Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z is a spin-off game of the Ninja Gaiden series. The player takes the role of the ninja Yaiba who was killed by Ryu Hayabusa, the usual protagonist of the series. Now he is resurrected by a corporation with the goal to learn more about a zombie epidemic which has something to do with Hayabusa. Additionally Yaiba has the personal goal to take revenge for his death. In contrast to the previous games, this one is less serious and presents absurd situations and humorous dialogues.
Regarding gameplay, this is a hack & slash game with the series' trademark high difficulty. Yaiba faces numerous enemies in melee combat and needs to dispose of them by using his weapons (slashes with his short sword, a powerful attack with the robot fist or an area attack) and most importantly ranking up combos. This rewards the possibility to perform a finishing move which makes enemies drop health or short-lasting weapons. Many enemies are elemental based which can be exploited, e.g. outmaneuvering an electro zombie so it hurts a fire zombie creates an electrical storm. More combos and passive bonuses can be unlocked after earning enough experience points. Besides fighting, the player also has to solve some environmental puzzles and survive acrobatic sequences in which Yaiba runs up walls and swing around. Those rely on pressing the correct button at the correct time to avoid death.