Ninja’s theory

Ninja Gaiden II has got some great previews from the press – how proud of it are you?

I’m very happy with it. It’s not 100 per cent as I think that’s not possible to do, but I think that I was successful in making a game that no one else could. This is a game that only my team and I would be able to make.

Is NG II the definitive action game of the year?

Well, MGS4 is also coming out right at the same time. I think it’s out of those two.

I think Hideo Kojima (director of MGS) is very much like myself. He believes that he’s creating a game the world will love. I think that whatever he does is going to be great and because our two games are fundamentally so different, I think I will enjoy his game as much as I think he will probably enjoy mine.

Will you be creating a Ninja Gaiden III or IV in the future?

I know that I personally won’t be making Ninja Gaiden III or IV. Just as Dead Or Alive 4 was the definitive game in that series, so is Ninja Gaiden II. For myself and the friends whom I work with, I feel we put our hearts and souls into this Ninja Gaiden II.

How important is the online aspect of the game, such as with Ninja Cinema facility on Xbox Live?

We felt it was something that the fans wanted and that it would be cool to have the feature. We already have a long history of working on replay modes in the Dead or Alive series, it was something we thought might be cool. It’s more of a bonus feature than anything.

Have you got any other projects coming up?

Yes, I will be working on a totally new title from scratch.

Can you tell us anything about it?

About all I can say is that it will have violence in it.

Do you prefer to develop on the Xbox 360, rather than the other consoles?

Yes. In my opinion it is the most powerful hardware. I have a lot of friends that develop on it so in some ways I regard it like being at home when I’m working on it. There’s no reason for me to go to a strangers house to make games.

Are there any other games or developers that you admire?

There are lots of developers I admire, like my mentors. In the west I find Peter Molyneux to be a really interesting character and I always enjoy his speeches. I wish I could be like Peter some day.

It’s been a good few years for western developers – some commentators have said Japanese developers are in danger of falling behind. What would you say to that?

I do believe that western developers have more skills at incorporating new technology into games straight away, they’re very efficient at that. However, if you’re talking about core game design and core concept I think it’s difficult to say who is better or worse.

For better or worse there is no other studio in the world that could create a game like Ninja Gaiden II, other than myself and my most trusted comrades.

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