Ninja Gaiden 1.1
New enemies, new weapons, new camera, upgraded engine. Faster, harder, and free on Xbox Live. We've got the first screens and details.
June 23, 2004 - As if Ninja Gaiden needed to get any better, Team Ninja's stellar action title is getting some renovations in early August. In conjunction with the Master Ninja Tournament, Tecmo is releasing Ninja Gaiden 1.1, downloadable over Xbox Live for free. All you need is a Live subscription, a copy of Ninja Gaiden, and the desire to kill again.
Ninja Gaiden 1.1 will be used for the second round of the Master Ninja Tournament, but can also be used offline without any need to ever touch the popular online tournament. Once downloaded, you'll need to start a brand new game to enjoy all of the improvements to Ninja Gaiden.
And oh those improvements. Check out everything Ninja Gaiden 1.1 has to offer:
New Enemies: As you can see in the latest screenshots, there are a few new, mammoth enemies added throughout the levels. There are no new levels, but just imagine some of those old areas now having all new, tougher baddies. And, from what we hear, there are more enemies than what we seen in the screens.
New Bosses: As if new enemies weren't enough, there will also be some new bosses. The story and structure of Ninja Gaiden will not change, so it's anyone's guess where these bosses may show up. They could replace old bosses or be added on top of previous boss battles. We don't know the particulars, but we can promise that they will be tougher than what you've previously faced. Oh crap.
New Weapons: There are three new weapons available in 1.1. From what we understand, they will likely be available in the shop during the course of the game, but it's possible that one or more of them may be hidden in the game or earned from defeating bosses. The Bo Staff is featured prominently in the new screens, but don't worry, we'll have info on all three new weapons soon enough.
Improved AI: Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki wanted to add some extra challenge to an already difficult game, so the AI has been improved to make all enemies smarter. Expect an even greater challenge, no matter what difficulty setting you choose.
New Camera: Now we get into what makes Ninja Gaiden 1.1 a landmark Xbox Live download. Hearing the complaints of fans, Itagaki redid Gaiden's camera. You'll now have full 360 degree control of the camera. The camera will also be smarter, so you shouldn't have to worry about it being in too close or at the wrong angle when in a fight.
Action Engine: How do you improve Ninja Gaiden? Make it faster. Yes, you heard that right. When you download Ninja Gaiden 1.1, you'll get all of the above improvements, plus an upgraded engine that makes the action even faster. What will be faster? Everything. Ryu, the enemies, and most importantly the combat. All of it will come quicker requiring even greater reflexes. Think back to what it was like playing the "slow" version of Ninja Gaiden and imagine tossing shurikens while running along walls and battling four of those annoying brown ninjas at once. Now speed that up. Hear that sound? That's your brain about to explode.
Ninja Gaiden 1.1 will be available in early August for Xbox Live subscribers who own a copy of the original game. An exact date and details on the second round of the Master Ninja Tournament are forthcoming, but remember that there's absolutely no need to be a participant in the tournament in order to enjoy Ninja Gaiden 1.1.
We'll have more on Ninja Gaiden 1.1 and the Master Ninja Tournament very soon. And if you're wondering if this is it for Ninja Gaiden downloadable content, keep in mind that there is a third round of the Master Ninja Tournament still to come. Could we see Ninja Gaiden 1.2? We sure hope so.