The man behind the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series, Tomonobu Itagaki, promises that his upcoming Devil's Third will have a more realistic difficulty level. In Tomonobu's latest interview with Edge Magazine he addresses and apologizes for the ridiculously tough game-play in his previous titles.
If you were one of the people that found the final boss in Dead or Alive 4 unbearable Itagaki has something he wants to say to you:
"Look, I'll say it: the boss character in Dead Or Alive 4 was definitely too difficult. I'll apologise for it. I'm the one who did that, and I'm sorry."
Itagaki offers another explanation for the Ninja Gaiden series, games infamously known to be virtually impossible to beat:
"But, look, Ninja Gaiden, it was absolutely intentional that it be that difficult. That game was a revival version of a classic game for old-school gamers, so I wanted to make the hardcore happy. Ninja Gaiden 2, though, I really wanted more people to enjoy that, but... we ran out of time for balancing. That was a tragedy. Really."
While apologizing for the frustrating difficulty levels his games employ, he also explains why things will be different this time around with Devil's Third. The new team that he is working with at THQ is working to ensure that Itagaki is held under control, promising a difficulty level everyone can enjoy.
"For Devil's Third, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. We've got support from THQ's testing team, and we're going to work really closely with those guys to balance out the game. It's going to be the best game ever."
Personally this worries me, seeing as I love the Ninja Gaiden and the DOA series and appreciate their ability to put my skills as a gamer to the test. I believe his apology for both of the games is unnecessary, because both games were great titles I had a blast playing. When Itakagi was with Team Ninja and Tecmo he had the ability to shape the game as he wanted, but now that he's with THQ and Valhalla these changes come into effect. While toning down game-play difficulty may seem like a good idea to some, it just doesn't seem like something you would expect from Itagaki.
This is the second change that I have seen in Itagaki's development style, that caused me worry. The first was when I noticed the lack of "top-heavy" women in the Devil's Third trailer. First, no scantily clad women and now an easier difficulty set, these are things that the man is known for that is now gone. Whats next a Cliffy B game with no gore?
So how do you guys feel about Itagaki's apology for his previous titles?
A release date for Devil's Third has yet to be announced, but will be coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles.