Tecmo is planning to update Ninja Gaiden via Xbox Live this August ahead of the second round of the Master Ninja Tournament. Interestingly though, there's no restriction on who downloads the freely available update, and as well as toughening the game up in some areas and adding new equipment, it also serves as something of a patch - giving players full 360-degree control of the camera, for instance, in light of critical response from reviewers and fans.
Amongst the other changes, budding Ninjas can expect to find new, larger enemies repopulating old levels, three new weapons dotted around (details of which are still on hold), new bosses, at least one new costume for Ryu, smarter enemies and even a faster pace. In other words, if you thought Ninja Gaiden was difficult in the first place, you're going to find it impossible this time.
Sadly, we have a feeling that will put a number of you off, but creator Tomonobu Itagaki remains uncompromising. This is, after all, supposed to be a rock hard game. That was his vision. And those in the second round of the Master Ninja Tournament are meant to be the hardest of the rocks.
"The second round of the Master Ninja Tournament is formatted for participants to download the new content, play through the game from beginning to end and then post their scores online to see how they ranked against other players worldwide," Itagaki explained this week. "If they are confident in their Ninja Gaiden skills, players must take on this challenge."
It won't help people who had difficulty with the original game then, but for anybody left wanting more, this is definitely for you, and the good news is that with a third round of the Master Ninja Tournament still to come, we could be in for another update sometime in the future. And, given the reaction to the camera criticisms, it's just possible that if you complain loudly enough Tecmo might throw in some easier options. Although we wouldn't put money on it.