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.


Well, that didn't take long. Just hours after Ninja Gaiden 2 screens appeared on the Japanese edition of, 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

Join the conversation
There are 780 comments about this story
780 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for RingJousting

Everyone's saying the new health system will make the game easier. Remember how insanely hard NG1 was. No way the development team will make it any easier.

Avatar image for RingJousting

Ninja Gaiden Black rocked out loud! I played it for hours and hours! I'm sure NG2 will be just as good. I wonder if they'll be a missions mode?

Avatar image for TOTAL_DEFENSE_0

sweet. i hope they bring it to ps3 at some point as well just cuz i like how Ninja Gaiden works with the PS3 controls better. but if not, im definitely getting this for 360.

Avatar image for chewonthestraw

eat it psthrizzle

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

Well what I meant was that I hope the regeneration isn't a too important factor (like how it's done on Halo). I was just imagining health always recharging but battles being more difficult so you had to survive the fight you were in but if you did you'd just regenerate to perfect health. Yeah the gameplay seems pretty much the same, only now it's alot faster XDDD

Avatar image for Telekenesis123

Thats awesome they are putting online co-op play in Ikaruga. I really think its the wave of the future and a necessity in games which it will fit well into because people really enjoy co-op play, for me it was my favorite part of gears of war and graw2. I think people enjoy it so much because it brings back the memories of playing a game co-op in the arcades like many of us used to do as a kid, hey, its fun. I'm really exited about left 4 dead since its 4 players co-op through the game and you *will* die without the help of your buddies, cool.

Avatar image for karnis

ng2 will rock

Avatar image for tearoo

Sigil-otaku Ninja Gaiden did have regeneration with an Armlet..(Armlet of tranquility) and I just remembered that even with the regeneration it was still a hard game lol And Looking at some screenshots..I don't think the game play will change much since Ryu's carrying the sickle in the same fashion he would carry Rachel's warhammer after a Y,Y attack

Avatar image for Lasafrog

360 FTW!

Avatar image for agg4000

Aw ffs I wish they wouldn't release Rez on XBLA, it's a rare and expensive game that should only be enjoyed buy a limited amount of people, M$ just doesn't understand, they only understand money, bah, now I'm annoyed... M$ is just so uncool for some reason, something about 360's just makes them seem lame

Avatar image for peterles

ng2 what ever...i have on a dragon! DRAGON!!!! DRRAAAAGGOOONNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! did you ever see dragon wars! that movie was super awesome, and the story was super awesome, and the movie totally made sense. and i get to ride a dragon in lair. so what that ng1 was probably the best action game ever made, and i played ng1 til i beat it on master ninja.(as clearly stated in my review) that was then,,,,,and now its dragon time!!!!!!!

Avatar image for Jedi_Osborn

That's awesome!! I thought for sure the shots were fake!! Happy to be wrong!

Avatar image for taino1128

kool, i've never played any game in the series but I heard its fun. I can't wait to try it out when I get my 360

Avatar image for BlueYonderBoy

REZ ON XBL! HELL YEAH!! The only thing better would be if they released SPace Channel 5. Also, do you think that they'll let you plug in that peripheral that they used to bundle with it? (If you dont know what i'm talking about go checkout the screwattack top 10 peripheral list on

Avatar image for wilt1725grog

For both system. Nintendo get's another mario... Bc i don't know of any A+ 3rd party game that nintendo is geting that the other 2 systems isn't getting. Like ninja gaiden 2 and metal gear

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

@ wilt1725grog: I'd say Microsoft has the upper hand, Ninja gaiden is just excellent (same for metal gear solid but it's not quite as good as NG in my opinion). MGS4 looks cool but after MGS3's really odd bosses I'm waiting for it to prove itself a little more.

Avatar image for wilt1725grog

It sounds to me like a very close victory to be called.

Avatar image for mohammed888

go to IGN for a full preview of the behind closed doors demo of NINJA GAIDEN 2 that demo sounds so awsome

Avatar image for wilt1725grog

Who do u guys think has the uper hand now? Microsoft get's Ninja Gaiden 2 and Sony end up with the, Metal Gear game.

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

@ taeroo: I know what you mean, I hope the regeneration isn't too much of an important thing too. Could effect gameplay dramatically if you can just regenrate by not getting hurt (just hold block or do the roll jump a thousand times till your healed). The gameplay can be changed a little I guess but we'll have to wait and see what they announce before we know if it's good or not.

Avatar image for mohammed888

1. I hope the new health system is for the ninja dog LVL only. 2. I really wish we would have multiplayer matches then this action game would be complet and perfect.

Avatar image for tearoo

I have to agree so much with zeekx lol DMC4 and NG2 are just pure OWNAGE to have on the same console..Lol But anyways,I downloaded the teaser on my 360 and in the description it said a new combat system and new gameplay engine with health regeneration..I don't want to sound ungratefull..but..I just hope they won't change the combat and gameplay system too much

Avatar image for sonofabear17


Avatar image for joshua6775


Avatar image for ViniciusGuerra

O.o i need this... i loved ninja gaiden black and the original one from the xbox.. oh my words...just O.o

Avatar image for amorbis1001

forget halo 3 or any other 360 game, I gotta geet this, NOOOOOOOWWWWW.

Avatar image for zeekx

Ninja Gaiden + Devil May Cry = me more and more happy with my decision of buying a 360.

Avatar image for SalarianChemist

Ninja Gaiden 2 is being Developed by Tecmo, and Published by Microsoft Game Studios. That means Ninja Gaiden 2 is going to be a BIG game, with a BIG advertising budget, because it is AWESOME!!!

Avatar image for zeekx

Yea, it seems no one understand what publishing is. Microsoft is just paying Tecmo to make the game then they are going to advertise it for them. Aka everyone will hear of Ninja Gaiden when it comes out and Microsoft stands to make everyone more money. They have no part in the creating of the game for the most part.

Avatar image for bluepuppy82

black_awpN1: "I persoanly dont care. I have a PS3 and a 360 so im set. I find it weird that MS is publishing it. Could be bad." MS is publishing the game, not developing it. Tecmo is still responsible for that. Therefore, should be as great as it's predecessors.

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

@black_awpN1: If you look at my post below (the one replying to Hell-Fire21) I suggest many reasons why it's good for Tecmo but there are also many obvious reasons it would be good for MS aswell. Ninja Gaiden is very popular, it's a AAA game, a deal like this helps keep those working with MS closer (if they let it look like Sigma was a stepping stone for Tecmo to leave then it would look like they simply don't pay attention to what the companies are doing), the game can be used for publicity since it's one of the top titles coming out and whatever other reason MS would want it. MS publishing it just means Tecmo will stay loyal (for now atleast) and get free publishing and marketing in return. Unless your wanting it on the PS3 then there's no need to worry cos it only benefits Tecmo.

Avatar image for OLKMED

These NG2 screens remind me of prince of persia. The first one was beautiful and fun, but they decided they needed to make the second one more badass, with more gore, more weapons, more grittyness, and a distorted guitar riff. Not saying that's what will happen here... I remember in the first xbox NG picking up the nunchuku, using them once and putting them away...

Avatar image for black_awpN1

I persoanly dont care. I have a PS3 and a 360 so im set. I find it weird that MS is publishing it. Could be bad.

Avatar image for NND1

aWE yEAH Thats Ninja Gaiden 2 all up in yo F.A.C.E. --- SONY... Heavenly Sword WHO?

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

@ black_awpN1: Normally I might agree but with Microsoft working themself into the publishing of the game it's very unlikely. The PS3 Team ninja group should be working on something for the PS3 anyway.

Avatar image for bluepuppy82

black_awpN1: "Meh. PS3 will probaly get it later or theyll be a Remake of it on PS3 like Sigma which is better than the original." Article: "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." What don't you get??? I'll be happy to explain it to you.

Avatar image for HK-47-M4

Why is Microsoft publishing it instead of Tecmo, that's kind of weird.

Avatar image for black_awpN1

Meh. PS3 will probaly get it later or theyll be a Remake of it on PS3 like Sigma which is better than the original.

Avatar image for comthitnuong

Very good news! It has been a while...

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

@ Crash_FOX: It doesn't look old at all, graphically it's on par with Sigma and I've heard that Itagaki said that by the end it will look a lot better. 360 Didn't lose unreal, all they lost was a month or two to play it and some mods (I admit the mods are good but a little time doesn't bother me). God of War 3 is not as good as Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden has tons more weapons, has better balanced combat, more varied enemies, great bosses, Ninpo ontop of the upgradable weapons and is just graphically beyond the God of war series (so far anyway, I want to see what God of war 3 looks like on the PS3).

Avatar image for Crash_FOX

This looks fantastic.... but a little old, hope they get something cool in it. Sony fans, no need to fret. Its like 360 losing Unreal, ya still got Halo 3.God Of War 3 will smash puny Ninjaa!

Avatar image for Sigil-otaku

@Hell-Fire21: Actually it's not so ridiculous for it to be exclusive, they could have judged this on the success of Ninja Gaiden Sigma (which may or may not have sold enough in there opinion). Then there's the fact that with a deal like this they cut out a lot of costs, they have less development time becuase they don't need to worry about porting the game to the PS3, they don't have to pay as much (if anything) to distribute the game becuase MS pays for it all, the extra marketing MS will presumably put in on this great and exclusive title will make it more popular on the console that has a larger install base. Then if you consider that the game would then also have to balance assets so it works roughly as good on each console and then would have to probably take time to work on making the PS3 version and the 360 version both take full advantage of there hardware. It's a lot of extra effort when if they make it exclusive they can just take advantage of everything one console has to offer and have MS do all the marketing and publishing.

Avatar image for aygol

Awesome! in Sony's face! Xbox 360 rocks so hard!

Avatar image for Pete5506


Avatar image for THE_PREZIDENT

Well, I guess I'll have to wait for the PS4 and wait for NGS2. *sign* thats another 15 years right?

Avatar image for BrandonW84

I hate seeing all the kiddies come up in arms to bash Microsoft and Tecmo just because they came to a decision the kiddies didn't like. When you pretend to know about business and say stuff like they would definitely make more money if they put it on the PS3 and the XBox 360, that just makes you look ignorant. Maybe you forgot, the people who decide where the game gets published are the business owners. The bottom of line of a business is making money. Tecmo wouldn't choose to keep it on the XBox 360 if they didn't think it would make them more money. Game sales is the primary force driving profits, but it definintely isn't the only one. Why couldn't Sony offer a deal where Tecmo gets more profits like Microsoft probably did? Or create a system with hardware easier to program against? P.S. - Why would you want to have a PS3 anyways? It's from Sony. You know... the company that makes DVD protection that doesn't allow you to play DVDs on a PC with a DVD drive? And makes all kinds of electronics that are not compatible with any other electronics of the same type. Or charge you premium prices for products that are only slightly above entry level quality. Do I need to go on...?

Avatar image for tearoo

opecube LOOOOOOOOOL No I am not fighting Myself..I am just saying that NG is better than God Of War while saying god of war is a great game

Avatar image for jkocher

"Why not multi-platform it? I mean it's not like they'd be LOOSING money if they produced it for both 360 and PS3. Think about Devil May Cry 4! I'm not crying over Ninja Gaiden because the story is screwed anyway, and sigma is the same game, but this is a dumb decision business-wise. Very dumb. But hey, they know what they're doing...but if it were me? I'd be real super greedy. If this business is really all about, "making up for production costs in the nex-gen era" like so many were translating, then this exclusiveness is ridiculous. They didn't need to make Sigma an exculsive for the 360, why? Besides it having "better graphics", it was Ninja Gaiden all over again!! I got over that "Capcom betrayed us" crap btw." Why? Because Microsoft knows the Ninja Gaiden series is a popular and critically acclaimed series, and they wanted to lock the the exclusive so they can move more systems. Good job microsoft, just don't be too hard on ol' Sony

Avatar image for dreadkght

Even though its totally unrelated I'm waiting for the Sony fanboys to say halo sucks.

Avatar image for Andres001

God of War 3....nuff said