We had the exciting opportunity to interview Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection producer Fumihiko Yasuda on the recently announced re-release for all three classic Ninja Gaiden games: Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.
In our interview we talk up the design inspirations for the Ninja Gaiden reboot series overall, the features and content planned in the coming Master Collection, tweaks made to the previous releases under the “Sigma” versions, game difficulty levels, and more!
Find our full interview below:
Niche Gamer: What does your team think has been an overall inspiration when developing and expanding the Ninja Gaiden series?
Fumihiko Yasuda: The incredibly responsive controls and the unrelenting enemy AI are some of the things we’ve adopted over the years.
But at the same time, simply making games difficult isn’t our primary goal as it is to create an immersive game that players can enjoy navigating and overcoming. I think this core philosophy was carried over to other Team NINJA titles including the Nioh series.
What kinds of adjustments or upgrades can fans expect to see in the Master Collection?
FY: We focused on replicating the original games so there aren’t any major changes. But we’ve made adjustments to features like Tag Mission mode in which players previously have felt were really unfair and as a result was not well received in the past. Also, the graphics and stable frame rate have been improved.
The Switch version runs at 720p and the other platforms are 1080p, 60fps. 4K resolution and 60FPS for PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X/S, and Steam (hardware requirements necessary). Resolution and FPS may fluctuate during gameplay, and players will of course need to have a 4K TV or monitor to play in full 4K/60FPS.
What about the online multiplayer co-op mode that was added to the Sigma versions?
FY: Even though we didn’t include online multiplayer, Tag Missions can still be played in single player mode and we’ve made adjustments to some of the areas that we felt were unreasonably difficult. To be clear, we’ve not made any “adjustments” that will make the game any easier, so rest assured and hope everyone is up for the challenge!
The announcement mentioned the Master Collection includes “most of” the modes and DLC. How did your team go about deciding what makes the cut?
FY: As mentioned, online multiplayer is not included. Specifically, the online co-op portion of the Tag Missions in NINJA GAIDEN Sigma 2, and all of the Clan Battles in Shadows of the World in NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge. Also, online multiplayer in Ninja Trials is not included.
The reason is that in order to perfectly replicate the online system used from the past, not only would it require a great deal of time and money, it would also place limitations on the platforms we could release it on.
How would that affect releasing the Master Collection on other platforms?
FY: Given that dilemma we decided to increase the number of platforms we would release the collection on in order to reach as many players as possible rather than pursue the multiplayer feature. Nevertheless, a ranking system for competitive scoring has been implemented, and of course our signature Ninja Gaiden action can still be enjoyed to the fullest in classic single player mode.
There has been several versions of the original Ninja Gaiden and its Sigma counterpart with different features; what can fans of the first game expect with this iteration of the first Ninja Gaiden Sigma?
FY: The Sigma games are the latest versions of the games, and weapons, costumes and modes have been added. And of course the most important key feature of the action and difficulty are the same as the non-Sigma versions, so the additional features will make it an even more enjoyable challenge.
Would it be possible to add a Black-style difficulty for purists that want the most extreme difficulty?
FY: The difficulty is the same as the original Sigma version, but we have also added the MASTER NINJA mode so it’s a pretty intense challenge.
The Sigma 2 content was controversial due to the changes made from the original. Will this version of Sigma 2 retain those changes?
FY: Yes, it is the same as the original Sigma 2 game.
Ayane has been playable in many Team Ninja games like Dead or Alive, Project Zero 5 and of course Sigma 2… why does she get so much attention?
FY: Not only is she a popular character, but as a ninja she takes full advantage of her stealthiness and shadowy personality, which makes her really cool.
The announcement mentions a costume/character collab for Nioh 2, are the future crossovers planned for Ryu Hayabusa? Like perhaps a fighting game or otherwise?
FY: There are no plans currently, but if we were approached about something, we will definitely consider it. We’re still waiting for our invite!
What can we expect for the future of the Ninja Gaiden series after the Master Collection? Is this sort of testing the waters for more developments?
FY: If and when the time comes, we’ll let everyone know. You can count on it!
Thank you so much for your time – we’re exciting for the Master Collection!
FY: Thank you!
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection launches June 10th on Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.