If you’ve ever had a burning desire to see zombies clash with ninjas, you’ll want to keep an eye on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. The work of Tecmo Koei, Yaiba introduces a brand new Gaiden character and treds some new ground for the series. Cel shaded graphics, comedy and minimalistic story direction are all key elements of the game. I had some hands on time with Yaiba and even got the chance to interview the current head of Team Ninja, a Mr Yosuke Hayashi.
Mr Hayashi described the creation of Yaiba as “a fateful meeting.” Apparently, Tecmo Koei had been considering making a zombie game for quite some time but couldn’t quite get the mix right. “When Keiji Inafune (the game’s creative director and the mastermind behind the original Mega Man series) came on board with Tecmo we were excited to use his knowledge of zombies and our knowledge of ninjas to create a single game and Yaiba is the result,” Mr Hayashi explained.
Expanding on what little of Yaiba’s story Tecmo Koei is happy to release, Mr Hayashi went on to describe the game as a bloody and somewhat comedic tale of revenge.
“Yaiba is not a proper ninja. He’s brash, he’s arrogant and he has no honour, so he attracted the attention of Ryu Hiabusa, the hero of the previous Ninja Gaiden games and the two view each other as rivals,” he said.
“You can see from the game’s opening cutscene that Hiabusa actually defeats Yaiba and cuts him in half. So Yaiba rebuilds himself, like a cyborg and sets out to get revenge. That is his main goal.” The leap from revenge to zombies is a bit of an unnatural one, given the depth of the story info released thus far, but Mr Hayashi ensured me that all will be revealed, in time.
“We’re really just giving players the chance to experience the game here at E3. Story details will come later. We want fans to give us feedback, Facebook and Twitter your thoughts of the game so we can tweak it. We know we’re trying something new here but we wanted to create a title that’s different. This isn’t a copy of Ninja Gaiden and it isn’t a copy of one of the many zombie/shooter titles currently available on the market,” he said.