Tomonobu Itagaki Mii arrives in your Plaza today ⊟
“I’m Itagaki from Nintendo.” That’s where we’re at in this bizarre post-E3 landscape. Former Team Ninja head and current Devil’s Third producer Tomonobu Itagaki is being sent out in Mii form via SpotPass. This bizarre event stems from Nintendo’s new publishing deal for Devil’s Third, which Itagaki and his Valhalla Game Studios were previously producing for THQ.
Unfortunately for him, Nintendo’s “special” Miis wear gold pants and not black leather. Maybe I can get some new pants for him when I import him into Tomodachi Life.
Behind Itagaki on my screen, by the way, is Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami. Good day for Find Mii!
Tomonobu Itagaki talks about Devil’s Third for Nintendo Wii U
Devil’s Third is a strong fusion between action games and shooters.
Devil’s Third development is going smoothly. In other words, we finished editing the closing movie the other day.
Devil’s Third will be released next year. Nintendo has already announced this in their press release.
The scale of Devil’s Third‘s story mode is greater than that of Ninja Gaiden.
Devil’s Third demolishes the standard of past console games in online multiplayer.
Almost all specifications I wanted to do were implemented. I got an up-close look at the great forerunners Call of Duty, Battlefield, Gears of War, and my beloved Halo. On that basis, we added completely new level of playability that only we can create.
Anyone can enjoy this game; from casual gamers to hard-core gamers. Let me put it this way. You guys can throw a fun party, or can kill each other in realistic war. You can play your heart out.
This is all I can disclose to you today. I can’t tell you when the war will begin. It’s the way the world goes. I really want to tell you more, my fans waiting with crushing frustration.
1UP: Sounds tough. It’ll be fun to give that one a shot. Is the other new difficulty setting Easy Mode?
TI: No, that’s not quite right. The lowest difficulty will be called Ninja Dog. While it is a mode intended for casual gamers, it is not Easy Mode. Not being able to beat the game on Normal means that you are a failure as a Ninja, but not that you are a failure as a gamer, right? Ninja Dog is for those players.
1UP: How does that affect your ranking at the end of each stage? Can you get a Master Ninja ranking in Ninja Dog mode?
TI: [laughs] That’s nonsense. Impossible. How could a dog become a Master Ninja?
1UP: You know, when we reviewed the game, we warned people “This is hard,” but everyone on message boards scoffed. But when everyone finally got the game the reaction was “OMG.” Did you guys think “Well maybe the average gamer isn’t as good as we thought, so let’s make it easy on them?”
TI: That’s right. In other words, there are some people who want to beat the game, even if it means being reduced to the level of a dog; people who are not afraid to shame themselves to accomplish their goals. Sometimes in life, that type of style is necessary. Anyone who can think like that can still be a real man. The Ninja Dog difficulty setting is for men like that. So don’t give up too easily!
Tomonobu Itagaki’s thoughts on easy-mode players for Ninja Gaiden Black during an interview with 1up.
Top image is, of course, some stupid Kotaku article.
I’ve never gotten over how much they’ve retconned Lisa’s character since Itagaki quit. First they made DOAX, where she’s just this harmless professional volleyball player who hangs out on Zack’s island all day. Then DOA4 came out, and they decided to include her by saying she fights as a luchador in her spare time. Then they made the DOA Dimensions prequel/remake/compilation, where they reveal the volleyball and luchador stuff are just her cover and she’s actually been this brilliant doctor secretly working for DOATEC the entire time, and she’s the one personally responsible for surgically repairing Hayate’s spine and throwing Kasumi in a human washing machine.
They’ve turned her into the fucking Buckaroo Banzai of female fighting game characters.
Devil’s Third coming exclusively to Nintendo Wii U in 2015
“The single player is made to be like the action games of yesteryear, and the online competitive multi-player mode was designed on a scale that will make you go ‘this much already?!’ The release date announcement will still take a little longer, but let’s play together when it releases. It’s loads of fun!!” said Tomonobu Itagaki
I strongly believe that Kikuchi Keisuke (producer) will release the Fatal Frame V in America, in many countries. He and me have
same philosophy from the Tecmo days. That’s what I can say for now. I want
you guys to read between the lines. Anyway I will play this game.“ said Tomonobu Itagaki
Things You May Have Gotten Wrong About This DOAX3 Nonsense
Quite the stink is being raised about Koei Tecmo’s decision to not release Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 outside of Japan. Despite unfounded claims to the contrary, most of the stink is coming from the small handful or people who’d actually buy the game if it came to North America. There’s a fair amount of misinformation and propaganda being built around the whole thing, so I figured I’d clarify a few things.
1) Koei Tecmo never blamed their decision on “SJWs.”
I don’t see “SJW” in there anywhere, do you? Aside from “SJW” having been turned into a nonsensical bogeyman bandied about by reactionary crybabies, those who would be labeled as such aren’t the only ones whose handling of the Dead Or Alive franchise has been criticized. Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the Dead Or Alive games and former head of Team Ninja, stated in an interview with Orochinagi that, as of Dead Or Alive 5, the series had become little more than “an online erotic clothes shop.” That’s right: the man who admits to being a bit pervy himself and who gave us the original Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball thinks the series has become over-eroticized. Itagaki is also on record about being upset that Team Ninja “whitewashed” the character Lisa after his departure, making her skin tone needlessly lighter, effectively canceling one of the few attempts to expand the game’s diversity.
2) Koei Tecmo has little to nothing to gain from widely releasing the game.
Dead Or Alive Xtreme, as a series, has never been particularly successful, but the downward slope the side-series has enjoyed is even more disappointing than most. The series’ first game, Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, released in 2003 on the original Xbox system. According to estimates at VGchartz, the game never broke a million units sold worldwide, capping out at approximately 590,000 sales, with around 60% of those coming from North America. 2.5 times as many units sold in North America as in Japan, but given the size and population disparity, as well as the Xbox’s lack of popularity in Japan compared to the west, that makes sense.
Jump forward three years, and we have the release of Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2 on the Xbox’s successor, the 360. Same proportions of sales this time around, with North America buying 2.3 times as many copies of the game as Japan. However, sales were much lower on the whole, with Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2estimated at only 250,000 units sold worldwide. That’s not even half of what the first game made, despite graphical upgrades and, admittedly, not much else.
Glancing over reviews of Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2, care of Metacritic, it’s not surprising as to why it performed poorly. Of the four reviews out of 46 that gave the game a score qualifying as “positive” (marked in green), the best score Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2 could muster was a 78/100. Even that review’s quip mentions that the sequel offers little to expand on its predecessor. Further content on that review is unavailable, as the site that published it seems to be defunct. Funnily enough, the only positive review whose site still exists is Game Informer, who gave it a 75. The Game Informer link doesn’t even go to the review anymore, but this is likely due to changes in site formatting over the course of nine years. Of the other two positive reviews, one site is also dead, and the other hasn’t updated since January, 2014. The remainder of the review spread drops 22 reviews into neutral territory and 20 of them in the negative. Not a good showing at all.
So, going solely by the trends we’ve established, Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 would be lucky to net sales of 125,000 worldwide, with maybe 60,000-70,000 units sold in North America. That’s ignoring the fact that, as mentioned earlier, it’s been nine long years since we had any Dead Or Alive Xtreme anything. Plus, as Itagaki rued, Dead Or Alive 5 has basically usurped Dead Or Alive Xtreme’s role as the series’ spankbait entry with its microtransaction-loaded costume collection.
Koei Tecmo has no monetary reason to bring Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 out at all, never mind internationally.
3) Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 is not being “taken away” from anyone.
Even with its lack of necessity, Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 does have a potential fanbase out of nostalgia factor. In fairness, the volleyball engine itself isn’t great, but isn’t terrible, either. The series has always been great fodder for mockery as well, between the strange breast physics and the goofiness of the entire premise. There are, admittedly, people who want this game, and not all of them want it for titillation’s sake.
Lucky for them, a lack of North American or European release doesn’t really stop anyone from simply setting up a secondary, Japanese account on PlayStation Network, with which they can buy and download the PlayStation Vita and/or PlayStation 4 versions of the game. It’s not difficult. The option is there. The game even has English subtitles already! Those who prefer physical copies or collector’s editions have the option of importing those as well, through a number of websites.
In fact, game import site Play-Asia is exploiting this as hard as they can right now to support their flagging relevance, going so far as to trump up the accusations of “SJW nonsense” and pander to Twitter’s lowest common denominator to drum up sales and sock-puppet followers. Their actions have sparked renewed harassment and some new harassment for many opponents of their newfound fans, many of which seem to affiliated with GamerGate for some mysterious reason.
I can only imagine their chagrin when they learn Twitter followers do not equal sales by a long shot. A quick search for other import sites will yield many an alternative to Play-Asia, whose customer service and fraudulent charge issues seem to be catching up to them.
4) No one was or is actively trying to keep Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 out of anywhere.
There are some, GamerGate mostly, who claim this whole thing is because “SJWs” are mad about video game breasts or whatever, and that there have been complaints about the game’s potential release in the west.
I’ll just leave this here.
In the end, we have much ado about nothing from an angry mob trying to position themselves as defenders of free speech, creative vision, or whatever else rather than the frothing hate mob they’ve always been, and a publisher whose attempt to let down fans easy with a flimsy excuse only gave them an excuse to lash out again.
On a personal note, I find the accusations of this being a sleight against a developer the most hilarious. Firstly, Koei Tecmo is merely publishing Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3, and this is a business decision on their part rather than a creative decision by the developer, Team Ninja. Secondly, I think Team Ninja’s not too concerned with Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 at this point, with the money farm that is Dead Or Alive 5’s microtransactions and how well Hyrule Warriors is doing, which also has a 3DS version on the way. Hyrule Warriors, which shipped nearly twice as many units in half a year from its release as the original Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball sold lifetime. A game that has outsold Dead Or Alive 5 as well, despite the latter having a two-year lead on Hyrule Warriors and being exclusive to the Wii U, a console many “true gamers” have declared dead over and over.
I think Team Ninja will be okay, and I think a lot of you ought to sit down now. Funny that they’re making more off a(n almost) kid-friendly monster-whoopin’ fest than they ever have or ever will peddling puerile, masturbatory fantasies.
DISCLOSURE DUMP: I played Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball for a few hours with Hitomi back in 2004, got bored because it took too long to get anywhere. I regret never finding the water slide because the disasters you can cause on that are hilarious. Hitomi’s also my best fighter in the main Dead Or Alive series (at least up through 3), though I also dabble in Bayman and Helena. I put a pat of butter on my steel cut oats for dinner. I should be doing laundry instead of writing this. I think Imran Khan also hit on a lot of good points in this piece on the (non-)issue, and you should read it.
Does it mean you're gay if youre a girl and you play the doa Extreme games?
// Of course not! I’m a straight female and I used to be obsessed with DOAX2. You’re not going to believe this, but Tomonobu Itagaki once said in an interview that the DOAX games were actually intended for female audiences, hence why there are no males to play as (I guess that explains the girly soundtracks in the first two games???). It’s funny though, since more men play the game (hence the more skimpier bikinis being introduced later)
I used to hate shopping and this game made me obsessed with it (damn u). I was looking online about this subject a few years ago, and a poster said he was a gay male and enjoyed playing the games. I believe the doax games reach out to a very diverse audience.
Let’s face it… We all know I’m obsessed with the jet ski parts by now… If any of the future games had that, then I will be the first customer.