From the Ninja Gaiden Subreddit.
<"I was getting frustrated by the misinformation stemming from Team Ninja's abysmal communication with its PR teams, as well as some of the misinformation stemming from a "translation" of this interview that was going around here (which wasn't a translation of excerpts from the actual interview, but a translation of bullet points written by a blogger who read the interview).
So, since I live in Japan and know Japanese, I went out and bought the magazine and did a quick translation of the full interview. I hope this gives fans a clearer picture of this release and the circumstances surrounding this franchise. What I consider to be the most important/interesting information is in bold."
Q: The Master Collection marks the first entry in the Ninja Gaiden series in 9 years since NG3RE. How do you feel now that this announcement has been made?
A: Although they’re ports, I’m happy about it. I feel really sorry about making fans wait for so long. I was really surprised by how big the reaction was to the announcement — it exceeded my expectations
Q: What led to the decision to port these three titles, and what do you hope to accomplish with this collection?
A: The Ninja Gaiden series, along with the Dead or Alive series, is a flagship title for Team Ninja. However, we haven’t been able to release a Ninja Gaiden title on the generation of consoles that includes the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. This bothered me, and so I started the development [of this collection] just after we finished working on Nioh 2. This is the first PC release of the series, so we will be able to reach even more players. Also, we have new members of Team Ninja who grew up playing Ninja Gaiden, so I wanted to give them the chance to interact with Ninja Gaiden as developers.
Q: With regard to the titles in this collection, as a fan, I’m pleased by the decision to include 3RE over NG3.
A: 3 was the first title I worked on as director, and so I have a lot of memories working on it. But yeah, 3RE is definitely the one. [laughs]
Q: Sorry about that. [laughs] The first two titles are the Sigma versions. What is the reason for this?
>A: To put it simply, they are the final versions, so that’s why we picked them. There is a lot of additional content, including additional playable characters. They also include content from the Vita Sigma Plus games, as well as other aspects that we weren’t able to fully optimize at the time, and so we are making thorough adjustments this time.
>Q: As you probably know, there are fans who prefer BLACK and NG2.
>A: Yes, I understand this is a controversial topic. 2 was the first title I worked on as a developer, so it’s important to me. But one reason we picked [Sigma] is because the data from that time is fragmented and in such a state that we wouldn’t be able to salvage it even if we tried. However, when we developed Sigma Plus and Sigma 2 Plus, we gathered and organized as much of that data as possible, which is another reason why we went with Sigma.
Q: This collection is a port, so does that mean it isn’t a remaster?
>A: The assets are generally the same, but the games support Full HD and 4K with stable, improved frame rates. There won’t be a drastic leap in visual fidelity, but they are remastered titles optimized for each hardware. For the PC version, there is no mouse and keyboard support and it will only be playable with a controller.
>Q: Did you make any adjustments to game balance?
>A: We are fixing some bugs and some unreasonable aspects of the games, but we are generally taking a hands-off approach. Hero Mode, which was introduced in 3, will be added to Sigma and Sigma 2. There were a lot of players who found the games too difficult and had trouble enjoying them, so I think this will allow players who aren’t good at action games to finish all 3 titles. We’ve also adjusted the difficulty of the tag missions to allow players to finish them by themselves.
Q: I’m happy to hear that. Are the depictions of violence also based on Sigma?
>A: Yes. The depictions of violence remain the same. The Version D for Nintendo Switch contains adjustments only for 3RE. We did this because we thought Switch users aren’t fond of gore. We did this to allow as many players as possible to enjoy the games.
<\This is where the interviewer should have followed up to confirm whether Yasuda meant the depictions of violence are the same as Sigma Plus, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.*
Q: The way you cut through bones is very grotesque. [laughs] The original versions supported online play, but these don’t, is that correct?
>A: Unfortunately, this collection doesn’t support online play. I understand there are players who thoroughly enjoyed the co-op play, but the honest answer is that, because this includes three titles, we had to cut this out due to scheduling and business considerations. If we were to incorporate co-op play, the required labor would be comparable to that of working on a new title. However, other online functionalities, such as time attack rankings, will be supported.
Q: So players will compete with each other in the single player modes. In Sigma, you could do various things by shaking the controller. For example, you could power up ninpo or make the girls’ boobs jiggle.
A: Those were features unique to the Playstation 3 and its gyro sensor. Those were for Playstation 3, which is why they aren’t included in the collection. The ninpo will be powered up from the start. As for the boob jiggle mechanics, players who want to enjoy that can help themselves to those Venus Vacation games. [laughs]
Q: But Rachel isn’t in those games…. [laughs] Speaking of Rachel, she had a pretty weak impression in Sigma. Did you buff her or make her easier to use this time around?
A: No, she remains the same as in Sigma. She is power-oriented character, so although I understand she isn’t as agile, that’s part of her appeal. Momiji and Ayane from Sigma 2 also remain the same.
Q: Do you have any advice for new players to the series?
A: First, learn to guard. If you don’t, you will die very quickly. [laughs] However, this series has incredibly responsive controls, and so if you can master the controls, you can make Ryu Hayabusa fight in any way you please. Please enjoy the game while learning each and every action. There is also a rich variety of weapons at your disposal in all 3 games, so look for a weapon that suits you. If you aren’t good at action games, I recommend the hero mode.
Q: From your perspective, how do you regard each of these titles?
>A: I wasn’t involved in the first game, but I heard its development was inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This might sound ludicrous, but there were apparently plans to even include fishing mechanics. [laughs] In the end, it became action-oriented, but you can still see the influence in the puzzles, jumping actions, and exploration elements.
Q: I want to see Ryu fishing. [laughs]
A: It might happen someday. [laughs] 2 featured a lot of dismemberment and obliteration techniques, making it an even more action-oriented game. As for 3, although it had its ups and downs, with 3RE we updated the mechanics and made it a more balanced, comprehensive title. What I can say about all three titles is that enemies are coming to kill you. They are tough.
Q: Yeah, one could consider the Ninja Gaiden games as one of the first masochistic games.
A: The sense of accomplishment you get from overcoming a challenge after numerous attempts is something we also incorporated in Nioh. When I look at [Ninja Gaiden] now, I’m shocked by the game’s speed and how it pulls you along. But that’s the appeal of these games.