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Zero Punctuation takes a katana to Ninja Gaiden 2

It's been a while since Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee has loosed his venom on an unsuspecting Xbox 360 game. It's been far too long, really. Thankfully, Yahtzee's latest review is for none other than the Xbox 360's would-be premier action game, Ninja Gaiden 2. Expecting the worst, as we tend to do with ZP reviews, it turns out that he actually likes it ... to a degree, citing strengths (gameplay) and weaknesses (glitches and uneven difficulty). Frankly, we think it's a perfectly rational way to feel about the game (except for his preference of the claws, which pale in comparison to the double katanas). Check out the review after the break.

Continue reading Zero Punctuation takes a katana to Ninja Gaiden 2

Itagaki unloads evidence, raises damages claim

With Tecmo's attempts at getting a gag order failing and bad blood still staining the Tecmo name, Tomonobu Itagaki is steadfast in following through with the lawsuit against his former boss with the introduction of new evidence and an increase in his damages claim.

Recently, Itagaki submitted all kinds of documents and recordings as evidence to help his case against Tecmo, where he claims they owe him all kinds of cash. The documents include signed contracts and a transcript of a recording between Itagaki and Tecmo president Yoshimi Yasuda where they discussed and agreed on contract terms. Also, with the new evidence coming to light, Itagaki has increased his lawsuit's damages from $1.3 million USD to $1.5 million USD. Itagaki is raging mad. Don't mess with a raging mad Itagaki.

The cutest badass: Ryu Hayabusa Munny

Continuing the tradition of turning badasses into Munny dolls, one Justin Baldwin has created the best cute / deadly hybrid yet, a Ryu Hayabusa Munny. Just look at him! He's adorable ... all soaked in blood like that. He comes complete with the Eclispe scythe and Falcon's Talons from Ninja Gaiden II. He even has little bitty shuriken strapped to his leg. Frankly, the combination of killer and cuddly is a little confusing. We imagine Munny Ryu uses that to his advantage as he systematically dismembers people.

[Via TheBBPS]

Confirmed: NG2 'Mission Mode' DLC on July 25th

Thanks to some Xbox Live Marketplace advertising, we've already known about the latest Ninja Gaiden 2 downloadable content headed our way this month. Well, today Microsoft officially confirmed its existence and some DLC details announcing a new NG2 Mission Mode pack of DLC.

The Mission Mode DLC will release later this month on July 25th and include 25 various mini-challenges where players are tested to stay alive the longest, kill with certain weapons and other tasks. And, of course, all high scores will be tracked via online leaderboards. The new game mode will not come cheap though, as it's slated to release for an "ouch" inducing 800 Microsoft points. Then again, NG2 fanboys should be used to expensive DLC by now anyway.

Rumor: NG2 gets worthwhile DLC July 25?

Thank you sharp-eyed forum posters, you may have spotted something that could mean Ninja Gaiden 2 will actually get some content worth paying for. Mentioned over at NeoGAF, and spotted somewhere on the XBL Marketplace, was the mention that NG2 will get a downloadable mission mode on the 25th of this month.

The mission mode that was in the original iteration was incredibly popular among the franchise faithful for its focus on the game's main strength: pure combat. There are of course no details on how the implementation will work, but as long as it isn't just more of the Tests of Valor (we're really tired of that environment) we'll be ready to shell out the points if this hits on the 25th. Anyone else out there spot this on the Marketplace yet?

Ninja Gaiden 2 Costume Concept Art

To go with the overpriced and and relatively pointless downloadable costumes for Ninja Gaiden 2, we've got even more relatively pointless stuff for you. Why would we do such a thing you ask? Because cheap as the actual DLC is (we're really opposed to it more on principle) this relatively pointless stuff is absolutely free, that's why. And while we've seen one of the DLC concepts before, the shots are now hi-res and great for some backgrounds or wallpaper. What're ya waitin' for? Right-Click -> Save Picture As already!

Gallery: Ninja Gaiden DLC Concept Art

Too expensive Ninja Gaiden II costume DLC now available

Just as was promised a few months back, the Itagaki-less Team Ninja and Microsoft Game Studios have partnered to release three chunks of new Ninja Gaiden II downloadable content to the XBLM. Content that we've previously compared to Oblivion's legendarily overpriced horse armor, because for comparative purposes, that's what it is. The NGII DLC comes in the form of three costume packs that allows you to cloth Ryu in five color variations of either Biometal, Shadow Walker or Fiend Hayabusa duds (all viewable here). The rub, each costume variant will cost you 200 Microsoft points. Ouchy! Ouchy indeed.
  • Biometal Hayabusa Costume Pack - 200
  • Shadow Walker Hayabusa Costume Pack - 200
  • Fiend Hayabusa Costume Pack - 200
[Photo via GameSpot forums]

Fanswag: Win 1600 MS Point codes and Ninja Gaiden 2

This is the last day of our 3 day Microsoft Point extravaganza. Today we're really upping the ante. Today we have ten 1600 MS Point codes to giveaway and we're also throwing in Ninja Gaiden 2 for our grand prize winner! In honor of Ryu and his ninja skills, we thought it fitting to also giveaway his would-be nemesis, Kung Fu Panda, to our second prize winner (at least it has achievement points, right?). For your shot at one of the ten codes, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Kung Fu Panda, follow the instructions below.
  • Leave a comment on this post telling us what you would buy with 1600 Microsoft Points. We don't care if it's actually on the Marketplace or not.
  • Only one comment per person will be accepted. Posters of multiple comments will be disqualified. We'll accept entries until 6:00PM Eastern time today, June 20, 2008. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. This giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec).
  • Later today, we'll pick 10 winners via a random drawing
  • One grand prize winner will receive a redemption code for 1600 Microsoft Points and a copy of Ninja Gaiden 2, worth a total of $80; one second place winner will receive a redemption code for 1600 Microsoft Points and a copy of Kung Fu Panda, worth a total of $60; and eight third place winners will each receive a redemption code for 1600 Microsoft Points, worth $20 each.
  • Complete giveaway rules can be found here

Tecmo attempts to quiet Itagaki, denies exodus rumors

In an effort to quell widespread rumors surrounding the business practices of the company, Tecmo has filed an injunction against former Team Ninja lead Tomonobu Itagaki. Filed in a Tokyo District Court, the injunction places a four-point gag order on Itagaki, effectively removing his opinion from the public forum beyond his existing comments on the matter against Tecmo.

The provisional disposition prohibits:
  • Disclosing or leaking information regarding Tecmo's game software, sales, development or any other company secrets
  • Using newspapers, magazines and the internet to criticize company software and company employees
  • Obstructing the company's business through slanderous remarks to third parties
  • Interviews regarding Tecmo or discuss the company and its practices to the press
In a statement made today, Tecmo has vehemently denied recent reports that dozens of Team Ninja employees have resigned in the wake of Itagaki's announcement and a lawsuit has been filed against the company on behalf of its 300 employees. Calling the reports "groundless" and "inaccurate," Tecmo has asked the media to approach the situation with a fair and balanced view. We'll update the story as details emerge, however, as proven by the injunction against Itagaki it looks like Tecmo would like to silence anyone who could shed light on the situation.

[via Talking About Games & Joystiq]

Rumor: Up to three dozen Team Ninja members leave with Itagaki, AND file lawsuits

Wait, you mean there's actually a rumor today that didn't come from the infamous survey? Yup, indeed there is. This one comes to us from the good folks over at 1up who have been keeping their collective ears to the ground for just this purpose. Apparently, when Tomonobu Itagaki left Tecmo for not receiving his bonus, key members of the team realized just how badly they'd been shafted, and left as well.

So now the word is that they've all filed individual lawsuits of their own in response to not receiving their bonuses either. If Microsoft was smart they'd grab all these guys and give them a studio and game right away. Or maybe (despite what time and space may have to say about it) they already have ...

Introducing the Ninja Gaiden II page

Ladies and gentlmen, fanboys and girls, Xbox 360 Fanboy presents the Ninja Gaiden II page. This is our first page dedicated to a single game (you may have seen similar pages on Joystiq). On the page you will find all the major Ninja Gaiden II news stories, every Ninja Gaiden II screenshot, and all the Ninja Gaiden II features compiled into a single, bookmark-friendly page. The page will be updated as time goes on to include other features and stories as well (including an upcoming episode of Points>Life). This is only the first dedicated game page on X3F. Expect more to show up in the future. With major 360 exclusives right around the corner (Gears of War 2, Fable 2), there's plenty to cover.

For all things Ninja Gaiden II, check out the page right now.

Sharpen your swords for a Weekend of Vengeance

Hopefully you've perfected your ninja skills playing the Ninja Gaiden II demo, because the ninja lessons you've learned will be tested come Friday when Xbox Live hosts a Weekend of Vengeance.

Celebrating the release of Ninja Gaiden II, this Weekend of Vengeance which runs from June 13th through June 15th will feature an Achieve and Win sweepstakes where a few NGII themed Xbox 360s will be up for grabs as well as three XBVM ninja movies (Ninja Hunter, A Life of Ninja and Ninja in the Deadly Trap) will be available for download. For free! Finally, if you haven't been keeping track, all seven Live exclusive Ask a Ninja episodes will be downloadable as well. This weekend, be vengeful, be a ninja and be deadly ...

Ninja Gaiden II demo slashes North America

After one too many broken promises, the previously Japanese exclusive bloody ninja demo goodness has finally made its way overseas and not a moment too soon. Today, U.S. and Canadian Xbox Live members are being treated to a new'ish Ninja Gaiden II demo that's available for download right this ninja-second via the XBLM. You'll also be excited to hear that the demo comes complete with the option to view Japanese or English subtitles! W00t! And, for those of you who'd like to view our take on what the demo has to offer, be sure to check out our Ninja Gaiden II demo impressions video while waiting for your 858MBs to download. Miss you Itagaki ...

Tecmo stock down on loss of Itagaki

It looks like the departure of Tomonobu Itagaki from Tecmo is doing more than upsetting fans of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. It seems as though Itagaki's exit has worried Tecmo stockholders on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as well. According to GameSpot, shares in the company fell sharply on Wednesday upon the news. Upon closing on Tuesday, Tecmo's shares stood at ¥1,102 ($10.40). Shares fell to ¥985 ($9.30) upon opening Wednesday. The stock rose and fell throughout the day today, closing at ¥982 ($9.27). Ouch.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues without Itagaki at the helm of Team Ninja.

Tomonobu Itagaki: A Blood Splattered History

With the news of his recent departure and the release of his final swan-song to the Ninja Gaiden series, Tomonobu Itagaki has had an amazing career.

We've already tackled the history of Ninja Gaiden in our previous retrospective, A History of Violence, but this time we're going back to look at one of Ryu's most influential allies.

In this special feature we look back at the history of the man and how he helped re-shape Tecmo in the early 90s to the company they are today. Join us as we take a stroll through memory lane and examine the games, the controversies and the impending future of Tomonobu Itagaki.

Continue reading Tomonobu Itagaki: A Blood Splattered History

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