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Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword Inspiring Wii U Controls for Ninja Gaiden 3

Dragon Sword, otherwise known as one of the best kept secrets of the DS.

One of the few non-Nintendo games confirmed for Wii U at E3 was Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, a sequel under close scrutiny, as the series is no longer under the guidance of Tomonobu Itagaki.

The Wii U version is already in development, Team Ninja localization manager Peter Garza told me at the show, with the overall game about 30% finished. Garza said the team has not settled on how Ninja Gaiden 3 will utilize, but it's looking to the DS game, Dragon Sword, for inspiration.

"There was a DS version, so we have some experience with touch controls and it [Dragon Sword] seemed to be fairly well received," said Garza. "So, now we have the chance to give this full console experience with those controls on the Wii U. We've actually started development on it but we don't have anything set. We're just playing with it."

If you aren't aware, Dragon Sword is a seriously fantastic touch-based action game for the DS. Even players who can't get into the frenetic flow of Itagaki's games (me) should give it a look.

If you thought Team Ninja would be ditching violence for the third game, you'd be wrong.
== TEASER ==

"We're looking forward to emerging of Ninja Gaiden 3 gameplay and visuals with Dragon Sword touch commands," he said. "That's where we're thinking now. Honestly, we're just playing with it, so it might change--that's the focus right now."

I wrote a not particularly flattering hands-on preview of the game, my impressions going astray because of the constant button prompts. I've been told those prompts disappear as the game progresses, but that wasn't clear from the show floor demo. The idea of playing a Dragon Sword-style game with the visual fidelity of a console Ninja Gaiden? Yes, sir, I would like that.

One last thing I have to share, if only because the quote's so ridiculous.

The DS game was not nearly as enthusiastically violent as the console versions. Were Team Ninja to merge Dragon Sword with modern Ninja Gaiden, plus the changes for Ninja Gaiden 3, we'd get something brand-new. Here's what Garza told me about the violence in this new one.

"What does it mean to cut someone with a sword, both physically and mentally?" he said. "You'll notice sequences when time slows down, the camera will zoom in. That's the representation of the sword going into the body, getting caught in the bones and the muscles of the enemy, and you have to really push through the meat of the body to finish the cut. We call that steel on bone."

Because why not, right?

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

One of the few non-Nintendo games confirmed for Wii U at E3 was Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, a sequel under close scrutiny, as the series is no longer under the guidance of Tomonobu Itagaki.

The Wii U version is already in development, Team Ninja localization manager Peter Garza told me at the show, with the overall game about 30% finished. Garza said the team has not settled on how Ninja Gaiden 3 will utilize, but it's looking to the DS game, Dragon Sword, for inspiration.

"There was a DS version, so we have some experience with touch controls and it [Dragon Sword] seemed to be fairly well received," said Garza. "So, now we have the chance to give this full console experience with those controls on the Wii U. We've actually started development on it but we don't have anything set. We're just playing with it."

If you aren't aware, Dragon Sword is a seriously fantastic touch-based action game for the DS. Even players who can't get into the frenetic flow of Itagaki's games (me) should give it a look.

If you thought Team Ninja would be ditching violence for the third game, you'd be wrong.
== TEASER ==

"We're looking forward to emerging of Ninja Gaiden 3 gameplay and visuals with Dragon Sword touch commands," he said. "That's where we're thinking now. Honestly, we're just playing with it, so it might change--that's the focus right now."

I wrote a not particularly flattering hands-on preview of the game, my impressions going astray because of the constant button prompts. I've been told those prompts disappear as the game progresses, but that wasn't clear from the show floor demo. The idea of playing a Dragon Sword-style game with the visual fidelity of a console Ninja Gaiden? Yes, sir, I would like that.

One last thing I have to share, if only because the quote's so ridiculous.

The DS game was not nearly as enthusiastically violent as the console versions. Were Team Ninja to merge Dragon Sword with modern Ninja Gaiden, plus the changes for Ninja Gaiden 3, we'd get something brand-new. Here's what Garza told me about the violence in this new one.

"What does it mean to cut someone with a sword, both physically and mentally?" he said. "You'll notice sequences when time slows down, the camera will zoom in. That's the representation of the sword going into the body, getting caught in the bones and the muscles of the enemy, and you have to really push through the meat of the body to finish the cut. We call that steel on bone."

Because why not, right?

Posted by Devoid

I used to have the little sword thingy that came with the DS game. Then I lost it.

Posted by ip007

Has Team Ninja done other games besides Gaiden?

Online
Posted by Legend

@Devoid said:

I used to have the little sword thingy that came with the DS game. Then I lost it.

LOL, it came with a little sword? I need to check that out.

Posted by MichaelEM3

@ip007: Metroid: Other M comes to mind.

Posted by Hailinel

@ip007 said:

Has Team Ninja done other games besides Gaiden?

Dead or Alive series and Metroid: Other M.

Posted by Devoid

@Legend:

Yeah, apparently it was a pre-order bonus or something? I just got it when I bought it. Looks like this:

Posted by Brendan

Pumped.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Dragon Sword was actually pretty good, as it lacks the stupid punishing difficulty found in the console Ninja Gaiden games. If the Wii U game were to be like that, that would be something I'd be interested in.

Posted by JackSukeru

Dragon Sword is actually the only Ninja Gaiden game I've ever finished, it was fun, kinda unique but a little repetitive.

Posted by confideration

I think after the 10th time I have to use a pen on a wacom tablet to push my sword through a random ninja I'll be wanting my buttons back. Again.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Dragon Sword is one of the best kept DS secrets? I feel like there are a few more, like that cool Lufia game, or the Tail Concerto "sequel" coming out in PAL regions in a week.

Posted by chickdigger802

"Steel on Bone" tech.

They should license this speed sob tech. Like no1 can get sword on people right. Just looks like a weapon is clipping through. Glad someone took up this challenge.

Now use this tech for a new bushido blade!

Posted by ninjalegend

While I still have trepidations on how this game will turn out, I do have to say I appreciate the stance they are taking on violence in video games. Not like the tongue in cheek violence of Mortal Kombat, but the vision of a true raging disturbed sociopath. Like Assassins Creed's mantra of you are the assassin for the greater good, but with no apologies. I expect the next bit of PR to go something like this: "We want you to feel what it is like to rip off someone's cranium, and shove it directly up their pooper."

Posted by omegaarchetype

Ninja Gaiden 3 looks sweet. I can't freaking wait for it! Dragon Sword was one of my favorite games on DS and although it kinda would be cool on the Wii U, I plan on getting my version on the PS3. Controllers > Touch Controls anyday.

Posted by AjayRaz

i like Dragon Sword. i haven't finished it yet, but the touch controls are fun, if a bit mindless. 

Posted by Legend

@Devoid said:

@Legend:

Yeah, apparently it was a pre-order bonus or something? I just got it when I bought it. Looks like this:

This is really cool. Makes me wish Ocarina of Time 3D came with a small Master Sword. That would've been a 100 times better than the free 25th anniversary OST. lol

Posted by Romination

Oh GOD yes, I was really fucking hoping for this. Ahh... good plan.

Posted by vinsanityv22

BOOOO. Guess I'll be sticking to PS3 for my Ninja Gaiden fix, then. I actually own Ninja Gaiden DS, and while it's a great DS game, it's a complete mess of a Ninja Gaiden game. You can pretty much just slash/scribble furiously and wreck all the dudes until you get to a boss. At which point, you are failed a bit by the inaccuracies of the controls, so you're gonna die a bit. It's not frustrating, but it is annoying. No amount of Momiji being included can help me to overlook that. It's just...so messy. 
 
Sigma 2 remains, far and away, the best NG game. So I'm confident that Razor's Edge will be awesome since this is the same guy directing it.

Posted by NTM

I have no opinion towards the Wii U version, but hearing them say anything about Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is not a great game overall, it may be a fine game on DS, but it doesn't stack up to the other Ninja Gaiden games on the consoles. I couldn't get into it because of the controls.

Posted by Anjon

I officially don't understand action game criticism. When someone makes a mashy action game, people complain it's too mashy or you just have to press X a bunch to beat it. Now people complain that games like Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta are too difficult to play and rejoice when they get dumbed down? Where's the middle ground?

Posted by John1912

Yea, glad to see the New Wii is sticking to really trying to bring back hardcore gamers Nintendo has pretty much completely lost.  Or I guess "non casual" for you who hate that term.....

Posted by Xpgamer7

Ninja Gaiden dragon sword was great on the DS but I'm not sure how the control on a handheld screen would transfer to a tablet. I can see some way of doing it but it still sounds weird.

Posted by iAmJohn

@Video_Game_King said:

Dragon Sword is one of the best kept DS secrets? I feel like there are a few more, like that cool Lufia game, or the Tail Concerto "sequel" coming out in PAL regions in a week.

That Lufia game and its crappiness is no secret. Also: Dragon Sword is a legitimately awesome game that undeservedly tanked.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@iAmJohn
 
But Curse of the Sinistrals was a good game.
Posted by Vigorousjammer

@Anjon said:

I officially don't understand action game criticism. When someone makes a mashy action game, people complain it's too mashy or you just have to press X a bunch to beat it. Now people complain that games like Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta are too difficult to play and rejoice when they get dumbed down? Where's the middle ground?

Batman: Arkham Asylum