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Ninja Gaiden 3 will be more accessible

Brutal difficulty eased for post-Itagaki NG.

Hack and slash series Ninja Gaiden is known for its brutal difficulty – but with the third game in the series developer Team Ninja plans to make the action more accessible.

"Team Ninja's aim with Ninja Gaiden 3 is twofold: to be the number one 3D action game of the time, and secondly, the main character is Ryu Hayabusa. They're the two things we're focusing on," Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi told Eurogamer.

"Then, providing excitement, which is not only from the difficulty. That's just one of the elements. It's more like having excitement from fighting an exciting boss. That is what we needed."

Ninja Gaiden 3 is being developed without the aid of Tomonobu Itagaki , who quit as Team Ninja boss in 2008.

Gamers and critics have described NG3 as a reboot and an attempt by the new Team Ninja to make its own mark on the series Itagaki so loved.

"With the previous Ninja Gaidens, you were playing and you were excited, but it was more about putting the controller into the TV screen or something," Hayashi said. "That kind of excitement we were focusing on and aiming for. So that's why for you maybe it was too difficult at that time.

"That's one of the elements. We're not focusing on it, but focusing on providing excitement."

So, is Ninja Gaiden 3 easier than 1 and 2?

"Not easy," Hayashi replied, "but it will enable more people to play. More accessible. We don't plan to have Ninja Gaiden 3 only for the really good, skilled people."

Ninja Gaiden was a 2004 Xbox-exclusive that Eurogamer awarded 9/10.

"You could however quite reasonably argue that the difficulty curves upwards a bit beyond the reach of the average gamer, and that there are too many instances particularly towards the end when you simply don't have enough health elixirs to continue making progress, and falling back to a previous save game becomes necessary," Tom wrote in his review.

Little is known about Ninja Gaiden 3. Tecmo Koei is yet to reveal launch platforms or a release date - although we can expect a hands-on demo at this year's E3.