Team Ninja Thinking of More DS, Wii Games

I had a chance to sit down with Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi, producer of Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, in New York earlier this week, where he had flown to help launch the portable title in the U.S.

Hayashi spent much of the day sitting at a table near the front doors of the Nintendo World Store quietly talking to patiently waiting fans through a translator, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

It was, he said, the first chance he had to talk to the public about the game, a game he feels people were waiting to come out.

"The fact that people lined up at the store today to purchase the game, that feels good," he said.

Hayashi said the project started out not as a way to get Ninja Gaiden onto the DS, but as a way to create an innovative action game for the portable.

"Internally we saw the project as starting to develop a brand new action game for the DS," he said. "We wanted it to be better than the current games that are out there. We had the DS in front of us and we thought about what we could do we do with it; the fact that you can use the stylus to do the slicing and moving around. Then we found the perfect match which was to bring the world of Ninja Gaiden to the DS."

"It wasn't really like we had huge concerns about trying to bring everything that was accomplished in Ninja Gaiden to a handheld. It was more like this is a brand new title we are going to build taking advantage of the DS features."

Initially Team Ninja had their concerns, the Ninja Gaiden franchise had already appeared on the much more powerful next-gen systems and they weren't sure if people were going to think that the DS version would live up to the name.

"There was a lot of talk about how well that would translate onto the handheld," he said. "But after the release a lot of people have commented that it still has the soul of Ninja Gaiden the series. So far it's been very well received."

Hayashi said the time spent working on the game convinced him that the team should do more on the DS and perhaps on the Wii.

"As for a specific follow for a sequel to Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword there is no plans to a DS 2 or anything that has a continuation from Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword story, however having been able to work on developing a title for the DS this time around I've seen a lot of exciting opportunities and I myself am more excited that I now see the DS being a handheld or console that I can work on and develop a better game perhaps in the future," he said. "When the DS first came out for awhile it was very popular but I couldn't get a grip on what titles were going to really show off the hardware in terms of its capabilities. I do feel that Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword has been able to move in that direction. Hopefully this title will lead to some examples of how to create some even more exciting action games. So in that sense I would like to work on something in the future for the DS."

"Wii is also the same way," he said. "I see a huge amount of potential in the hardware and I am personally very into it and pretty excited about what can be possible on the Wii. I'm hoping I can come up with something for the Wii from our team."


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