Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus interview: Ryu returns to PS Vita!

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Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus interview: Ryu returns to PS Vita!

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The PS Vita version of 2007 PlayStation 3 dice ’em up Ninja Gaiden Sigma was satisfying evidence of just how comfortable a full, lightning-fast console action game can feel on a handheld. Duly, Team Ninja’s announcement last month that a sequel – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus – is currently in development came as very welcome news.

PlayStation Blog sat down for a quick chat with Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi to find out what it has in store with its new Vita game, as well as mysterious new project Yaiba: Ninja Gadien Z and recent release Dead or Alive 5.

It’s not been long since the release of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus. Why are we seeing a sequel so soon?

Yosuke Hayashi: We released Sigma Plus earlier this year and it actually did better than we expected and there was a lot of fan demand for releasing a sequel. We were really happy with the results we got with the original, so that’s why we’re announcing Sigma 2 Plus.

What new features are you adding over and above the PlayStation 3 original?

Yosuke Hayashi: PlayStation Vita is definitely an easy console to play games on. It’s very friendly for a Ninja Gaiden kind of game. We really learned that making the first Sigma Plus. With the sequel we’re looking to add in some really good additional hardcore elements – things that people who really know the game and loved Sigma 2 will get into and enjoy.

What makes PS Vita a good fit for a high velocity action series like Ninja Gaiden?

Yosuke Hayashi: I don’t know if it’s a perfect fit, but it has the power and everything you need to play these kinds of games. You’re not always in an environment where you can play a full console game, but if you have a Vita you can have the same experience right there in the palm of your hand. It has the power to deliver an equivalent experience.

You recently showed off a brief teaser trailer for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z – your new collaboration with Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune. Is that something Sony customers can get excited about?

Yosuke Hayashi: You’ll have to wait a little bit longer for more information but I’m sure everybody will be able to have some fun with it!

There are so many zombie games out there right now? Is there still room for new ideas and innovation in the genre?

Yosuke Hayashi: Absolutely, there are definitely new elements we can add to the zombie genre. It got to play like a Ninja Gaiden game – it’s got to be a good, solid action game. It’s not just an amateur zombie game. In addition, we’ll bring our own take on the genre – people will find that it’s something really new, but also something that sits comfortably inside the Ninja Gaiden world.

During your Yaiba announcement you pledged that Team Ninja is striving to help Japanese developers catch up with the West. Do you think your fellow countrymen can reclaim their ’90s glory days?

Yosuke Hayashi: Honestly I don’t think we can reclaim the glory days of the past. Team Ninja is still strong and has found ways to remain relevant and keep making games that play on the world stage. We can’t say for sure that Japan as a whole will be there with us, but we’ll be around for years to come.


Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune (right) joined Yosuke Hayashi (left) on-stage at Tokyo Game Show last month to unveil Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z’

You just released Dead or Alive 5. It’s been a busy few years for the fighting genre. Why do you think DOA is still relevant?

Yosuke Hayashi: We don’t want to be put in the same space as other fighting games. The concept for Dead or Alive 5 has been ‘fighting entertainment’. We’re looking at a wider audience – offering a more accessible, more appealing fighting experience. Don’t just put us in with the rest of the fighters. You get a sense of fun and a sense of spectacle from Dead or Alive 5 that you’re not going to get from some of the other games that are out of there. That sets us apart and is something we want to push. Hopefully it will push the audience towards supporting the game.

How are you going to support Dead or Alive 5 in the coming months?

Yosuke Hayashi: We’re definitely going to be supporting the title after launch. We have a lot of DLC lined up and the artists are still working hard creating costumes that we know the fans are going to love and want to get their hands on.


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10 Author Replies

  • Nice interview, Fred, especially liked the fact that you asked the tough question about Japan’s former dominance in the game development stakes.

    Typical humble Japanese response from Hayashi-san, too.

  • For those not using Twitter, you might want to check this one out:

    It only reveals when the new store design will go live and a screenshot. No biggie at at all. ^^

    • Ah yes, that was me. We’ll have a proper rundown of exactly what the sparkly new Store does before launch next week. Stay tuned…

  • ninja gaiden 2 sigma was the first PS3 game that i ever played i always wanted to go back and play it but this is better nice work to all involved :)

  • oh sorry for double post but can you confirm that that picture was iin game on vita or is that PS3?

    • Sorry, Tecmo didn’t have Vita screens available – so that’s just a nice generic shot of Ryu looking ninja-y. I’m sure the finished Vita game will look lovely though!

  • Fred, ever played the Ninja Gaiden games on the NES. It was real hard and you need skill to beat the game. Btw is Tecmo now renamed to Team Ninja now?

    • That takes me back! I have vague recollections of lobbing the controller at the screen, repeatedly.

      Team Ninja is just one division of Tecmo Koei.

  • Can’t wait Fred. And you better prepare yourself for an all around comparison with Steam store features. ;)

    Of course I’m not serious about expecting a 1:1 copy of Steam. But I really hope that some very essential functions and features will be covered.

    • Well Mr Golwar, I’ll await your verdict next Wednesday. Hopefully you’ll like the new look and find it easier to use.

  • I wonder if the Razor’s Edge extras for NG3 will ever reach a PS console :/

  • Nice interview :)

  • “You just released Dead or Alive 5. It’s been a busy few years for the fighting genre. Why do you think DOA is still relevant?”

    Hahahaha, I love blunt questions like these. Good job!

  • @Golwar

    The new store layout is being shown to everyone now except those on the blog strangely enough. It looks horrific and generic. If that’s seriously the best SCEE can do to the PS4 is dead before its release. No mention if they’ve fixed all the broken elements in the store, no mention about speeding up and improving their approval system, no mention of a fairer pricing system. It’s all style and no substance with SCEE.

    • Believe it or not, I’m fully in the loop on the new store and have been closely following its development for the last few months. We’ve just decided to give external media the first look this time. If anyone wants to read more, there’s a nice write up on Eurogamer:

      Sorry to hear you don’t like the look of it. Maybe you’ll be more impressed when you actually get your hands on it, or maybe not. I’ll await your constructive feedback.

  • The first Ninja Gaiden on Vita was pretty damn difficult ! Really do need to get back to it and see it through the end one of these days…

    As far as the new store is concerned, it looks aesthetically pleasing. I just hope it runs smoother and faster then the current build because that’s the first and most important thing that should be dealt with.

    P.S. I recieved my weekend debate goodies yesterday, thanks a lot Fred !

  • @Voodoo341
    Sorry pal, but you are slightly irritating with your constant whining. The store redesign is a store redesign and has absolutely nothing to do with QA or pricing.

    I for one prefer to see a more functional store and welcome it for what it is. I’d suggest that you learn to accept the good things that are offered to you, instead to always complain about what isn’t perfect elsewhere.

    And now let us settle it here, till Fred posts more details. Then you might find a reasonable point to argue about.

    • “Learn to accept the good things that are offered to you, instead to always complain about what isn’t perfect elsewhere” An admirable philosophy for life!

  • Hey Fred,
    Can we expect the redesign for ps vita interface too? I hope it arrives asap as the new design looks rad and cool. Also by meaning ps plus for vita in november ,can you give a particular timeframe, at least like early or late or middle november.
    Cheers :)

    • The new Store launches just for PS3 next week. Beyond that… well, you’ll have to wait and see I’m afraid.

      Sorry, no more detail on the Vita Plus launch at present. ‘November’ – that’s all I can say right now!

  • Already read it Fred. I’ve heard it many times in the past from SCEE that they’d be improving and evolving and they didn’t. I see no reason to believe it now. It’s all style no substance with Sony. If you’re so sure about the update offer a refund to PSN+ members who don’t like it.
    I bet you don’t!

  • Hey Fred

    +1 to Team Ninja

    Dead or Alive 5 is rocking for me at the moment.

    Smoothest online fighter i have played in ZA (lag is really bad in SF and TTT2 here)

    Story mode.. No other fighter has come close.

    Costumes? 2 per character? Pffft, DOA does it right! (think its like 10 per character at the least)

    Select random, and get random every retry, now thats how its supposed to be, just like old DOA days. (stages and characters!)

    And that’s just to name a few.

    Team Ninja, Keep it up, and looking forward for some DLC :)

  • Fred wrote: “Learn to accept the good things that are offered to you, instead to always complain about what isn’t perfect elsewhere” An admirable philosophy for life!

    Say that to the people who want CS:GO, haha.

  • We really could use a Vita redesign as well, it would be the perfect time with Christmas soon approaching – I suspect many Vitas being found under the Christmas tree this year (not for me, already got mine :D).

    Don’t worry about the shirts Fred, the Borderlands 2 shirt fit perfectly. The Puppeteer shirt on the other hand could be fit 3 of me lol, still really happy about having it as a keepsake.

  • Fred
    come on m8, i doubt that people who complain about gaming stuff on here, other forums are ‘generaly’ out and out complainers in Reality, i mean isn’t that a pr side of sony, escape realism, or some such line.. so yeah i can maybe understand ‘when’ idiots get personel, ie to the blog team.. but 99% of (us) moaners are mostly just following sony’s own marketing line, i do find though, that the ppl who get personel with the ‘moaners’ are maybe the ones to be wary of, in reality etc.

  • @ Fred
    on topic. Another brill interview by ps blog, am really liking all of these, also, though i played both ninja gaidens on my ps3, i chose not to try it for vita, am just not 100% if i would be able to ‘master’ a allready complex fighting/button timing etc sequence on a vita, ‘cough’ so maybe there could be a demo ?, Or even better, when vita plus kicks in a whole 1 hour trail.. imo it (NG) defo needs some sort of ‘testing’, before myself, prob many others would even consider splashing out the rrp for it, i hope either of above ‘suggestions’ are given some thought, thnx.

    • Well, those are largely decisions for Tecmo to make. But yes, agreed, a demo would certainly be beneficial! We’ll have to wait and see…

  • Is their any co-op in this version?

  • They should bring back seperate solo missions, no mixups and TOV. have NG2 content return and NG2 blood but no IS spam.

  • Put the proper gore in! No more purple mist, please. Just do away with all this censorship crap.
    And with NGS on Vita it was extremely frustrating that you had to import a remotely good version – either US uncensored one or Asian one with Japanese voices. That said, original NGS on PS3 we also had to import US version to get proper, uncensored game. Really, this needs to stop.

    Seriously, mention the gore to them. This is one paramount element for these games.

  • @Voodoo341; Seriously? Why do you find it so difficult to understand what PS+ actually gives you? I don’t mean to take a shot at you or argue but your ignorance is simply astounding.

  • DOA5 is class, by the way, like an upmarket brothel. Last DOA I had was the second and it ain’t lost its touch.

  • If you want to please hardcore players and loyal followers, add following stuff: more team missions, add separate solo mission mode, no mixing, it was awful in NG3. Bring back TOV from NG2, solo and coop survival are needed, both separate from each other, blood from NG2, Ultimate ninja difficulty for story mode. Rebalance harder difficultys, but no IS spam. You have everything TN, just port it to vita. Do it right this time around. Fans have big expectations for NGS2+ release. Team missions need true online, no ad-hoc. Improve online code.It was rough in NGS2. Fix exploits, make legit leaderboards.Japanese audio is a must on EU&US release

  • Everytime I see a Ninja Gaiden game in a store I take it in my hand and think, that it might be really good. And then I remember that the game is really hard and that I will have to put very much time into it to be able to finish it. But Gaming is a Hobby for me, not a sport. I do not have the time to put hours into a single game anymore.

    I must have almost bought Ninja Gaiden Game 15 times or so. And then I remember how it hard it is and that it has one of the hardest Platinum trophies… And than I put it back on the Shelf and think to me, that I will not buy a game, that I will not be able to finish. Sorry, but I want a complete experience. You wouldn’t buy a movie that is cut off before the end. My willingness to spent time with an action game is only around 10-20 hours.

  • on the US store you can read how disapointing the updated store is.
    No speedup, no sellection in your download menu and the intergration with movie and tv stuff is painfull for all the countries who don’t have them.

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