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New Team Ninja out to prove itself

Welcomes comparison with Itagaki games.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

The New Team Ninja won't cower in the shadows of Old, and has said projects Ninja Gaiden 3 and Dead or Alive: Dimensions are statements of that belief.

"We knew that we'd be asked about the past, and about Team Ninja going forward, and what that's going to mean," studio head Yosuke Hayashi - Tomonobu Itagaki's replacement - told Gamasutra.

"We know that in making a new Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden we're going to be compared to our past titles. We're prepared to be judged by our work. We want people to take an honest look at the work that we do.

"If we were to make a new franchise that would be the easy way out, because people would have nothing to compare it to. But for us to go back and say we're going to make a Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive, and we're actually daring to do that, that's a statement for us," he said. "We're prepared to back that up with the games themselves."

Team Ninja's wind was taken out of its sails by the departure of Tomonobu Itagaki in 2008. He left following a dispute about wage bonuses, and shortly after filed suit against Tecmo, his former employer of 16 years. Plenty of dirty laundry was henceforth aired.

Ninja Gaiden 3 and Dead or Alive: Dimensions were announced this week at the Tokyo Game Show.

Ninja Gaiden 3 follows the hack-and-slash tradition of the series and hopes to show a more human side to hero Ryu Hayabusa - albeit with more violence and gore. No platforms or a date were mentioned. Dead or Alive: Dimensions, on the other hand, is a fighting game for 3DS.

Team Ninja also announced a samurai game called Ni-oh, a new collaboration with developer Kou Shibusawa.

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