While the latest Nintendo Direct may have made some fans upset due to the absence of hotly-anticipated titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 or Metroid Prime 4, the conference had a lot of other titles on offer. Nintendo had a lot to present this time, and one that caught a lot of attention is Ninja Gaiden Master Collection.
A collection featuring the 3 most recent outings of fan-favorite Ryu Hayabusa, the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is due to release in June this year. This lends itself well to speculation: if this collection does well, could this mean a new game could be over the horizon.
While Ninja Gaiden may have been around for a long time, the games never amassed a huge fandom. Many games in the series were great but many people didn't actually play it which gives the series a cult-classic stature. The Ninja Gaiden series has sold more than 7.7 million copies as of 2008, which isn't much considering there are more than 15 games released across multiple systems.
Since then, however, the gaming industry has seen a gradual shift towards challenging games. 2009 saw the release of From Software's Demon's Souls which revitalized interest in such games. As the popularity of this genre grew with subsequent Souls games, the internet really started to appreciate challenging games which gave the Ninja Gaiden series a lot more popularity.
Many fans have been clamoring for a new Ninja Gaiden game, and the release of such a collection could prove as a testing ground for Ninja Gaiden's popularity and current relevance, as a gaming franchise. Team Ninja, the developers of the Ninja Gaiden series have moved on to greater pastures with their Nioh games, which have earned their due recognition.
In addition to giving fans a new way and place to revisit these games, Ninja Gaiden Master Collection could also invite many newcomers to the series. While Ninja Gaiden did get a fair share of fandom over the years, the availability of these games on different platforms makes it hard to get invested in the series. With this new collection, those who refrained from doing so would probably get a solid reason to get into the series and get on the hype train for the next release, if it happens.
The choice of games in the collection is also clever as a newer game would probably follow in the footsteps of the 3D titles, as opposed to the action-adventure side scrollers. That being said, fans should just take this collection as a celebration of everything Ninja Gaiden rather than a preparation for what's coming next, and a new game seems like the obvious answer there. No new Ninja Gaiden game is in the works yet, but this could open doors.
Ultimately, it would there is some likelihood of Ryu Hayabusa making an appearance again. If things turn out to be great for Ninja Gaiden Master Collection, it could serve as a final push towards thinking about it seriously.
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