Much like hell is bound to freeze over someday, eventually a time had to come when Tecmo would release a Ninja Gaiden game that wouldn’t give you carpal tunnel from having to repeat each level 80 times. That day is now. Team Ninja studio head Yosuke Hayashi revealed to IGN that Ninja Gaiden III will be more about “slicing and dicing” than artfully dismembering opponents. More importantly, the new game will be more accessible than previous games in the series.
“We are trying to design the game so that anyone can take on the game and experience the action,” said Hayashi. “You can expect it to be less demanding than Ninja Gaiden II, it won’t be as hard as that. It might taste a bit different, but it will still stay Ninja Gaiden, and we don’t think the difficulty is a big issue.”
In addition, the game will focus heavily on how it feels to slice through enemies. “You’ll actually feel how it feels to cut through someone; you’ll feel the bones breaking. We’re going to focus on the feeling of cutting someone more than dismembering them…You’ll have to press buttons, things like that, to have your katana go through the bodies. There will be force-feedback to reinforce the idea; There will be work to cutting somebody….The intention for this title is to focus on the feeling of cutting someone instead of just going through entire armies of bad guys.”
Commenting on camera problems and overall issues with previous games, Hayashi added that: “We consider Ninja Gaiden I and Ninja Gaiden II’s design to be old,” he said. “We are trying something new for the gameplay and starting over from scratch.”
While hardcore Gaiden fans may be upset to hear this, it is great to see Tecmo take a chance and try to keep Ninja Gaiden fresh as it evolves. As difficult as it is sometimes, the Ninja Gaiden series is one of few series to successfully transition from the 2D sidescrolling days of the NES to the polygonal 3D gameplay of today. There have been more than a dozen Gaiden games since its debut in 1988. These changes will hopefully set it apart enough to help the series celebrate its historic 25th anniversary in 2013.