The Last Ninja E3 2003 Preshow Report

After a six-month delay, Simon & Schuster's ninja action game will finally be hitting store shelves in August.

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Though the game was originally scheduled for release back at the end of 2002, Simon & Schuster's The Last Ninja, an Xbox-exclusive continuation of the classic Commodore 64 series, was pushed back six months for additional development time. With the game currently set for release in August, Simon & Schuster will be showing the game at its E3 2003 booth. In the game, you will take on the role of Armukuni, the sole survivor of a renowned ninja clan that has been all but wiped out, thanks to an evil shogun known only as Kunitoki, whose aims are to take control of feudal Japan through methods of black magic and military domination. Armukuni's mission will of course be to track down the evil Kunitoki and kill him, as well as to eliminate his evil army of both shogun warriors and demons.

The Last Ninja's gameplay will combine elements of action, stealth, adventure, combat, and exploration. Levels within the game are all entirely nonlinear, each containing multiple paths. This will give you the option to progress through the story however you please, using ninja magic and stealth or launching into full-on combat. Armukuni will also be able to operate with the aid of his former mentor, Makrin. Makrin acts as a guiding spirit who will be able to direct and inform Armukuni about specific plot points and mission objectives. Makrin can also be summoned on demand at specific locations if you need help. The game will also feature a third-person-perspective camera for a more cinematic presentation.

Expect further coverage of The Last Ninja for the Xbox in the near future.

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