Ninja Gaiden: Inafune reflects on franchise history, rivalry with Team Ninja

By Dave Cook
2 April 2013 09:06 GMT

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z creator Keiji Inafune, and long-time developer of the series, Team Ninja’s Yosuke Hayashi have discussed their memories of the series since it began on NES, right through to current day. There’s also a little bit of friendly rivalry at play too. Pistols at 20 paces gentlemen.

Speaking with Game Informer, Inafune revelaed that his creation of Onimusha at Capcom inspired then-leader of Team Ninja Tomonobu Itagaki to create a reboot of Ninja Gaiden in the third-person manner that he did.

Said Inafune, “First came the Nintendo experience, called Ninja Ryukunden in Japan. I approached the game as a player and I really liked the game. As for the reboot, it’s a good story involving [Tomonobu] Itagaki-san. Itagaki used to run Team Ninja.

“We were in good relation back in the day when I was creating Onimusha. He came to me and said he really liked the Onimusha game and said he was creating a new game that was going to be better than it. So the reboot came out and I felt like I was the influence for Itagaki to create this game. I feel like Ninja Gaiden is a relative, in a sense.”

Both Inafune’s new studio Comcept and Team Ninja are collaborating on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Hayashi is overjoyed to be working with the Onimusha creator. He’s also a big fan of Inafune’s Mega Man series.

Hayashi said, “When the project kicked off, my impression of Inafune was that he’s an individual player, out there directing games on his own. Once the project started I soon learned that Inafune is a team player. He would throw the core idea to the team and then let everyone pitch in and develop their own ideas.

“He would take all that feedback in and he’s very good at letting people expand the experience and directing everybody’s ideas so everybody feels ownership over the game. I have a lot to learn from that style of creation.”

Aww isn’t that nice? Still, both parties coming together should make for an interesting project. You can see a batch of new Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z screens here, and the game’s neat comic book scenes here.

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