If by a man's work shall ye know him, Tomonobu Itagaki is a smashed Xbox 360 control pad. In fact, he's a special kind of smashed Xbox 360 control pad. He's the kind that was desecrated in a frenzied tantrum of bile and frustration, its destruction soundtracked by a stream of vitriolic swearwords so extreme any senior citizens within earshot would spontaneously combust.
Team Ninja currently boasts "the most powerful team in history" and has improved since the acrimonious departure of Tomonobu Itagaki, studio boss Yosuke Hayashi has claimed.
The new-look Team Ninja is backing PS3 following the departure of former leader Tomonobu Itagaki.
Ninja Gaiden developer Team Ninja apparently has three action games ready to unveil at the Tokyo Game Show, which takes place in early October.
Ninja Gaiden is the franchise that never was, a famous videogame brand that has clocked up over ten titles without ever adhering to any consistent continuity. These are games that play almost identically, yet often have little in common beyond the name of the lead character and a propensity for fiendish difficulty levels. But still they endure, most recently revived and resuscitated by the mercurial talents of Tomonobu Itagaki and Team Ninja. Today gamers fidget in anticipation to see what the outspoken development wizard has come up with. Two decades ago, however, Ninja Gaiden was just getting started, launching in the arcades and on the NES in a peculiar criss-cross release pattern.
As another week dissolves into a bubbly beer, so do lots of new bits and pieces make their way onto the PS3 Store.
Unfortunately, though, there is still no sign of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 demo that 360 owners were treated to at the end of September. Sony says it doesn't know where it is, and Konami is off watching some PES Euro finals in Spain.
However, what there is this week is a taster for that other football game FIFA 08, as well as demos for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 and The Simpsons.
In case you hadn't noticed, the European PlayStation Store was updated with a handful of bits and bobs yesterday.
Among its biggest treats were new demos for the excellent SEGA Rally and not-so-good Folklore, as well as fresh content for MotorStorm, Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Spider-Man 3.
MotorStorm fans will now be able to race a new truck and mud plugger around some dirty land in the Capitano & Varjack vehicle pack for GBP 1.49 (EUR 2.12); Ninja Gaiden Sigma owners will be able to master a series of challenges based around alacrity in the Speed Master pack for GBP 2.99 (EUR 4.27); and Spider-Man 3 fans will be treated to a new Goblin character in the functionally named Goblin pack for GBP 3.99 (EUR 5.69).
Eidos has announced that downloadable content will soon be available for Ninja Gaiden Sigma, with the first of three packs available on 6th September.
Let's get one thing out of the way early on: Ninja Gaiden is a great game. If you have an unholy appreciation for all things action, then this is a game that's well worth a look. Boasting the kind of combat depth that's had the hardcore frothing for the past three years or more, it's a brutal exercise in how to use top-line beat-'em-up mechanics in a fleshed-out game.
Now expanded into an epic 19-mission campaign (with countless extras), it's well-constructed, with an array of memorable moments, pad-trashing boss encounters and plenty of worthwhile unlockable extras to keep you coming back for more. Sure, there are plenty of negatives to go into (more of that later), but the core combat at the heart of the game is unarguably what makes it so revered. As Tom noted in the review of the Xbox original, "No other game manages to deliver on the potential of controlling a ninja with this much flair and authority - it is one of the finest action games ever made."
Tecmo and Team Ninja is evidently really fed up with being told how brilliant its game is while not reaping the full commercial rewards for its efforts. How else do you explain why it's releasing its 2004 classic for the third time? Last time we revisited the game, releasing Ninja Gaiden Black in the latter half of 2005 was a totally understandable and justifiable decision. For a start it was a budget 'Classic' release, so it was something Microsoft was going to do anyway. On top of that it helped address several of the things that were wrong with the game in the first place - such as adding proper camera controls, and a far more accessible difficulty level, as well as a number of added bonuses that fans appreciated. It was, effectively, a Special Edition, and, as far as Xbox games go, one of the finest in the console's repertoire.
Not only are PlayStation 3 owners set to get the most complete and expansive version of Ninja Gaiden to date when Sigma launches this summer, but once they're done they can expect to download plenty of extras.
Yosuke Hayashi doesn't look like a ninja. He looks young, smartly dressed and smiles a lot, and seems singularly unlikely to flip out and kill everyone in the room at the drop of a hat. Of course, ninjas are noted as masters of stealth, so we should be on our guard. Appearances can be deceptive.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma director Yosuke Hayashi has spiritedly defended the PlayStation 3 in an exclusive interview with Eurogamer - and all but confirmed that Team Ninja will be working on further titles for the platform.
Available now on the Japanese and US branches of the PlayStation Store, Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo is an intriguing first look at what could well become the PS3's most intense, hardcore action game.
As promised a little under a month ago, Tecmo has thrust a demo of Ninja Gaiden Sigma onto the US and Japanese PlayStation 3 Stores.
A Ninja Gaiden Sigma Special Edition pack that popped up overnight sounds jolly nice, but don't get your hopes up about seeing it here. Eidos recently signed up the game, and a spokesperson told Eurogamer this afternoon that "there are currently no plans for a Ninja Gaiden Special Edition two-disc box set in the UK".
Eidos has confirmed that it will distribute Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden Sigma on PlayStation 3 this summer.
Unfortunately us Europeans will have to sit and watch from the sidelines as US and Japanese gamers enjoy a demo for Ninja Gaiden Sigma next month.
Throwing handfuls of shurikens this morning was Tecmo, who insisted that the PlayStation 3's Ninja Gaiden Sigma was much more than a port of the 2005 Xbox hit, Ninja Gaiden: Black.
For starters, everything from backgrounds, enemies, characters, animations and textures will be revamped for the next generation console. It'll also let you partially install, or fully install the game on the PS3 hard drive to help loading times. All this and it's promised to run at a consistent 60 FPS with full self-shadowing and in 720p.
There's ninja-buckets of new content, too. Sigma is 19 chapters long, three more than the original. Plus there's a new, even harder difficulty mode for those of you with ridiculous gaming know-how.
The game known to my mother as Ninja Garden is on its way to PlayStation 3 according to, you guessed it, Famitsu Weekly.