Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Confirmed for this Fall

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Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja have officially announced that their new DOA5 “project” is “Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate”. Slated for release this Fall for the PS3 and Xbox 360, DOA5U will include the additional features from DOA5 Plus from the Vita, new stages and new fighters. One of the new fighters confirmed is Momiji from Ninja Gaiden. Here is the trailer for DOA5U:

 

Right now, there’s no price indication but if they follow suit with how they handled Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge for PS3/360, then we can bet it may go for $39.99. Also, there’s no indication of whether the game will see light on the Wii U…which has been much requested for on the Ninja Gaiden 3 Miiverse Community. We will keep you DOA fans up-to-date with any more news that reveals about the upcoming title.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge Review (PS3/360): “The Quintessential NG3 Experience”

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge Wallpaper

Back in March 2012, Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja released their latest installment in their infamous ninja series, Ninja Gaiden 3. Under the direction of Yosuke Hayashi and practically a whole new team over at Team Ninja, they aimed to westernize the franchise a bit while still trying to retain elements that made it “feel” like Ninja Gaiden. Unfortunately, many fans and critics were incredibly displeased with the changes made to the franchise, with complaints made toward the game’s dumbed-down AI, lack of gore, “simplified” combat, QTEs (Quick-Time Events), lack of weapons, lack of multiple Ninpo and lack of upgrades. When I reviewed NG3 last year, there was no denying that I enjoyed the game despite all the changes made to the gameplay. However, after playing Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, it completely decimates the previous version that released in March 2012.

Story: 4/5

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’s story has remained largely the same as the version that was released in March, although the game’s prologue has been completely removed. Ryu Hayabusa is visited by Ishigami and Mizuki McCloud from the Japanese Self-Defense Force, in which they, and the Ministry of External Affairs, are looking for his help. However, Hayabusa is being demanded for by an unknown terrorist organization which is why Ishigami and Mizuki have reached out to Ryu. Shortly into the game, it turns out that the alchemist known as the “Regent of the Mask” is the one demanding to confront Hayabusa for his own needs. After battling the alchemist, he casts a curse on Hayabusa known as the “Grip of Murder,” in which the Dragon Sword gets absorbed into Ryu’s arm and effects him due to the amount of people he has killed with that blade. Over time, the Grip of Murder will take over his whole body and kill him but as the story progresses, you’ll find out what exactly the whole purpose this curse holds. From here, Hayabusa will do whatever is necessary to stop the Regent of the Mask, no matter his condition.

To add a bit more to the story, Team Ninja has added two new chapters to the game in which you’ll see what the kunoichi, Ayane, is doing parallel to Hayabusa’s story. While it doesn’t add an enormous amount to the game’s story, what’s here is a nice bonus that ties in to little extra details and NES Ninja Gaiden fans will nod to the person Ayane is working for. Unlike Itagaki’s poor attempts at piecing together a story for Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’s storyline actually makes sense and gives you a reason to continue the game for its narrative, much like the NES titles.

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Gameplay: 5/5

Played Ninja Gaiden 3 on the PS3/360? Yes? No? Whatever your answer, throw anything you recall of it out the window. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge brings back an astonishing amount of features and content that were evidently missing in NG3. Upgrades? Check. Dramatically decreased QTEs? Check. Multiple weapons and Ninpo? Check. Wanting to smash your controller repeatedly against a wall due to absolutely vicious difficulty? Checkity check check! Razor’s Edge is the quintessential Ninja Gaiden 3 edition that fans were truly hoping for. Team Ninja took the feedback from fans and critics to heart and decided to rebuild the experience with all the complaints rectified.

Ninja Gaiden has always been known for having one of the most fluid, visceral and downright stunning combat systems in any action game. While NG3 may have been stripped down a bit from NG1 and NG2, Razor’s Edge brings the combat back in full swing by adding three additional weapons to the three that Hayabusa had in NG3. Aside from wielding a specific sword, Eclipse Scythe and Falcon’s Talons, Hayabusa will also gain access to utilize the Lunar Staff, Kusari-Gama, and Dual Katanas. Every weapon feels unique from one another and also provides more strategy to the combat due to certain enemies being weaker to specific weapons. The original three weapons from the NG3 have also been revamped and have even deeper combo sets than ever before. You’ll be provided new weapons when reaching a certain save point in a chapter or by collecting a set amount of Golden Scarabs. Fans, you heard right. Golden Scarabs are back for collecting and there are 50 scattered throughout the game that are waiting to be found. Much like Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2 (although in NG2 you collected Crystal Skulls, which is in no way associated to the awful Indiana Jones film), for every five Scarabs found, you’ll unlock a new upgrade or new weapon. Speaking of upgrades, Hayabusa can now obtain new and helpful abilities that can be purchased with Karma Points. While playing through the game, you’ll obtain Karma Points based on how creative your combat is (in which you’re graded on after an enemy wave), your combo string, Golden Scarabs, etc. It’s a very rewarding system and one that helps keep the combat fresh as you try to string for a crazy hit combo (very gratifying when you achieve a 200+ hit combo).

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In NG3, when an enemy was on the ground, they would simply plead for their life (except for the Black Spider Ninjas) and you’d just finish them off to basically shut them up. In Razor’s Edge, when an enemy is on the ground or is missing a limb, they’re going to come at you with a last stand to take Hayabusa’s life with theirs. However, you can quickly end their life by pressing the strong attack button and watching Hayabusa obliterate his enemy in an incredibly visceral style. One of the complaints with NG3‘s combat was the “Steel on Bone” QTE action that initiated when finishing off an enemy. Well, that’s no longer the case but “Steel on Bone” hasn’t been removed either. Instead, to pull off a “Steel on Bone”, you’ll have to dodge an enemy who’s trying to grapple you (you’ll know from the red aura glowing around them), and then quickly press the strong attack button to instantly kill them, while then linking it to another enemy. The more your weapon is upgraded, the more of a kill chain you can pull off. As you keep cutting through your enemies, Hayabusa’s arm will glow red allowing you to initiate an immediate Ultimate Technique (which are now MUCH more jaw-dropping to see in action, especially the Dual Katana’s when it’s upgraded to Level 3). While UTs were in the original version of NG3, that was the only way you could pull them off. Instead now, you can still pull off an Ultimate Technique by standing still and holding down (charging) the strong attack button, just like NG1 and NG2. Another complaint about NG3’s combat was the restriction of only one Ninpo. Now, Hayabusa has the three Ninpos he had in NG2: The Art of the Inferno, The Art of the Wind Blades, and The Art of the Piercing Void. Each Ninpo has it’s own meter to fill up during combat and can also be upgraded in the Ninja Skills menu. Like NG3, Ninpo attacks will recover some of your health depending on how many enemies it successfully hits. Since you can’t carry any health items, building up your Ki meter is essential if you want to stand a chance in some of the tougher fights. Thankfully, when your Ki meter is full during a battle, it’ll stay that way unlike the original version where you either had to use it in that specific wave of enemies or you lost it. That tense feel of combat is back in Razor’s Edge and every battle actually feels like one that you have to fully concentrate on to ensure survival. Playing through on the Normal difficulty setting is essentially like playing NG3’s “Hard” mode from PS3/360…except without the monotonous waves of enemies. Team Ninja has definitely paced the game significantly smoother and feels less repetitive than the previous edition. The only problem that still lies within the combat is the camera. There are still a good amount of times where the camera gets a bit caught up during the intense combat. While Ninja Gaiden has always has some camera issues during combat, it’s still an occasional issue here.

My...what big hands you've got!

My…what big hands you’ve got!

NG3 introduced the new “Kunai Climb” ability in which Hayabusa would have to scale up a wall by alternating the trigger buttons. In the previous edition, you had to go at a certain speed with pressing the buttons when climbing and if you let go of both triggers, Ryu would fall. Razor’s Edge fixes this and makes it much more fluid by allowing you to climb faster based on how fast you alternate the buttons. Also, you don’t have to hold down both buttons to ensure Hayabusa stays on the wall, making the climbing sequences significantly simpler and more streamlined. Team Ninja also looked back at some of the levels and tweaked them. Kunai Climbing, while simpler this time around, has been reduced a bit and any sequences that required you alternate the triggers while traversing with a rope are completely gone. Some levels may have lesser waves of enemies, a bit more platforming and a few extra areas that contain Crystal Skulls. Each chapter contains a hidden Crystal Skull, which when found initiates a Test of Valor challenge. These challenges will bring Hayabusa and/or Ayane to a specific locale from Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2, in which you’ll face three waves of enemies, followed by a boss from the first two Ninja Gaiden games. These challenges are a true testament that Ninja Gaiden fans will eat up while newcomers will cower away from. To make it even more intense, should you die during the challenge, whether you’re on the third/final wave or up to the boss, it’s back to the first wave of enemies. It’s a real test of skill and endurance but completing them will net you a ton of Karma Points to use for upgrading.

There were moments in NG3 where Hayabusa’s curse would become severe and the camera would zoom-in over his shoulder. All you had to do was one-hit kill each enemy in a wounded state and then walk to a specific point for these segments to end. In Razor’s Edge, they’ve completely changed this concept into a more artistic direction. Instead, Hayabusa will be in a different dimension dishing out damage on enemies that flood his environment. The catch here is that your health is continuously depleting and can only increase slightly with each kill. Once you defeat all of Hayabusa’s “inner demons” in a sense, you’ll then return to his proper state. It’s actually a solid change that is definitely welcome.

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No Ninja Gaiden game would be complete without boss fights and this installment provides for some truly intense and memorable battles. Each boss battle has been completely reworked as well. They now provide stiffer challenges than they already were back in the previous version but they also provide health bars at the bottom of the screen. Whether you’re facing the Regent of the Mask, a Helicopter on top of a skyscraper or a Gigantosaurus (yeah, there’s a dinosaur boss and it’s intense), these will all provide jaw-dropping moments and heart-stopping intensity. However, be prepared for some frustration to really kick in here. While some bosses will take a few tries before you figure out a strategy, others will be just downright difficult and merciless. Regardless, when tackling boss battles, keep your cool and examine their attacks. It’s an old-school challenge that is immensely rewarding upon completion.

Additional to Hayabusa’s tweaked campaign, Team Ninja added two new chapters in which you’ll control Ayane. Her move set will be familiar to those who played Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, while also introducing new moves and abilities. Ayane’s combat is essentially the same as Hayabusa’s, only faster due to her light but lethal Fuma Kodachi weapons. Ayane also has her own Ninja Skills upgrade tree so any Karma Points you earn with her are strictly for her only. It’s great to see Team Ninja added these two chapters as it helps change the game’s pace a bit.

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The single-player replay value has also been significantly amped up this time around. Upon completing the game, you will unlock Momiji and Kasumi to play with in Chapter Challenge and Ninja Trials. Team Ninja has brought back the Chapter Challenge mode which allows you to revisit any chapter you want. More impressively, you’re allowed to replay any chapter with either Hayabusa, Ayane, Momiji or Kasumi (a first in the NG series), regardless of who the default character was for that level. This is a nice addition and one that will add replay value for those who prefer one character over the other when aiming for the leaderboards. Additionally, there’s a New Game Plus so that you can replay the game with all the upgrades you’ve obtained and continue to finish upgrading the characters. Even after you’ve finished upgrading Hayabusa’s, Ayane’s, Momiji’s and Kasumi’s abilities, you can use your Karma Points to unlock their alternate costumes (including Hayabusa’s original NES blue costume).

When accessing Shadows of the World (multiplayer), you will have the option of playing Ninja Trials or Clan Battle. Ninja Trials are essentially the co-op setup that players experienced in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, with a number of missions to complete varying by difficulty. This time around, you can play as Hayabusa, Ayane, Momiji and Kasumi in Ninja Trials. Also, it’s worth noting that if you’re playing Ninja Trials solo, you can now pause the game, which you oddly couldn’t do in the previous version. Clan Battle is your competitive mode, a first for the Ninja Gaiden series. To be honest, I really wasn’t too thrilled about it when it was announced. Thankfully, I can say that it’s not as tacky as I expected it to be. You’ll be able to customize your own ninja with specific weapons, different colors, headbands, gear and Kanji symbols to distinguish your character. You unlock more customization items the more you level up. When commencing a 4-on-4 Clan Battle, you’ll be pitted in certain levels from the campaign and have to just hunt the other players and cut them down. However, while it’s basically everyone running into the middle of the map to kill each other, there are more strategic approaches. Utilizing rooftops to snipe with your bow and walking to have your ninja cloak within the environment and prep an instant stealth kill are just a few examples. The multiplayer may be nothing groundbreaking, but it’s surprisingly addictive and a great change of pace from the typical other multiplayer offerings out on the market.

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Ninja Gaiden 3’s original version was a different take on the franchise. One which was an admirable effort in trying to take a risk, but as stated, didn’t reside well amongst fans and critics. However, Team Ninja has really worked tremendously within the past 8 months to completely fix all the issues with the game and provide fans with an experience that is completely relatable to them. What they’ve accomplished here is quite impressive and ultimately feels like a true sequel to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. Where as NG3 felt repetitive, Razor’s Edge was incredibly hard for me to put down, just like Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2 were. Despite still having some camera issues that the series has always had, it doesn’t really disrupt the game from being an absolute blast.

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Graphics: 4/5

Team Ninja has always boasted some impressive visuals in their titles and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is no different. Hayabusa’s character model is incredibly detailed, being able to see every cloth line on his scarf, every glimmering shine on his sword and top-notch, fluid animations. As Hayabusa cuts down his enemies, their blood stains on his body and the more you kill, the more bloodied up Ryu gets. It’s definitely a great little detail that further adds to the immersion. Ayane, Momiji and Kasumi have been very well designed also, with the same level of detail and attention as Hayabusa. Enemies all have a distinguished look to them and have a good amount of detail as well. Seeing enemies decapitate again is also a very welcome return that further adds to the gory visuals. The environment detail can occasionally be a mixed bag however. Certain areas look pretty nice with some great detail. At other times, it just looks more on the bland side. The game still runs at 60 fps, which is a necessity for an action game like this. Since the game is based on the 1.3 patch update for the Wii U, the frame rate has been stabilized tremendously and rarely drops. It’s great to see Team Ninja improving the game from a technical standpoint as well.

Well crap...time to prepare controller-throwing frustration again

Well crap…time to prepare controller-throwing frustration again

Sound: 4/5

Ninja Gaiden 3′s overall sound design is incredibly well done. The sound effects of cutting through enemies is very powerful and gruesome to hear, perfectly accompanying the visceral combat. The excellent soundtrack also conveys the action in a way that truly engages you into the gameplay and will stick with you well after playing the game. True story: I’ve listened to NG3’s soundtrack for over a year now on a daily basis…yes, it’s that’s awesome. Hayabusa’s voice actor, Troy Baker, does a solid job of delivering dialogue lines during cutscenes. However, it’s his incredibly badass battle cry while in combat that provides adrenaline during battle. Voice acting for all the other characters are pretty good, but nothing stellar that we’ve come to witness throughout this generation. “I don’t wanna die…I don’t wanna die!” is no longer a line that enemies will say during combat and their banter is not as repetitive as it was in NG3. Ayane’s voice is a bit on the “bratty” side though and comes off a bit childish at times. Regardless, the sound effects and adrenaline-fueled soundtrack really bring out the best in the audio department.

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Overall Score: 17/20 = 8.5 out of 10

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is proof that the new Team Ninja has what it takes to develop further installments in the franchise. I can’t stress enough that Razor’s Edge is the quintessential version of Ninja Gaiden 3 that should not be missed by any NG fan. If you already own the Wii U version, there’s no reason to pick this up again on the PS3/360 (even if there are some extra costumes). However, if you held off for Razor’s Edge to come to the PS3/360, then don’t pass this up at all. With one of the best combat systems ever designed, a coherent story, devilish difficulty, tons of extra content, replay value, a truly exceptional soundtrack, and a raw intensity that little to no games can match, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is a must-own for any NG and/or hack-and-slash fan. The game’s tagline may be “Violence Reborn”, but I say it’s “Ninja Gaiden Reborn”.

PROs:

+ Feels like a completely different experience; More in-line with Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2

+ Visceral combat system is amongst the best ever designed

+ Outstanding soundtrack and audio design

+ NES Ninja Gaiden references

+ Great replay value; Multiple costumes and “Chapter Challenge” returns

+ Ninja Trials now feature Hayabusa, Ayane, Momiji and Kasumi

CONs:

– Voice acting can be a mixed bag

– Some bland environments

– Camera can still be an issue during combat

A special thank you to Tecmo Koei for providing us a review copy for Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge! Game was reviewed based on the PS3 version.

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for the latest in gaming news and reviews.

Team Ninja Undergoing “Restructuring”

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Tecmo Koei has decided to make a major change to the team behind the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series. Team Ninja, as it’s known now, will cease to exist and will be split into two teams consisting of the current members of Team Ninja, titled “Ichigaya Development” divisions.

Group 1 will be lead by former Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi, while Group 2 will be led by Team Ninja’s managing director Keisuke Kikuchi.

Though Team Ninja is technically still around in some form, it’s sad to see the end of such a big name in gaming over the past decade or so. However, Tecmo Koei seems to think this break-down may put an upshot on future game releases, so time will tell whether this restructuring is for the best or not.

Dead or Alive 5 Plus Review (PS Vita): “Team NINJA’s Most Impressive Vita Title”

Dead or Alive 5 Wallpaper

In September of 2012, Team NINJA released their highly-anticipated sequel to one of the hottest fighting franchises, Dead or Alive 5. The game provided for some intense fights, along with some cinematic elements to further heighten the sense of battle. A few months after the game’s release, Yosuke Hayashi announced that “Dead or Alive 5 Plus” would be coming to the PS Vita so that fans can take the fight on-the-go. Additionally, the game was promised a few new features that make the “plus” portion of the title stand for something. So how does Team NINJA’s port of DOA5 handle on the Vita?

Gameplay: 5/5

Dead or Alive was always an interesting fighter, and not solely because of the chicks and their “boob physics”. DOA was built around the concept of a “Rock, Paper, Scissors” fighting mechanic, in which certain moves work out better against others. Still to this day, this mechanic really stands out by providing a very complex, yet gratifyingly sense of accomplishment when understood. Thankfully, newcomers, as well as fans who need a brush up course, will be taught how every mechanic comes into play via DOA5+’s Story mode.

DOA5+‘s Story mode takes place shortly after the events of DOA4, in which Kasumi is determined to find Alpha-152, her weaponized clone that DOATEC created, and eradicate her completely. In the meantime, Helena Douglas is trying to give DOATEC a re-imaging by holding a fifth Dead or Alive tournament and showcase that they’re not all about creating weapons. Throughout the game’s 60+ missions (which will take roughly 3 hours to complete), you will take control of every character from the DOA universe and witness how their story connects with everything at hand. The story jumps around a good amount due to the fact that you’ll focus on a specific character each chapter and see their whole story, as opposed to a linear story structure. It has an intriguing opening scene that will definitely grab your attention, however the story from this point all the way until the halfway point won’t garner your attention as much. It’s not until the second half where the story really picks up tremendously and has you truly engaged. Regardless, the pacing is properly done and you’ll find yourself getting through this in no time, mainly because it has a “one more fight” appeal to it. To add some replay value to the story, Team NINJA added Bonus Missions in each fight where you’ll have to complete a certain stipulation (i.e. Perform 3 Mid-Counters, Perform a Ground Hold 3 Times, etc.). Completing these will unlock Titles, which are mainly to add some taglines to your profile when going online. You can have up to two Titles shown on your profile at once.

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Aside from the Story, you’ll have your main fight modes such as Versus, Arcade, Time Attack, Survival and Training. Versus will let you take on your buddies or the COM in any way you see fit, solo or tag team. You’ll be able to adjust the COM’s difficulty, health bars, rounds, and time limit. Arcade mode will have you tackling eight stages in solo, or five stages in tag team, against the COM in a range of up to eight difficulties: Rookie, Easy, Normal, Hard, Champ, True Fighter, Master and Legend. Time Attack is the same ordeal as Arcade except it’s about getting through the stages as fast as possible to post a competitive time for people to beat on the leaderboards. Survival is back as well from the past, this time broken up into difficulties and each difficulty adds more fighters you’ll have to take on. Each time you take out an opponent, you’ll receive a little bit of health back but if you’re expecting to pick up items that bump up your score (from previous DOAs) from downed fighters, that won’t be found here. Training returns as well with even more features at your disposal to truly let you master your characters in a variety of scenarios. The Command Training is where you’ll want to get the most out of mastering your character as it will showcase every move in order. Should you need to see what you’re supposed to be doing, you can press the Select and L buttons together to view a demo of that particular move; a very handy feature.

When it comes to fighting games, there’s always the concern of characters not being properly balanced. Thankfully, there’s no need to worry about that here. If there’s one thing Team NINJA has done extensively, it’s design characters that all have their pros and cons but never overpower each other, especially with all the latest PS3 patches being already incorporated in the Vita version. When choosing one of the 24 characters, you’ll notice that for the first time ever, they have a stat breakdown. All characters are rated based on Strike, Throw, Hold, Power, Speed and Moves. There’s not a single fight that you’ll partake in thinking “damn, this character is cheap” and the reason for this is DOA’s infamous Counter system. When it comes to an intuitive counter system, DOA has always stood on top of the list of fighters. It is because of this counter system that the fights in DOA are always interesting and edgy. They have returned to the 4-point counter system (hi, mid, mid-forward and low), in which you’ll have to master when to counter an opponent’s move or stop their combo.

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There are a few new features to be found in DOA5 that are well implemented. First off, new moves that can make battles more interesting and provide more flair are the Critical Strikes and Power Blows. Critical Strikes will allow you to really give your opponent no chance of countering or attacking for a little bit more time than normal. To successfully pull this off however, you’ll need to string a combo and then a Critical Strike move for it to be effective. You’ll know you did it right because a powerful audio effect and screen shake will kick in at that moment. Power Blows are charged up moves (think Ultimate Techniques from Ninja Gaiden) that can be initiated when your health bar is flashing red (which is at the 50% mark) and if pulled off successfully, you’ll witness a flashy and brutal combo to only be finished off by quickly choosing a specific location or Danger Zone to knock the opponent into. You’ll only get one of these per round so you can’t abuse this system continuously in a match. Speaking of Danger Zones though, DOA5 introduces a much more enhanced type known as Special Danger Zones. Knocking opponents into these will cause the environment to alter, whether it’s causing the building you’re on to collapse, a raft to dislodge from a tree and fall off a waterfall, or knock someone into a military chopper and blow it up. These moments are jaw-dropping to say the least and give DOA5+ an intense, cinematic style to the fights that really bring a deep immersion into them. Initiating these Special Danger Zones to trigger is immensely satisfying as it really draws out the intensity of a battle to a whole new level…literally. Another feature brought to DOA5 is partially one that was implemented in DOA: Dimensions for the 3DS and that is the ability to have your move list open in front of you during a fight. Where as the 3DS used the touch screen to showcase your move list and you could tap the move to pull it off automatically, DOA5+ has it placed in a corner of your screen and you’ll be able to scroll through it with the right analog stick. However, just note that you can’t have the move be pulled off for you like the 3DS edition. Lastly, the one additional feature to further add to game’s combat are the Cliffhangers. Cliffhangers will initiate when your opponent is knocked off a high ledge from environmental alteration and from here, a little mini-game is in effect. As the striker that initiated it, you’ll have to press either the Throw or Attack (Punch or Kick) button to keep dealing more damage to your opponent while transitioning to the next part of the arena. As the defendant, you’ll have to press a button to quickly grab the ledge, followed by the Throw or Attack button in hopes of pressing the same button as your opponent. Should you succeed, you’ll deflect the opponent’s attack. It’s a great little addition that changes up the pace of the fight and just look amazing to see in action. Every character has their own unique Cliffhanger attacks that are showcased and seeing them all is a pure joy.

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In terms of new characters to the series, Mila and Rig make their first debuts and to much welcome. Mila is an MMA fighter and seeing how popular the sport is in today’s times, it seems like a logical route to go. Her strikes are incredibly fast and proves to be a likable character that many may want to look into trying out. Rig, a Tae Kwon Do fighter, is another very welcome addition. His expertise in lightning fast kicks and sleek maneuverability make him a character that many may want to also consider testing out. Then you have your Virtua Fighter cameo characters: Akira, Sarah and Pai. For you Virtua Fighter fans, you’ll be glad to hear that Team NINJA replicated these characters exactly the way you remember from their respective series. Everything from the character’s details, to their move set is here in full swing.

Now DOA5+ does have some exclusive features that need to be brushed on. First off, they’ve added a new mode called “Touch Battle”. Essentially, this puts the game in a first-person perspective and you’ll have to tap, swipe, pinch and hold the screen to make your way through a fight. For those that played Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the DS, it felt very much like that and works extraordinarily well. I was a bit weary of how this mode was going to be handled but Team NINJA made it where it’s not gimmicky and rather, quite addictive. Another addition lies within the Training modes. Now, there’s a Combo Challenge mode for every character so that you can learn and master some of the more complex combos. It starts off easy and as you progress, naturally gets very demanding. However, completing these are immensely rewarding and mastering them will give you the upper hand against some of the better players online. Another nice feature for DOA5 Plus is that all the characters are unlocked right from the beginning. Those who were grinding tons of hours just to unlock Alpha-152…well, she’s already unlocked from the start here. Cross-Save between the PS3 and Vita version is in full effect here, so any progress with the Costumes and Titles will transfer over with no problems. Simply upload your save data for the PS3 version with the latest update, access it through the Vita and you’re good to go.

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Combo Challenge mode is a great way to master some intricate combos.

Naturally, many people are looking forward to taking DOA online and there are a few modes in play here. You can keep it straight forward by doing Simple Match, which is basically an unranked match and probably a good place for beginners to start. DOA competitors will most certainly be tackling the Ranked Matches so that they can show off their skills and receive higher grades. The grade system from DOA4 and DOA: Dimensions is back in play here but for those who don’t know, you’ll earn Grade Points for each match won. Once you’ve earned enough points, you’ll go up a grade (i.e. F to F+, then to E-, then E, etc). However, should you lose a match, you’ll lose some points and can be degraded. The Lobby Match type has been removed from the Vita version. So if you enjoy the Tournament style play, you won’t find that here. The online experience was rock solid throughout my duration of playing matches. The latest update for the PS3 version that’s incorporated into the Vita version allows for Cross-Play online battles. Every online match I had ran butter smooth, with little to no lag input. What’s really neat is that it shows if someone is playing through their PS3 or Vita when in a match. Also returning from DOA: Dimensions are Throwdowns, except it’s a bit different this time around. While playing the game offline, you can receive Throwdown invitations mid-fight. Simply pressing the Select button, you can accept someone’s invitation and initiate an online match (think of SFIV or MvC3 where you have the Arcade Request except you aren’t forced into them). It’s a cool feature that keeps the online aspect of the game constantly going.

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Graphics: 4/5

Visually, DOA5 looked stunning for the most part, and DOA5+ looks great as well, with some sacrifices that needed to be made. The character models are still very well detailed, showcasing sweat during fights, as well as environment interaction. Should the characters fight in the middle of a warzone, sand and dirt will stick to the character as the fight goes on. Same goes for when you’re fighting in the snow. The snow will stick to the character and their clothing. It’s the attention to little details such as this that make the character models pop out more. In terms of the graphical sacrifice here, the models lack that extra shine or polish that was visible in the PS3 version. The lighting within the backdrops and environments are pretty good, but have been scaled back slightly. An example would be in the Rapids stage, when the raft is moving it’s way out of the cave towards the waterfall. In the PS3 version, you’d see the rays of light coming in through the cave. In here, the visual effect is gone. Regardless, whether you’re fighting on a moving raft through a cave, on a building top that’s falling apart, or on an elevator in a laboratory, every stage is detailed nicely. There are other things going on in the backgrounds of stages as well that really make the arenas stand out from being simple, cardboard-cutout environments. For example, when fighting in a gym boxing ring, you’ll see other people training in the background while your fight is going on. Again, it’s little details that add up to making the visuals pop out more.

The game runs at its signature 60 fps at all times and character animations are top-notch. All the animations for the fighters are incredibly choreographed and make watching them in action a complete spectacle. As amazing as these characters looked in action, the Story cutscenes had a different effect. Characters look pretty good in the cutscenes but mouths were very stiff when talking, making them look a bit odd at times.

As great as the game looked on PS3, there was a gripe I had that hurt the game’s graphics score, and the same applies here: inconsistent texture work in the environments. Most environments, as I stated, look great. However, some of the environmental textures seem a bit washed out. Everything in the immediate environment might look great but when you notice the ground and background, it certainly stands out from the more polished details within the environment, giving an inconsistent look. An example would be the Street and Primal levels, in which the ground textures look a bit bland. In the Primal level, the snake and alligator in the background are neat and look decent, but you’ll notice the textures don’t have that fine-tuned polish. Also, the grass textures look a bit off. In the Streets level, objects like a trashed car or barrels that you knock an enemy into could also look a bit sharper, as can the ground. However, then you have other stages like the Flow, Fuel, and Scramble stages that look absolutely stunning. While it’s a minor gripe, it’s one that definitely detracted from the visual score. Regardless, DOA5+ looks great, runs flawlessly and has some of the best character models in a portable fighting game.

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Sound: 4/5

DOA5+ has a great soundtrack that accompanies some truly powerful audio effects. From the moment you enter the main menu, the game gets your blood pumping, ready to get your fight on. Whether you’re fighting in a military zone, atop a collapsing building, in a jungle or on the streets, every track does a great job of capturing the setting of the fight. Music changes to more intense, dramatic tunes when a Special Danger Zone is initiated, heightening the adrenaline of a match. Some tunes also return from the previous DOAs, such as Christie’s theme and Alpha-152’s (which is always a badass song to fight to). DOA5 introduced background stage music that played in matches pertaining to the locations as opposed to the opponent’s theme song. In DOA5+, they’ve added an option to switch the music to play based on Character or Stage. Additionally, you can customize the Character’s battle theme to any song of your liking. This is a very welcome feature that audiophiles (like myself) will appreciate. The audio effects really do a great job of signifying how powerful every hit is, including when initiating the Critical Strikes and Power Blows. It all adds up in providing an adrenaline-fueled audio experience that goes hand-in-hand with the gameplay. Definitely a game to crank up your Vita’s speakers or headphones.

Unfortunately, there are two songs that really ruin the game’s well done soundtrack: Zack’s theme and “The Show” stage. Zack’s theme song is an incredibly childish and awkward song to listen to that will irritate to no end. The Show is a stage where you’ll fight in a circus and while the stage looks cool, playing overly cheerly carnival music in a dramatic fight just doesn’t fit…at all. As a matter of fact, I had the audio blasting the whole time I played DOA5+ but when these two songs would kick in, down that volume went. Luckily Zack’s theme only plays during his scenes in the story and The Show’s song is strictly for that level. Also, English Voice Acting is a mixed bag. The voice acting is ok, with some characters doing a decent job, while others are not as effective. Interestingly, for the Virtua Fighter characters, their audio sounds slightly muffled just like the way it does in those games. It’s actually pretty cool to see they’ve replicated those characters to that extent. For DOA fans, you can switch the voice acting audio track to Japanese to bring back the feel of the originals a bit more.

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Replay Value: 5/5

DOA5 Plus has a good amount of modes but they’ll surely keep you occupied for quite some time. Whether you’re aiming to earn 100% of the Titles (good luck with that), unlocking every costume for all the characters, unlocking all the system voices, completing all the Bonus Missions in the Story mode, tackling all the Combo Challenges for every character or playing the game with buddies locally or online, DOA5+ is a game that will stay in your Vita for months on end. Whether you play for 10 minutes or multiple hours straight, DOA5+ will provide an enormous amount of entertainment.

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Overall Score: 18/20 = 9.0 out of 10

DOA5+ is easily Team NINJA’s best title on the PS Vita. While the PS Vita has a plethora of fighters to choose from, I can’t stress enough that DOA is by far the most robust and satisfying one. There are a few quirks that counters DOA5+ from achieving perfection, but in terms of gameplay, this is a perfectly tuned fighter. The game was mentioned as “Fighting Entertainment” by Team NINJA and in that sense, they meant that the game was accessible to both newcomers who’ve never enjoyed fighting games, as well as the core fan base. They’ve definitely succeeded by providing an experience that anyone can wrap their hands around and be engrossed in. Fans rejoice! The PlayStation brand received its first proper portable DOA title…and it could very well be the best on-the-go fighting game available.

PROs:

+ Addictive, gratifying combat system

+ Strong audio

+ Jaw-dropping Special Danger Zones; Cliffhangers are awesome

+ Great amount of content to keep the replay value going

+ Character balancing is finely tuned

+ Background Music customization is a nice feature

+ Combo Challenge is a great way to perfect intricate combos

+ Cross-Play works flawlessly

CONs:

– Some uneven environmental textures

– Ho-hum voice acting; some are decent, others not so much

– Lobby Match is missing from console version

A special thank you to Tecmo Koei, Team NINJA and One PR Studio for providing us a review copy for Dead or Alive 5 Plus! Be sure to follow us on FaceBook and Twitter for all the latest news and reviews: @GamersXTREME

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus Review (PS Vita): “A More Ambitious Port Than Its Predecessor”

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In 2008, Xbox 360 owners got their hands on a highly anticipated sequel to one of the greatest action games, Ninja Gaiden II. Almost a year and a half later, the sequel received the “Sigma” treatment, coming exclusively to the PS3 with better visuals, an online co-op mission mode and other tweaks. When the Vita released, Team Ninja created a portable version of the first Ninja Gaiden Sigma (NGS+ for the Vita) for launch day. One year since the PS Vita’s launch and we see Sigma 2 coming to the Vita. However, is this port better than Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus?

Story: 3/5

Ninja Gaiden’s story for the sequel remains unchanged from what was released on the 360, in addition to the scenes added in Sigma 2 for PS3. The game starts off in Sky City Tokyo, where CIA agent Sonia is speaking with Muramasa of the whereabouts of Ryu Hayabusa. She mentions that she needs to speak with him of a matter concerning the archfiend. Immediately, Muramasa’s shop is attacked by the Black Spider Clan with Sonia being captured (although she does attempt to fight back). Enter Hayabusa, coming in secretly, stylishly and deadly as hell. From here, Hayabusa will soon rescue Sonia and be brought in on the details of why he is needed. Elizébet, the Greater Fiend of Blood, is looking to resurrect the Archfiend and bring the world into chaos, being overrun and ruled by fiends. Hayabusa will find himself returning to the iconic Hayabusa Village, New York City, Venice and other key locales to try and prevent Elizébet and her group of greater fiends from this catastrophic resurrection.

Ninja Gaiden’s story is entertaining, but nothing great by any means. It serves the purpose of the player understanding why Hayabusa is going to each location, but never gives the feel of wanting to advance to see where the plot goes. In the NES era, Ninja Gaiden was synonymous for its story, whereas the newer ones (except for Ninja Gaiden 3 / NG3:Razor’s Edge) seemed to step away from that a good amount. What’s here is decent, but certainly the weakest element of the game.

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Gameplay: 4/5

If you’ve never played Ninja Gaiden II / Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, but played the first game, let’s quickly touch up on how the gameplay evolved. First off, the combat is faster, slicker and more visceral than its predecessor. Also, while the original was more of an adventure, the sequel is set on a more linear path, with some exploration and platforming to be found. Combat is handled with light and strong attacks, while emphasizing the blocking mechanic if you want to have any chance of success. Combat has always been one of the key components as to what made the recent Ninja Gaiden series what it is, as well as its menacing difficulty. This sequel introduced the ability to dismember your foe, while also introducing Obliteration Techniques, which allow you to decimate your enemy for good. When you dismember an enemy, they’re not quite down yet, as they’ll do anything they can to grab onto you and inflict severe damage on Ryu. If anything, they’re more deadly dismembered than fully intact. When defeating enemies, they’ll leave essence orbs behind: Yellow for currency, Red for ki and Blue for health. They’ll automatically come to you when they hover in the air but if you block and attack, they remain there. The reason? You can charge up your strong attack to initiate an Ultimate Technique, a devastating move that will allow Ryu to pull off anywhere from 20-60 hit combos easily. If there are essence orbs in the area when charging up this attack, they’ll all absorb directly to you to immediately grant you the highest charge, at the expense of the essence effects. It helps make the combat a bit more complex by making you think if you’re willing to sacrifice the essence effect for a quick charge UT to help make it out of a tough battle.

While playing through the 17 chapter campaign, you’ll also take control of Momiji, Rachel and Ayane in their own exclusive chapters from Sigma 2. Each character plays entirely different from each other. Momiji dishes out some serious damage while also being agile and being able to double jump. Rachel wields a war hammer that’ll crush anything in her way, while also taking out foes with her semi-auto rifle. In return, she also handles combat the slowest of the characters. Ayane’s light, yet deadly, blades make her the fastest to handle but not the strongest. These characters all play to their advantages and help keep the gameplay fresh when giving Hayabusa a break. When taking control of Hayabusa, you’ll have a plethora of weaponry that he can wield. From the signature Dragon Sword, the vicious Vigorian Flail, deadly Lunar Staff, Dual Katanas, Kusari-gama, Tonfas, Enma’s Fang (which was new for Sigma 2), and the Eclipse Scythe, Hayabusa has a deadly arsenal. As you advance through the campaign, you’ll be able to upgrade these weapons whenever you reach Muramasa’s Blue Lantern shop. As you upgrade them, the move sets will become more diverse and they’ll also change cosmetically. You’ll also be able to upgrade your Ninpo when you find a Jewel of the Demon Seal that are hidden in boxes/chests.

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When it comes to the Vita edition of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, there are a few things that were added into the game. First thing that’s worth mentioning are the touch screen controls. In the first Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, if you even slightly touched the screen, it would go into first-person mode. That has been removed here thankfully. When you want to use your bow or cannon (yeah, Ryu gets a beast of a gun in the first half of the game), you’ll simply tap the icon on the bottom left of the screen and go into the over-the-shoulder perspective to aim (without Sixaxis motion aiming). You can assign the aim and projectile weapons to be triggered with the game’s rear touchpad, but it’s completely optional. Also, there’s no Ninpo enhancing rear touchpad feature like in Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus. However, the one addition I did like that was brought back from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword was the ability to double-tap the screen to fire off a projectile weapon. If there’s a hovering enemy on the top-right corner of the screen, you can double-tap on him and your character will fire a projectile at him. I found myself doing this often and it came in handy. The one negative element that actually hurts the gameplay a bit in the Vita version is the framerate. When the framerate chugs at times, the input responses lags and just ruins the game’s fluidity that it has been known for. While it doesn’t happen the entire time you’re playing, there are times it will kick in and it’s noticeable. Although, even when the framerate slows down a bit, the game is still more than playable.

Upon completing the game, there’s a great amount of replay value. First off, there’s Chapter Challenge, which lets you replay any of the game’s 17 chapters on a variety of difficulties. You’ll still be able to save at checkpoints when playing this mode and at the end of each chapter, you’ll be graded on your performance based on kills, time and karma score. Next is Tag Missions, which is basically the PS3 version’s online co-op mode. However, since the game turns off all network connections when playing, online co-op is now replaced with you and an AI co-oping the missions. The AI is actually pretty competent at holding their own but should they go down, you’ll need to head over to them quickly and revive them. A nice addition here is that you can switch between the two characters at anytime by simply pressing down on the D-Pad. Prior to starting these missions, you’ll have to choose the loadout for both you and your AI partner. This will include the character of choice, their main weapon, projectile weapon, ninpo and costume. You’ll be able to play on various modes here, which is new from the PS3 version. Normal mode will be like the PS3 experience. Practice mode will grant you and your partner unlimited revivals during missions. Then there’s a “Turbo” mode you’ll unlock, which increases the game’s speed 1.5 times faster.

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The last mode that’s brand new and exclusive for the Vita version is Ninja Race. This mode has you trying to complete a course from the campaign as fast as possible, with a very limited amount of time. You’ll start with a set time but as you kill enemies, they may drop green essence orbs that increase your time by either 3.5 or 7 seconds. You’ll also need to chain kills together and you’ll have a meter that depletes in betweens kills. Should you take damage, the meter will deplete quicker. Some enemies may drop white essence orbs that add an additional combo bar to increase the meter’s time limit. If you lose the combo kill meter, you’ll be missing out on scoring some big points and the higher medals. Occasionally, enemies will drop purple essence orbs that you’ll collect. These will grant you the ability to trigger you and the enemies around you into “Turbo” mode. Like I mentioned in the Tag Missions section, “Turbo” will make the game run 1.5 times faster than before and due to the strict time limits, you’ll need this to reach the end of the course in time. Each course will contain checkpoints that increase your time limit dramatically. It’s an incredibly challenging yet addictive mode that I would love to see in future NG installments, especially with an online co-op buddy.

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Graphics: 4/5

I’ve stated this before and I’ll state it again: The PS Vita cannot replicate exact PS3 quality graphics, but it can certainly come close. That being said, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus had to have some sacrifices made to fit onto Sony’s handheld device. The cutscenes are all pre-rendered from the console versions (360’s for most since the gore effects are intact for cutscenes, PS3’s for the additional exclusive scenes and/or you switch the gore off) which is fine…until it transitions to the gameplay. From here, you’ll notice the resolution isn’t as sharp but what’s here is still great. The environmental textures are still pretty sharp for the most part and character models, while scaled down, still look really good. However, the main element that hurt the score a bit in this department was the framerate. NGS+ ran at 30 fps, which fans weren’t too keen of since the NG series demands quick reflexes. NGS2+ also runs at 30 fps, however, can dip down to 20 fps depending on how many enemies are on-screen and how much is happening in the environment. Interestingly, the framerate can be a bit smoother if you switch the gore off to the infamous purple mist and increase the camera sensitivity to the highest settings. It’s a bizarre fix but helps the game maintain the 30 fps much more. On the flip side, the environments haven’t lost much detail at all, including the Temple of Sacrifice which has all the flying fiends in the background in full effect. The animations are still as smooth and fluid as ever before. They definitely packed as much visual content as they could into the game and it still looks great honestly. You just need to adjust to the framerate decrease from the console versions. If you’ve never played the console versions, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you.

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Sound: 5/5

If there’s one thing Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus has, it’s incredibly strong audio. The audio ported over really well, with the sounds of decapitations, swords clashing and environmental effects sounding superb. The voice acting is pretty good and helps carry the story along. However, the real knockout here is the phenomenal soundtrack. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus’s hi-energy, varied soundtrack really gets you pumped for the action on-screen, as well as the exploration involved. Every single track truly captures the game’s moments and immerses you into the game. Plug in your headphones and crank up the volume to the max, because this is one killer audio experience!

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Overall Score: 16/20 = 8.0 out of 10

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus is a much more ambitious port than last year’s original and is still a great game on its own merit. Compared to Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, this sequel has a much better “on-the-go” feel to it thanks to more frequent save spots and faster gameplay. However, if you own a PS3, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is best played on there. If not or just love the NG series, then Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus will do very well in your Vita collection (as it is still one of the best action games ever made). Framerate complaints aside, it’s still the great game it was on consoles. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus packs a ton of replay value that will keep you coming back for quite some time.

PROs:

+ Intense combat system

+ Outstanding soundtrack

+ Plenty of replay value

+ Ninja Race is a great new mode

CONs:

– Lower framerate

– Story was, and still isn’t, anything great

– Online Co-op removed from PS3’s NGS2

Enjoy the review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for all the latest in gaming news and reviews!

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge Officially Coming to PS3 & 360

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Looks like PS3 and 360 owners who haven’t picked up a Wii U will be able to experience the true Ninja Gaiden 3 experience. Confirmed by Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will be available on April 2nd, 2013 in North America and April 5th, 2013 in Europe for both the PS3 and 360. Here’s what Yosuke Hayashi had to say about the PS3/360 announcement:

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is the most action-packed and feature rich Ninja Gaiden game ever created. The brutal combat will challenge the hardest of hardcore Ninja Gaiden fans while also rewarding them with tons of bonus content and new features including three playable female characters, new stages, and three times as many Ninja Trial missions.

Many NG fans were up-in-arms when they heard the definitive version of Ninja Gaiden 3 was going to be a Wii U exclusive. Fans who waited only have to wait two more months before they can experience the NG3 that Wii U owners have been enjoying since its launch in November (we gave NG3: Razor’s Edge an 8.5).

Will you be getting Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge for PS3/360? Sound off in the comments below!

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus Box Art Revealed

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Later next month, Vita owners will be able to pickup Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, practically one year since NGS+ was released. While this edition appears to be receiving more additional treatment than NGS+, we still haven’t seen any footage that showcases the game on the Vita. However, the box art has been revealed:

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It’s more or less the same box as the PS3 except the blue arc and feather on the left side of the box are additional. Hopefully we’ll start seeing how the game is shaping up for the Vita soon as we near the game’s release.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus is slated for release on February 26th, 2013. Will you be picking it up? Sound off in the comments below!

Hayashi Defends Wii U’s Processor; States It’s “Next Generation”

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It appears Hayashi is really optimistic about the Wii U. Earlier this morning, he stated how the team is eager to release more games on the platform. In another interview, this time with Edge, he defends the console’s CPU processor, despite the comment 4A Games (Metro: Last Light) stated about it being a “horrible, slow CPU”.

“To be completely blunt and honest, there’s no way that the Wii U processor is ‘horrible and slow’ compared to other platforms,”

“I think that comment was just 4A trying to find a scapegoat for a simple business decision on their part.”

“If you’re basing this simply on processor speed, then it’s not next generation,”

“If you’re basing this on Wii U being a new idea that challenges existing platforms, then it definitely is next generation. It is a console videogame platform that is now independent of the TV. Nobody has done that before…It’s no mistake to say that we have entered a period where it’s difficult to provide an obvious difference to many players based on processor speed alone. Players want new innovation that includes the environment in which you play and services you use, rather than just raw processor spec.”

Hayashi’s standpoint on Nintendo’s new console is one that is positive, open-minded and refreshing to hear. As with any new console, developers need time to learn to harness its power. Once developers learn the console’s strengths, we’ll start to really see some unique and fresh experiences on the Wii U.

Team Ninja Very Interested in Developing More Wii U Titles

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In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine, head ninja Yosuke Hayashi stated that he’s very interested in bringing more titles to the table for the Wii U. Here’s what he had to say:

“We are working on an action game, and we are looking into other titles for Wii U.”

“One of the reasons we decided to develop Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was because we heard about the development concept of Wii U itself early on. I think that starting development early was what allowed us to create a game that fully takes advantage of the hardware specs and special features.”

It’s great to hear a developer fully backing a new console and it’s exciting to see what Team Ninja has in store. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was a great launch title (read our review here) for the console and it seemed they had a solid grasp on the hardware for their first title on the Wii U.

Excited to see what Team Ninja has in development for the Wii U? Sound off in the comments below!

Dead or Alive 5 Plus Gets Vita-Specific Features and Release Date

Tecmo Koei and Team NINJA just made a press announcement today stating that Dead or Alive 5 Plus is coming to PS Vita on March 22nd, 2013. While it will contain the content from the PS3/360 version, it will also contain a few more features.

For starters, the game will contain Cross-Platform play so you can play online with the PS3 and Vita versions. They’ve also added a mode where you can use the touch screen to fight, while being in first-person view and holding the system in “portrait” form. Additionally, training has received even more functions due to increased framework.

Here’s the full press announcement:

Team NINJA today released new information and assets for its upcoming DEAD OR ALIVE® 5 PLUS fighting game for the PlayStation®Vita handheld system. The new generation of DEAD OR ALIVE combat will come to the handheld system on March 22, 2013 with cross-platform features that allow players to play matches against opponents on both PlayStation 3 and PS Vita while sharing costumes across both platforms.

Team NINJA also revealed additional feature details for both casual and core players, speaking to the game’s accessibility and depth:

§ Touch Play Mode: Experience battles in DEAD OR ALIVE 5 PLUS through two new styles of touch combat with the PS Vita held vertically in portrait mode to get a first-person, full-screen view of your opponent at maximum size. In Mode 1, tap the opponent to attack them in that spot. In Mode 2, touch, flick, and pinch the screen to attack your opponent with more finesse and options. Both methods offer players an instinctive way to fight while seeing their opponent in the highest graphic detail.

§ Training Plus Mode: Build your fighting skills and knowledge by playing through challenging missions, each of which offers a fun experience while imparting practical knowledge.

§ More detailed Frame Data: Three times the details for each move in real-time. Unbelievably detailed information like delay interval frames, move reach and more. A game-changing feature for serious players!

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 PLUS brings the signature DOA fighting style to PS Vita with all-new system-specific features complementing the stunning graphics and new martial arts techniques of the recent console release. Players will take on the roles of the cast of DOA fighters in an action-packed brawler set in visually striking international locales, with each stage featuring interactive backdrops. With a sensual yet realistic style, characters are rendered in incredibly lifelike detail.

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 PLUS is developed by Team NINJA and published by Tecmo Koei. More details will be shared leading up to the game’s release.

It’s certainly exciting to see DOA5 coming to the PS Vita (I scored the console version a 9.0 out of 10). Are you interested in DOA5 Plus? Sound off in the comments below!