No, it’s not a mistake. The E3 hype has not broken your mind. It’s true. Ex-Ninja Gaiden lead developer and Dead or Alive creator, Tomonobu Itagaki’s long-stalled Devil’s Third has been revived by none other than Nintendo, and it’s now releasing as a Wii U exclusive. Yes, really.
This is very shocking, given Itagaki’s clear love of visceral blood-and-guts combat, and busty, sultry babes. You’d think that Itagaki would be the last person that would mesh well with the often cheerful, family-friendly philosophy of Nintendo. Nonetheless, Itagaki claims that Nintendo really understood his vision for Devil’s Third, and he simply had to work with them as a result. This would also seem to suggest that Nintendo themselves actively sought out the publishing rights to the game after it lost its original publisher, which is very interesting indeed.
This is of course a huge boon to Nintendo, as they now have another mature, violent action game to help appeal to core gamers starved for compelling Wii U exclusives made for mature audiences. This isn’t the only M-rated action game that the Big N has rescued from the axe either! Bayonetta 2 was another game facing cancellation during its internal development for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 after Sega passed on publishing it, only for Nintendo to offer their services to developer, PlatinumGames and revive the sequel as a Wii U exclusive. PlatinumGames has since re-tooled the original Bayonetta for Wii U as well, as a free bonus to be included on Bayonetta 2’s game disc, complete with exclusive costumes and goodies inspired by various Nintendo franchises. This was among the many surprise Wii U announcements at Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event keynote today.
Originally developed for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (and PC, according to some reports), Devil’s Third is the debuting effort of Valhalla Game Studios, an independent game developer formed by Itagaki after his departure from Team Ninja. It was originally set to be published by THQ, but following THQ’s bankruptcy early last year, the game was left without a publisher, and its fate was unknown ever since.
Back when THQ was to publish Devil’s Third, Itagaki confirmed that the game ran on Wii U hardware, but at that time, there were no plans for the game to come to Nintendo’s console at all, much less as an exclusive!
Nonetheless, Devil’s Third maintains the same, “Mostly done” play foundation it had before, combining fast-paced third-person action with intense first-person shooting mechanics, and, naturally, lots of bloody, gruesome combat. Players are able to engage in brutal hand-to-hand brawls, run and jump quickly along walls, and dismember enemies, Ninja Gaiden-style. Devil’s Third will also include an objective-based multiplayer mode, which will be one key new way that the game will take advantage of the Wii U Gamepad, using it as a tool to communicate with and broadcast information between players.
As if that weren’t enough, the game will also feature a level editor. It’s almost certain that this will also make use of the Wii U Gamepad to drag, drop and alter textures, obstacles, enemies and other such design placements.
Itagaki stated earlier this year that he believed Devil’s Third could still release within 2014, even without an apparent publisher. Nintendo covertly reviving the game would explain his confidence in that statement. Nonetheless, Nintendo has yet to confirm themselves exactly when Devil’s Third will come to Wii U.
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