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'Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z' brings Team Ninja and Keiji Inafune together for a bloody new adventure

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Keiji Inafune's Yaiba fully announced as Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, from Comcept, Team Ninja, and Spark Unlimited.

The zombie-slaying ninja game from Keiji Inafune, revealed simply as Yaiba recently, has been officially unveiled by its full name, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z — a spin-off of the main Ninja Gaiden series. Developer Team Ninja announced the game at a pre-TGS event, revealing an unexpected side story involving their most famous ninja.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a collaboration between Inafune's company Comcept, Team Ninja, and developer Spark Unlimited (Lost Planet 3), whose logo was shown prior to the game's teaser trailer. Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa appeared briefly in the trailer.

Inafune himself joined Team Ninja at their event in Tokyo, saying he's very excited to make the game's he really wants to make, specifically Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, which combines his love of zombies, ninja, and samurai. Additionally, Inafune says he's very excited to work with Team Ninja on a video game that he believes will have appeal in the West.

Team Ninja leader Yosuke Hayashi revealed more about the game, saying that the lead character is someone named Yaiba and is chasing after Ryu Hayabusa. Hayashi said that development on the game is underway on unnamed consoles, but that it doesn't have many details to share.

Polygon will be speaking with Mr. Inafune later this week at Tokyo Game Show to learn more about Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.

Yosuke Hayashi, the leader of Team Ninja, said earlier in the evening "I remember a few years ago, a Japanese game designer said that Japanese games were dead."

"But Team Ninja is still around and we're still strong. And we're going to prove that to you."

That developer was Inafune himself, who later outed himself as the developer negative on Japanese game development. He said he believes in the strength of Japanese video game development.

Team Ninja has plenty on its plate. The developer will release Dead or Alive 5, the next game in its long-running fighting game series, this month. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for the Wii U, an update of the game already released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, is also in the works for the launch window of Nintendo's next console. The developer announced it was also working on Ni-Oh in 2010.

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