New Ninja Gaiden Sigma Interview
Posted by Aaron on Monday, March 26, 2007
Can you talk about the overall graphics and what people can expect on the PS3?
The developers that say it’s too hard to develop for the PS3 and complain about it are missing the point. It sounds like an excuse to the consumer to us.”–Yosuke Hayashi, director for Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the PlayStation 3.
It’s not so much that we brought the game over to the PS3 as it is we more or less are recreating Ninja Gaiden with the most up-to-date graphic techniques in order to take advantage of the hardware. In order to have this be a great experience for both people who are new to the series as well as those who’ve enjoyed it since the beginning, we want to provide an experience that looks totally new and fresh. One of the best ways to do that was to have a game that runs at a 1080p with a constant 60 fps, and utilizes real-time self-shadowing. No other game as accomplished all three of these goals at once.
Was it always a plan to release it in the first year window of the PS3 and if it was is that something that you see being able get a new audience?
We wanted to provide this experience to people on a next-gen platform as soon as we possibly could. It wasn’t that we were aiming at first year timing.
Can you talk about what you’re doing with enemies and A.I. and is the PS3 allowing you to do more with that?
For us putting new enemies in the game we needed to make sure that served a purpose. It’s not just about the number you can have at once. There are games that have thousands of enemies at once, and some of them don’t move or do much. For us it’s about making sure they have goals they are fulfilling and that they can work together with existing enemies. That’s really our philosophy. As far as A.I. goes people have played our game before will see that we’ve made some subtle improvements. A lot of it has to do with using all the Cell’s SPU processors.
Have you nailed down the number of difficulty levels?
It’s going to have five levels, just like Ninja Gaiden Black.
Can you talk about the dual-wielding mechanic and if it was originally planned? Do you think people will pick it up right away?
We wanted more of an orthodox weapon, something easy to pick up and play. Since a key mechanic was the sword, we decided that we’d do a dual sword, [which provides] something new and flashy, and has a different play mechanic but is close enough to the original that people can easily pick it up easily. We’ve succeeded in making a weapon that has a ton of moves and is as useful as the single sword you start the game with. We wanted the dual swords to be the second standard weapon. You don’t start out with them, but acquire them early on.
We’d love to implement compatibility with PlayStation Home but unfortunately Sony hasn’t provided any of the tools needed to implement it. I hope Sony gets on the ball with giving the developers the tools they need to implement Home.”
Has it been difficult to develop for the PS3 overall?
For us it’s not a question of being easily to develop for, that’s a relative term. When we first got our hands on the hardware it took us a while to get back into the flow of working with Sony, because they way they do things is a little different. The developers that say it’s too hard to develop for and complain about it are missing the point. It sounds like an excuse to the consumer to us.
There are a lot of people out there that bought the PS3, and it’s not a question of whether it’s easy or hard. If your going to do a project you have to do the best you can. It’s like if you bought a CD and it sounded bad and the singer said it was because the studio and the engineer were no good. Ultimately it’s up to that person to make sure they have the quality that’s needed. Look at what were able to do and the quality we are able to achieve and that speaks for it self. I think people will be satisfied with what we were able to do. If we can do it then other people will be able to do it as well.
Do you hope to move a lot of PS3 consoles with Sigma?
That’s up to the consumer. We hope that this game is something people or going to buy and want to play. We also recognize that it’s more important to satisfy existing PS3 owners.
Have you nailed down any online features?
We’re going to have “karma ranking,” which is like a leader board for your score. That’s something we had back on Xbox but we’re going to expand it more to include more detailed statistics on how you played. One guy may have a high score but he may have died a lot so you can use that to share as a community.
How do you feel about PlayStation Home and are you going to use that?
I think Home is an interesting concept and something that will be interesting to people. We’d love to implement compatibility but unfortunately Sony hasn’t provided any of the tools needed to implement it. If you wanted to wait for the game to come out for a few more moths we’d be able to, but I don’t think anybody wants that. I hope Sony gets on the ball with giving the developers the tools they need to implement Home, but right now I just look at it as an observer.
Could you talk about Rachel’s weapon set in Sigma?
Rachel is a fiend hunter and her whole fighting style is based on that concept. We wanted to provide her with a great solid action that’s different from Ryu, but really latch on to what makes her character unique. She appeared in cut-scenes on the Xbox, so people know that she carries this huge hammer and has seen her shoot wires into buildings. We’re including those as weapons that are playable. She’s mainly going to use her war hammer to pound enemies into submission. She’s also got the wire shot she can fire into enemies, or into objects like chandeliers and swing into enemies to attack them.
Will Ryu and Rachel’s missions interweave?
There going to appear in the same storyline, so you’ll play a few missions as Ryu and then some as Rachel.
Are you impressed with anything out on the PS3 right now?
I think I look at the lineup and I think people are trying, but I’d like to see a little more progress. We’re working with real-time self-shadowing at 60 frames, and there are other games running at lower frame rates and us the fact that they have self-shadowing as an excuse and that’s kind of disappointing. There are games I’m looking forward to, and one is Heavenly Sword. I haven’t played it so I have no idea how it works as a game, but it has visuals that make you want to play it. It stimulates us to work harder to be able to take that game on when it comes out and I hope our game doesn’t disappoint gamers.
Man this game is shaping up to be awesome! I can’t wait to get it 🙂