point.

  • bVork

    Any word on the framerate? Is it 30 or 60?

  • SuperBrother

    If this doesn’t at least have the gameplay depth of Lollipop Chainsaws I’m gonna be really sad. Zombie enemies, as rule, tend to suck as far as fun and challenge goes.

  • doubleO7

    The cell-shaded visuals, along with the over-the-top gore and crude humor make this feel more like a Suda51 game than a Ninja Gaiden game. Thats not necessarily a bad thing though. As a fan of both Suda games and NG, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic for now.

  • Damarius Wingfield

    *Japanese nature effect*…..*Ryu turns his head* Ryu:Lucky Indeed….

  • Göran Isacson

    Using the zombies as tools to play around with could be far more amusing then using them as simple mindless fodder, but I do hope that there are at least SOME enemies who will present an actual challenge. Also, I wonder if Ryu will be the final boss… and if he will be just as good as an expertly played Ryu, I.E hardest darn boss EVER who reads your every move in advance and switches between weapons and has undodgeable ninpo magic attacks and so forth.

  • artemisthemp

    Yaiba don’t sound like a Ninja Gaiden Z difficult game.
    It sound fun however.

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