View Full Version : Tomonobu Itagaki...one rock kill two birds :)

07-16-2003, 04:01 PM
Ninja Gaiden

While most gamers didn't get to know the name "Team Ninja" until the release of the original Dead or Alive, Tecmo's leading R&D team has been around for years. And though it began as an arcade beat-'em-up, the Ninja Gaiden series is more famous for the three side-scrollers it begat on the NES, which were landmarks in the cinematic presentation of action games. And now, closing in on some 15 years later, Ryu Hayabusa is back in his familiar environs. Though a Ninja Gaiden revival has been talked about for what seems like ages, it's definitely happening this time -- it's due out on Xbox before the end of this year. In the meantime, though, Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki took some time out to talk to GMR about his plans for Hayabusa's return, as well as what else the developer has in store.

GMR: The Ninja Gaiden series is revered by old-school gamers, but hardcore gamers don't make up the majority of the tens of millions of gamers around the world. Who is Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) designed for? A wider, mainstream audience, or for the hardcore gamer?

Itagaki: Ninja Gaiden for Xbox will have a higher difficulty level than what most people are probably used to from recent action games. However, this will not be an unreasonable or frustrating amount of difficulty; it will be very fair. Additionally, an extremely responsive and intuitive control system will urge the player on to further challenge the game. They might find it difficult at first, but as they play they will become surprised at their increasing ability to play well. We at Team NINJA have fought a constant struggle to create games that can be enjoyed by both hardcore and casual gamers during the development of the Dead or Alive series. We are fully utilizing this experience for Ninja Gaiden, as well.

GMR: How much does the new game owe to the classic Ninja Gaiden mythology? Besides the appearance of some signature weapons from the older games, did you adhere to any preconceptions, or is this entirely Team Ninja's vision?

Itagaki: The Ninja Gaiden trilogy on the NES (Ninja Gaiden 1, 2, and 3) told a complete story. Therefore, we have absolutely no intention of trying to add something on to that story to make a fourth installment. In the first place, "Gaiden" means "another story; a side story". We'd like long-time Ninja Gaiden fans to think of this new Xbox game as another "side story", different from the NES games. In addition, we want the current generation of young gamers to know the name Ninja Gaiden; to know it as the most impressive action game in the world, crafted with pride by us at Team Ninja.

More here (http://www.gamers.com/news/1419919)


Dead Or Alive Online

Tecmo's Team Ninja has always been moving into the future with its games, but they clearly have a sense of their history as well -- hence the development of Dead or Alive Online for Xbox. While an online 3D fighter is certainly something new, it's also a retrospective on the history of Team Ninja's most famous work, the games that made their current fame. Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki spoke to GMR both at E3 and afterward about his plans for DOA Online, as well as the future of the DOA franchise after the release of Team Ninja's next big game, Ninja Gaiden. Itagaki always has something interesting to say about his games and the industry at large, and this occasion was no exception.

GMR: So both DOA1 and 2 will be playable online?

Itagaki: Yes, the same service.

GMR: Which version of DOA2 is going to be on the disc?

Itagaki: It's based on the latest version of DOA2 Hardcore, the Japanese version. This is very difficult. Some people say the DC version is better than the PS2, but we've recreated, reprogrammed and redesigned DOA2 for online 100 percent.

GMR: How did you use the Xbox to maximize DOA2?

Itagaki: The character modeling, the environment is done from scratch. We threw all the original DOA2 data out the window, and we created it from the ground up for Xbox.

GMR: But the Saturn version is exactly the same, but the DOA2 port is totally improved.

Itagaki: Yes. The reason why we decided to bring DOA Online is because we love Xbox. We're very pleased that with so many DOA3 and DOAX fans that so many people are playing and enjoying our games. And that's why we wanted our fans to be able to play the entire history of DOA on Xbox, and that's the reason for having DOA1 and 2 online.

More here (http://www.gamers.com/news/1419917)

07-17-2003, 12:11 AM
Cool interview. Thanks :D