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.
2011 is set to be the year Team Ninja emerges from the shadow cast by the departure of Tomonobu Itagaki with new games in the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden franchises. Dimensions, the first DOA fighting game in over five years, is a launch window title for the 3DS, and Ninja Gaiden 3, still without announced platforms, has been described as a reboot. Exciting times.
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.
FIFA 10 is the UK's second fastest selling game ever behind Grand Theft Auto IV, smashing FIFA 09's opening weekend by a fearsome 48 per cent.
Once upon a time, there was a six-limbed giant demonic werewolf named Volf, who lived in a lovely upscale mansion in the heart of Venice. One day, a Mr Ryu Hayabusa came to visit. Volf was pleased, as - truth to tell - he'd grown rather bored of late. Not surprising, really, seeing as the city beyond his manly stained-glass windows was entirely devoid of inhabitants besides Volf's own marauding monsters, and he rarely got out much these days, anyway, on account of the bizarre layout of his home, which saw rooms slotted together haphazardly, with some chambers only accessible by backflipping up through the chimney below and out of the fireplace.
Anyway, Volf suggested that Mr Hayabusa join him across the street, in his own private coliseum. Long story short, once they got there Mr Hayabusa chopped Volf's head off before escaping on the skids of a passing attack helicopter, piloted by a sexy CIA agent dressed only in some leather underwear.
There are two things you need to know up front about Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. One: it's still ridiculous. Two: it's still hard. Three: it's no longer ridiculously hard, however. Four: that makes three. Team Ninja has used the PS3 remix of last year's Xbox 360 splatterfest to make a number of tweaks to its original design, adding a handful of new elements like bosses, playable characters and modes, while seeking to refine the whole experience. The result is a game that's certainly a little more forgiving than it previously was, and perhaps a little more enjoyable too.
Sony has updated the PlayStation Store and the highlights are Lost Planet 2 and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 demos for PS3 and the long-awaited first downloadable content for the PS3 version of Fallout 3 - the Broken Steel pack that ups the level cap.
Tecmo Koei has revealed that Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will support Sixaxis.
Tecmo KOEI has revealed that Team Missions in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will provide different encounters to those in Story mode, including facing multiple bosses at once!
Update: Tecmo KOEI has just this minute confirmed the European Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 date as 2nd October.
Ryu and friends busting baddies.
Perhaps it's the signature moments that separate great games from good. The classics are brave enough to linger over that single, defining action, while merely decent games let their competent mechanics blur together in a friendly muddle. That's why the killer bounce-and-rebound in Mario is a thousand times more satisfying than bottom-stomping baddies in a dozen other platformers, and why slicing enemies into chunks in Ninja Gaiden, screaming down out of the sky, dragon sword glinting in the neon and cherry blossom, is just more effective and exhilarating than chopping up chumps in other fighting games. Signature moments separate the great from the good, and Team Ninja's signature moments separate limbs from torsos and heads from necks at the same time. It's kind of beautiful, really.
Expanded PS3 game out this year.
Team Ninja's new boss has dropped a big hint that Ninja Gaiden will return - and that it will be a multi-platform game when it does.
Tecmo has revealed that Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will feature an online co-op mode plus new playable characters.
Tecmo has confirmed that Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is in development for PlayStation 3 and will be released in the autumn.
The game's been unveiled in the pages of Famitsu (thanks Kotaku), and is an expanded port of Xbox 360-exclusive Ninja Gaiden 2.
Sigma 2 will allow you to play as Ayane in addition to Ryu Hayabusa, and reportedly promises PlayStation Network support and new content.