We all know Yaiba at this point. The tactless humor, the grinding gameplay, the comic book aesthetics; once gamers saw the latest...colorful...trailer, we pretty much had the game pegged. But in this instance, I'd advise you to not judge a book by its cover. We still have to remember that Yaiba is being developed by the same team that gave us Ninja Gaiden, with that intricate, difficult, and stunning game that we all know and love. And even though Yaiba’s humor hasn't changed much, many of its mechanics reminded me of the glory days of Ryu Hayabusa. The newest and most exciting example of which is Yaiba’s Arcade mode.
Titled Ninja Gaiden Mode Z, Yaiba’s Arcade mode skips right past Xbox Hayabusa and pays a surprising amount of homage to the grandfather of the series. See, many fans’ first encounters with Mr. Hayabusa was through the NES platformer or Xbox reboot, but that’s not actually the source material for the famous ninja. Ninja Gaiden was originally released as a beat-‘em-up, 2D side scrolling arcade game in 1988. Think of everything you know about the heyday of arcade games, then smash all that into the Ninja Gaiden universe. That’s what Z Mode is all about.
During the demo, creative director Tom Lee spoke of drawing inspiration from many other successful arcade games at the time, and different levels in Z Mode are directly crafted after them. Smash TV, Turtles in Time, Double Dragon--each of these behemoths have a place in Z Mode. While this retro experience still uses the insane combos and stylized graphics of Yaiba, it’s definitely a departure from the rude, crude ninja that we first saw months ago. Check out the trailer below for a glimpse of this newly revealed Z Mode.