Ninja Gaiden 2 official, Rez and Ikaruga XBLA-bound

Microsoft publishing Team Ninja-developed sequel for 360 in 2008; two Dreamcast classics coming to download service; Sakaguchi dates Lost Odyssey.

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Well, that didn't take long. Just hours after Ninja Gaiden 2 screens appeared on the Japanese edition of Xbox.com, Microsoft has officially unveiled the game. Set for a worldwide release in 2008, it is being worked on by Team Ninja, developer of the 2004 Xbox Ninja Gaiden, the 2005 Xbox rework Ninja Gaiden Black, and the 2007 enhanced rework Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the PlayStation 3.

Currently, Ninja Gaiden 2 is set for a worldwide release on the Xbox 360 sometime in 2008. However, unlike its predecessors, it won't be ported to other consoles down the line. Instead of being published by Tecmo, holder of the Ninja Gaiden license, the game is being bankrolled and distributed directly by Microsoft Game Studios. Exact terms of the publishing deal were not made public as of press time, nor were any details on the title's story or gameplay.

Tomonobu Itagaki, head of Tecmo-owned Team Ninja, was on hand at a pre-Tokyo Game Show event this morning in Japan to make the Ninja Gaiden 2 announcement. He was joined on stage by Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the Final Fantasy series and founder of Mistwalker, the publisher of the 360-exclusive role-playing game Blue Dragon.

Though Blue Dragon hasn't been a commercial or critical hit in the US or Japan, Sakaguchi used the event to tout--and date--his latest 360 RPG, Lost Odyssey. The game will be released on December 6 in Japan, where the 360 runs a distant third to the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii in terms of market share. Lost Odyssey will then ship in the rest of Asia in January 2008, with a North American and European release the following month.

"Call my screens fake, will ya?"

Another famed Japanese game designer enlisted by Microsoft is Q Entertainment head Tetsuya Mizuguchi, creator of Ninety-Nine Nights and fan favorite Space Channel 5. Today Microsoft announced that another Mizuguchi-developed classic, Rez, is coming to Xbox Live Arcade. Though not dated or priced, when Rez does arrive, it will join two other Mizuguchi-developed games on the service: Lumines Live and the forthcoming Every Extend Extra Extreme.

Though it eventually was ported to the PlayStation 2, Rez was originally released for the Sega Dreamcast. Microsoft also announced today that another Dreamcast classic, Ikaruga, is coming to Xbox Live Arcade. Available "soon" according to Microsoft, the game will sport a "slow-motion" training mode and online co-op play for two persons.

Finally, Microsoft revealed two other titles for Xbox Live Arcade: a port of the PSP puzzler Exit (Taito) and the arcade shooter Triggerheart Exelica (Warashi). Three other games--the puzzle-platformer Braid (Number None Inc.), four-player RPG Castle Crashers (The Behemoth), and co-op focused actioner Schizoid (Torpex Games)--were confirmed for early 2008 launches.

"We continue to evolve our strong relationships with Japan's best and most innovative developers, and we're looking forward to delivering exclusive high-definition titles for consumers worldwide, this year and beyond," said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, in a statement.

[UPDATE] For more on the game, check out GameSpot's on-the-scene report of the Ninja Gaiden II unveiling at Microsoft's Xbox 360 event in Tokyo.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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i_got_you60

lol sonitus

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viberooni

Crump you so crazy. People can play their Microsoft and still enjoy the Playstation, PC, Nintendo, Sega, SNK.. I know it sounds ridiculous but trust me it happens. Even with "RRD"

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The1stFishBone

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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Delongman

Finally Ninja Gaiden 2, THE APEX OF NINJITSU MANIPULATION!!! " However, unlike its predecessors, it won't be ported to other consoles down the line. Instead of being published by Tecmo, holder of the Ninja Gaiden license, the game is being bankrolled and distributed directly by Microsoft Game Studios." Hmmm... i wonder why they did that... this articles is very pleasing but i think what we all want to know is the deal that was made between Temco and MSS. Anyways, Ryu is back on the 360 and hearts will be moved coz this game is gonna light up sales!!!

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homer2001

ok forget ninja gaiden, I just wetmyself after seeing ikaruga

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sonitus_aus

wow crump. I just read your comment in a different thread. Did you copy and paste that in?

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SporkFireXPS

Looks like they are using the same graphics engine they used on the PS3 version.

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nikefreak

Tseng - Except for the PS3 part of the statement, you are right.

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LookOutSnake

Seems a little odd since Japanese consumers could care less about 360 releases, but, presumably, everyone has a price. I guess we'll see what Squenix's price is pretty soon.

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pandaramaster

Ooh, this all sounds great:D

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Tseng

Yay for owning a PS3 and 360. I'm never left out.

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viberooni

Ikaruga online co-op = best gaming news I've heard all year

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raze-boi

PS3 fanboyz gonna be sooo jealouss~~!

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nikefreak

sanjt throwing a fit and calling the kettle black, surprise surprise. PeteDeeUK - And I doubt anything will be cut, compression has evolved leaps and bounds since then, and have no doubts they should be able to fit it in the (was, dunno size now, heard was increased again) 150mb limits...

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PeteDeeUK

Fantastic news! Although if they are doing Rez for XBLA rather than its own retail product you have to wonder just how much they are gonna cut out of it or if its going to have any new content. A new Ninja Gaiden is great news too, the screenshots look so amazing already so I can't wait to see what Team Ninja come up with

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sanjt

So Microsoft buys another exclusive, and Temco screws over consumers. Suprise suprise.

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SteelWingX

"Ninja Gaiden 2? Ikaruga? Rez? *faints*" ^^^My thoughts exactly.

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greasemonkey42

ha, just listened to NG2's story on the Hotspot. Awhile later it gets made official. Awesome. patcheng speaks the truth.

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gagan21

looks like Another Killer App on its way to the 360 , man......,i cant wait for this game , ninja gaiden sigma was awesomeness , and now with Ninja Gaiden 2 , i can say that its aweomeness at its best :wink:

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ballerking

haha, i knew NG2 was gonna be 100% exclusive to the x360, too bad ps3 owners will never see the light of it since it's being publish by microsoft this time.

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Nico4

REZ on 360? YEAH!!!!

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Lum_Yatsura

Ah... w00000000t! :) Eternal Sonata, Phoenix Wright 3, Rez, Ikaruga, Metroid Prime 3, Persona 3, Triggerheat Exelica, WWE Smackdown 2008...

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ReckHavoc

Good to hear.

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---n00b_kid---

NG2 will not come to the ps3

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dlind70

Ninja Gaiden 2? Ikaruga? Rez? :o *faints*

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Lewpy79

At last!! I've been waiting for this news ever since I got my 360. Indeed it is a good time to be a 360 owner. Shame it won't see the light of day on the PS3 though.

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Chainblast

"nstead of being published by Tecmo, holder of the Ninja Gaiden license, the game is being bankrolled and distributed directly by Microsoft Game Studios." How **** original.

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patcheng

what can we say? Good time to be 360 owner :)