Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is set to be one of the most noteworthy games of 2023. And with that, we have to take a closer look at its development team, Team Ninja.
This group has been in the game for some time, working on an array of franchises, from Dead or Alive to Ninja Gaiden to unlikely favorites like Fire Emblem and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. The team even got to try its hand with the recent Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin.
So let’s take a trip back in time and discuss the company’s five greatest games. That’s not to say they’ll be everyone’s favorites, but there’s something about the titles that we selected that really shows off what the team can do. Let’s go Ninja!
Dead or Alive 3
Over the years, we’ve seen the Dead or Alive series take all sorts of new directions – volleyball, bikini fighting, robots, you name it. But its debut on the original Xbox platform made the most waves. It introduced some noteworthy new characters, as well as the ability to fight in new arenas by knocking your opponents down a peg. And, of course, it had sexiness to spare, along with fun versus action. Halo was obviously a must-have, but Dead or Alive 3 earned its keep as well.
Ninja Gaiden II
The original Ninja Gaiden and its Black counterpart were certainly tough as nails. However, nothing could prepare us for the amazingness of Ninja Gaiden II. It packs on more thrills and more visceral action, along with the mind-numbing challenge that other games like Elden Ring would easily learn from. Not to mention some of the bosses you face in this game. And, of course, Ryu Hayabusa being the usual bad-ass.
Working alongside the team at Omega Force, Team Ninja crafted a fun “beat up thousands of enemies” go around with Hyrule Warriors. Encompassing everything that made the Legend of Zelda universe that was so fun with a tried-and-true gameplay formula, the game succeeded valiantly on Wii U and 3DS. However, it would find its true calling on Nintendo Switch, where it sold the most copies. Now that’s how you add to a legacy.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
This Nintendo Switch exclusive literally came out of left field, with a franchise that hadn’t been seen since Activision lost it years ago. But Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 lives up to the hype, thanks to a superstar roster, great beat-em-up action and co-op support for Marvel fans and newcomers alike. Plus its expansions are inspired as well, for those that invested in them. Now if we can just get a part four.
It’s easy to see where the inspiration for Wo Long came from when you play the Nioh games. The first one is really exceptional, a fantastic and challenging action game that’s actually based on a script produced long ago by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. It’s definitely on the tough side, but utterly rewarding; and you can buy it in a lovely two-pack for PlayStation 5 for a very good price. Now get to hacking and slashing!
Honorable Mention: Metroid Other M
Let’s just get this out of the way now. Metroid Other M did not have a good script. In fact, it kind of betrays the toughness of the series’ lead star, Samus Aran. However, if you can look past this, you’ll find a well-built Metroid game that combines side-scrolling goodness with first- person shooting. It pays off pretty nicely, thanks to solid controls that took advantage of the Wii remote. However, we really wish something more had been done with the story. Ah well.
Need a Nintendo Switch to play some of these great games on? We’re giving one away!