Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, the newest game from Team Ninja and Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, has a release date. Publisher Tecmo Koei revealed today that the hack-and-slash adventure will launch in February and March of next year.

Ninja Gaiden Z doesn't star franchise hero Ryu Hayabusa. Instead, you play as Yaiba Kamikaze, an evil ninja that slaughtered his own clan. Ryu battles Yaiba at the outset of the game and badly wounds him.

Yaiba is brought back from the brink of death by a secretive organization. The organization outfits him with cybernetics in hopes that he can stop a zombie outbreak. The ninja also hopes to use his new cyborg weaponry to get his revenge on Ryu.

"Step into a stylized living comic book where stunning graphics depict a world gone mad overflowing with hordes of the undead," Tecmo says of the game. "Only Yaiba’s drive for retribution and willingness to use any means necessary to get the job done can stop the countless waves of zombies in his path. Yaiba’s lust to kill is insatiable as he mercilessly slices through masses of enemies with his sword, or the array of weapons accessible via his cyborg arm. Miss Monday is Yaiba’s virtual escort and is vital to his survival. However, not even she is safe from his brash, unbridled sarcasm."

Producer Shinsaku Ohara told Ryan at E3 that the game's like a Quentin Tarantino film. Still, as Ryan said, the game's pretty extreme even by Tarantino standards. Ryan reported seeing a two-headed zombie baby and a shower of flaming panties, among other things.

The shine is off Ninja Gaiden these days due to the shallow and buggy Ninja Gaiden 3 released last year. The early footage we've seen so far suggests that Yaiba could bring the series back to prominence, though. We'll find out on March 4th when the game launches here in North America. European gamers can pick up the game starting on the Friday before, February 28th.

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