Ninja Gaiden 3 dev reflects on game's poor reception

Where did Ninja Gaiden 3 go wrong? Team Ninja head Yosukue Hayashi reflects.

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Team Ninja's first Ninja Gaiden without creator Tomonobu Itagaki was panned by critics and fans. Where did Ninja Gaiden 3 go wrong?

In a retrospective, Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi admitted that the team lost focus during development, saying the game had attempted to become too Westernized for its own good. "It seems like we made a Japanese hamburger for the West," Hayashi said, explaining "maybe as a Japanese developer, we need to make good Japanese food... and that’s what people are wanting from a Japanese developer."

Many Japanese developers have been vocal about the struggling state of their industry. Hayashi says that developers are "doing everything they can just to basically stay above water."

Many critics point to Ninja Gaiden 3's more "cinematic" approach--something that didn't vibe well with fans of the franchise. "Coming out of one cinematic and walking a short distance to another is irritating as well. Even if you're not interested in what Ninja Gaiden 3 is trying to say, it's going to tell you," IGN lamented. "The narrative may be unintentionally funny, but lengthy scenes of Ryu hobbling along tearing enemies down in scripted sequences or worse, talking on his headset, really bog down the momentum of what's a notoriously fast-paced series," G4TV quipped.

Hayashi promises that Team Ninja's future games won't be so bogged down. The key to a Japanese game is that you get an "instant response on screen," he told Gamasutra. "That feels good and that draws players into the game itself." So perhaps, no QTEs this time around?

"We really felt that we need to emphasize our strengths as a developer and push those further, moving forward," he said.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 20, 2012 5:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Ninja Gaiden 3 dev reflects on game's poor reception.

    Where did Ninja Gaiden 3 go wrong? Team Ninja head Yosukue Hayashi reflects.

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      June 20, 2012 5:10 PM

      ehhh

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      June 20, 2012 5:15 PM

      I loooved NG1 and played it repeatedly and on multiple difficulties.

      NG2? Lost interest a few hours in.

      NG3 sounds abysmal from the features they changed. =(

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        June 21, 2012 8:41 AM

        NG2 is fun. It has a shitty camera just like the first game, and some crazy frustrating bosses in the PS3 version, but the core of the game is still good

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      June 20, 2012 6:06 PM

      "In a retrospective, Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi admitted that the team lost focus during development, saying the game had attempted to become too Westernized for its own good. "



      "Many critics point to Ninja Gaiden 3's more 'cinematic' approach--something that didn't vibe well with fans of the franchise. 'Coming out of one cinematic and walking a short distance to another is irritating as well.'"

      ...

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        June 20, 2012 6:42 PM

        baka gaijin westerners ruined ninja gaiden 3 yo

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      June 20, 2012 6:24 PM

      *COUGH* Max Payne 3 *COUGH*

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        June 21, 2012 1:46 AM

        Max Payne 3? Sorry but I remember max being awesome.

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      June 21, 2012 1:58 AM

      Is NG3 really that terribad? Is there a demo on XBL?

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        June 21, 2012 5:25 AM

        Yes and yes.

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        June 21, 2012 8:12 AM

        No its not. If you are a "gamer" that loves your games stale and never changing then yes ALL games are bad. Like the same gamers that hate Castlevania and Metroid and DMC cause they changed things around.
        So gamers want to marry their digital avatars and raise family with them. You know,

        Then there are other kind of gamers, the ones that play what is presented and forget about the last 30 years of the series.
        Play THAT game and base your opinions on the merits of that game, not what you thought you played or what you wanted the game to be.

        I liked ALL the Ninja G's for different reasons. I bought them all and I will buy the new one for the Wii U.
        If folks feel that strongly about playing the old games, that's what your gaming library's are for, POP that bitch right in and have a ball.

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      June 21, 2012 4:11 AM

      NG1 was an excellent game. There controls were top notch and the challenge was through the roof. The game had the challenge really well balanced too. Most games (especially Japanese ones) start strong with challenge but then lose focus throughout as your character progress to be too strong. Many times, disposing of foes required nothing more than grinding experience for character progression and simple spam of attack. NG never gave me that sense. I had to master wall running or GTFO.

      NG2 seemed to have lost that delicate balance slightly. It was still fun but something was slightly off. It was definitely harder that's for sure but not in a good way. It didn't feel like the challenge was attributed to lack of mastery of controls but through cheap enemy attacks.

      NG3.. FOGGIDABOUTIT. Someone at Tecmo thought that having fair challenge was a bad idea. Take out challenge, add more boobs. Silliness. I don't know if "too westernized" was a remark saying that we like it too easy (which is very untrue).

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