Following Ricky the Art Ninja, on his animated adventures.
Runtime: 35 minutes
Art Ninja - Ninja Gaiden (2004 video game) - Netflix
Ninja Gaiden is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed by Team Ninja for the Xbox video game console. It went through five years of development before its release by Tecmo in 2004, and had a number of expansion packs and two remakes, Ninja Gaiden Black and Ninja Gaiden Sigma. The game follows the fictional story of Ryu Hayabusa, a master ninja, in his quest to recover a stolen sword and avenge the slaughter of his clan. Tecmo specifically targeted Ninja Gaiden at a western audience, and despite difficulties in obtaining content ratings due to the game's graphic depictions of violence, it was generally well received, and 362,441 copies were sold in North America in the first month after its release. Nevertheless, the game had to be censored for release in some regions, and Japanese sales were poor, with only 60,000 in the four months following its release. Making use of the Xbox's internet connectivity, Ninja Gaiden was the focus of a series of online contests across North America, Europe and Japan. Record-breaking numbers of players took part, competing for places in the live final, which was held during the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2004. Team Ninja continued to update the game after its release: two Hurricane Packs were made available as free downloadable content that added extra content, gameplay challenges, and game engine improvements. These were incorporated into a reworked version, released in 2005 and entitled Ninja Gaiden Black, that was regarded by the game's creator Tomonobu Itagaki and many players as the definitive version. In 2007, Ninja Gaiden was graphically enhanced on the PlayStation 3, with extra content, in the form of Ninja Gaiden Sigma. This version was later released on the PlayStation Vita as Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus. Two sequels, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3, were released in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
Art Ninja - Development - Netflix
In 1999, Team Ninja started work on the “Next-Generation Ninja Gaiden Project”. The first stage of development was to create the game on the Sega NAOMI arcade system board. They then planned to move the project to the Dreamcast console for further development and release, but this was abandoned when Sega announced the end of Dreamcast product line in 2001. At this point, Tecmo decided to release Ninja Gaiden as a launch title for the Sony PlayStation 2 in the United States. Itagaki, however, had other plans; the Team Ninja Leader was impressed with the software development kits for the Xbox and pushed for his team to develop for the Microsoft console. The company kept silent on this change in direction, and surprised both the games industry and fans when they announced at E3 2002 that Ninja Gaiden would be released exclusively on the Xbox gaming console. Most fans who voted on Tecmo's poll wanted the game on the Nintendo GameCube. Ninja Gaiden was Team Ninja's first action title. Its initial concept had nothing in common with the original Ninja Gaiden series that was released for the NES. However, for retail reasons Tecmo wanted to retain a link with the previous games, which had many adherents in the West, so Itagaki was asked to rethink his ideas to target the foreign market. Analysing the earlier games, he concluded that their violence appealed to players, and included gory content, such as beheadings, in the Xbox game to retain that spirit. He also aimed to make his new game hard but alluring; it would challenge players on their reflexes rather than on their memories of layouts and timings. His team made a point of designing smoothly-flowing gameplay with high-quality animations that reacted quickly to the player's input. Itagaki paid homage to the earlier Ninja Gaiden series by including updated versions of foes and special attacks. Team Ninja based their 3D computer models, from the pistols of the henchman upwards, on real world material. Character models were taken from studies of human anatomy, and the team hired martial artists in order to digitally capture their movement. Rather than import the motion captures directly into the game, however, the animators used them as templates to give a sense of realism to the game characters' exaggerated movements. Itagaki found it more interesting to design nonhuman creatures than human enemies.
Art Ninja - References - Netflix