The Black is Back (Page 1 of 4)

JUST IN! Download the hi-res Ninja Gaiden Black official trailer, exclusively from now! Warning: Big file approaching!

As if 2004's Ninja Gaiden wasn't already the most frenetic, bad-ass, combat-packed, hyper-finessed action game of the year, Tecmo and Team NINJA are set to dial the volume up to 11 with an enhanced re-release of their seminal ninja adventure. Titled Ninja Gaiden Black, this Xbox-exclusive title brings back all the action of the original game, but adds a whole slew of new features designed to offer value to both owners of the original Ninja Gaiden for Xbox as well as first-time players.

[click the image to check out a high resolution version of the above screen]

Features like the new Ninja Dog mode offer an entry-level difficulty setting that should make Ninja Gaiden playable by novice players, while the appropriately named Master Ninja mode ramps up the already insane difficulty from the original game's hardest setting. If you wanted try the downloadable Hurricane Packs but lack a broadband connection, Xbox Live, or both, you're in luck, as the new 50-mission Mission Mode (final number of missions have yet to be finalized) will include nearly every challenge offered by the Hurricane Packs, and more. If that's not enough, Ninja Gaiden Black will also include new bosses, new enemy arrangement, new cutscenes, more Ayane. Plus, the game, will arrive at a discounted price. The list goes on and on.

But don't take our word for it. Check out our extensive interview with Tecmo Senior Executive Officer and Team NINJA boss, Tomonobu Itagaki. One quiet afternoon during Japan's Golden Week (a weeklong national holiday), we sat down with Itagaki-san at the Team NINJA offices to discuss everything under the sun, including the development of Ninja Gaiden Black, the competition's action games, the state of Japanese game development, shooting while standing still, and the secret behind Team NINJA's success (it's more than just big boobs). The outspoken leader of Japan's leading development mavericks had a lot to say, so pull up a chair and sink your teeth into our chat with Itagaki-san.

[click the image to check out a high resolution version of the above screen]

1UP: So why did you guys decide to make Ninja Gaiden Black?

TI: One reason is because of a promise. I am not always able to keep my promises, but I do so when I can.

1UP: What kind of promise?

TI: A promise to provide the thrills of the Hurricane Packs to those without Xbox LIVE. The people who played the Hurricane Packs account for just 10 percent of the total of people who bought Ninja Gaiden. I wanted to provide follow-up support for the remaining 90 percent if I could.

I've said from the beginning that I don't consider the Hurricane Packs to just be a service for the fans, but rather an investment towards the next level of progress. Now that has become a reality and Ninja Gaiden Black is the result of this.

Now, the second reason for making Ninja Gaiden Black is that I wanted to show the power of Team NINJA's action game to the world one more time before we move completely to Xbox 360 development. Just as the Hurricane Packs were an investment towards Black, Black is an investment towards the future Ninja Gaiden 2. That is why the Ninja Gaiden 2 development staff is currently developing Ninja Gaiden Black.

[click the image to check out a high resolution version of the above screen]

Thus, Black is not simply Ninja Gaiden with the Hurricane Packs slapped on. It is filled to the brim with our latest expertise, our latest technologies, and gameplay elements that are built off of our latest thoughts and ideas. It is more correct to say that Ninja Gaiden Black is a final, complete, ultimate version of Ninja Gaiden.


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Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
release date:09/13/2005

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