Monday 29 June 2009

E14 Outing: Friday 26th June 2009

On Friday 26th June 2009, Blake Harmer and Rob Wade of Emotionally Fourteen ventured to London. Their objective: Report back to you, the fine E14 readers, on the announcement of the merger of Tecmo and Koei and their subsequent establishing of a European base of operations. In addition, the press event was to publicise the recently announced Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

We heard from Will Curley, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Tecmo Koei Europe Ltd, the new European arm of the software giant. Eastern developers are certainly noticing the potential of the European market now, particularly as it has recently become the second largest market globally, and has a higher growth rate than that of the United States at the present time. Sony also had a presence there, with Jim Ryan making a speech as the Chief Operating Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Some details out of the conference were as follows:

  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will be released in the Fall of 2009, with an official release date coming in late July.
  • There will be a trailer on Playstation Network in September, with a demo to follow shortly afterwards.
  • The game will retail at a Recommended Retail Price of £44.99 (59.99 euros).
  • The game features 4 playable characters and an online co-operative mode of some sort (though they didn't go into much detail).

From the sound of things, Tecmo Koei has taken on board a lot of the critiques aimed at Ninja Gaiden 2 upon its release on Xbox 360, with Team Ninja producer Yousuke Hyashi going as far as to say that the game had been re-designed from the ground up when ported over to Playstation 3. The version we were seeing, we were told, was the latest version of the game engine. From the footage we saw, the game has definitely made use of the hardware, and looks fantastic in motion.Once Hyashi had demonstrated the game (and had his arse handed to him by the level’s boss) the floor was opened up to questions. Understandably, they weren’t answering questions about their recently announced Metroid game for the Nintendo Wii, but that’s kind of understandable bearing in mind that it was a Playstation-centric conference.

Some of the key questions asked included such topics as downloadable content, level design and save point distances and storyline concerns. Hyashi was quick to answer most questions, stating that at the present time the main game was their focus. However, he did go on to state that they would be taking fan input for downloadable content at a later juncture. He also assured all present that the game had been re-designed to take into account all previous issues, and that the storyline would remain unchanged from the Xbox 360 version, with new characters’ levels slotting in at pre-determined points with separate storylines.

We also got a chance to play Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 after the conference had finished. Visually, the game is very smooth, running with the level of speed we’ve all come to expect from Ninja Gaiden games. However, there were a few frame rate issues when a lot was going on on-screen, but nothing that detracted from the game in any significant way. The new characters play comfortably, with all-new finishing moves and weapons. However, they do feel instantly familiar to anyone who has played a sufficient amount of Ninja Gaiden games in the past.
Otherwise, the game plays in exactly the way you’d expect from playing previous iterations of the game. Below is some footage we recorded of the game in motion. Enjoy.

We then recorded a podcast which, due to technical limitations, we are unable to publish in its audio form. However, for those who’d really like to read Blake and I waffling on about games for a while, the link is here.

Anyway, we leave you with pictures of hot girls in nice outfits. Happy ogling and we’ll keep you posted on new info on Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 as it develops.


  1. I've read this article three times now and I can't find the jokes. I thought this was a comedy site? Where's the funny stuff? Honestly...

  2. good reporting guys. I dont know about you, but forcing jokes into this report will not only look hideously shoe-horned and unneeded/unnatural, but it detracts from the validity from the honest field days work at the exhibition...

    either that or Brad has banned Rob from putting them into his reports..

  3. Yeah, I'm always trying to STOP Rob from being funny in his articles...

  4. Yeah, James, good point! 'Forcing jokes' into a comedy website would just be artistically bereft. Am I missing the point, here? I honestly thought this was supposed to be a funny website! There's a billion and one websites you can go to if you just want straight reporting on video games. Perhaps Rob and Blake were scared to take the piss after getting the free tickets?

    (Don't worry, James, in reality Rob knows I'm taking the piss and don't mean a word of it. Of course, that won't stop him smacking me upside the head like the bitch I am next time he sees me...)

  5. i think if anything serious gives you free tickets, then trying to force a few jokes at the ticket givers / organisers expense is just plain insulting..

  6. Unless, of course, you run a comedy website and the people who gave you the tickets KNOW that... It's like asking Eddie Izzard to appear at your show but then asking him not to be funny because he didn't have to pay to get in.

    Am I really the only person who can see this side of the argument?

  7. @Paul - The intention of this site, from the start, was to produce a website that was approximately 50% comedy, and 50% a "geek lifestyle" site. Sorry if you think we're swinging too far in either direction - we'll try and re-address the balance.

    @James - Paul has it right here. PR companies, publishers and what-not are under no compulsion to send us review copy, press releases, trade show invites, or anything like that. They do so because they hope it will be of interest to us and therefore our audience, and thereby gain exposure for their product/service. Yeah, we're liable to stick in gags and take the piss at the expense of them at at times. Frankly though, such PR companies/publishers can fall into one of two categories: a) ones who have done their research on the site, don't mind or don't care that we'll do that, and are thankful for the coverage or b) ones who haven't done their research, and get everything that they deserve as a result.