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Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z dev diary discusses setting and cyborg arms

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A new developer diary features Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi and Comcept's Keiji Inafune discussing their studios' upcoming zombie-slaying ninja game Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.

Speaking to each other in the Team Ninja offices, Hayashi and Inafune answer questions posed to them by employees regarding the game's setting, how the development is progressing, and what exactly the purpose is regarding the protagonist Yaiba's robotic arm.

The game is set in Ukraine, says Inafune, in part because the team wanted to make a game set in a place they'd never been before, and because it seemed like a suitable place to be able to use zombies themselves as weapons. Ukraine was suggested as a location by the Spark team, says Inafune, and though it starts there he's not certain if that will also be where the game ends.

"It's hard to say exactly what 'smoothly' is like in game development," says Inafune in response to a question about the game's progress. The culture and language gap between the Japanese and American studios working on the game poses a barrier, but "we're talking pretty openly, and even fighting sometimes," he says.

The final topic deals with the cyborg arm used by the protagonist, zombified ninja Yaiba. "People can kind of imagine a ninja-zombie combination," says Hayashi, "but adding a cyborg element made our staff wonder what kinds of new chemical reactions would come out of that mix."

"The cyborg aspect is really important," adds Inafune. "You need a little comic touch when taking out zombies, and I think the cyborg arm does that pretty well too."

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is scheduled to hit this year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.