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Itagaki Talks Ninja Gaiden 2 DLC, Difficulty Levels, Yoda and Darth Vader in SC4, Heavenly Sword

Team Ninja's upcoming Ninja Gaiden II (X360) will sport some type of downloadable content, studio lead Tomonobu Itagaki told Shacknews in a comprehensive interview.

"It'll be something that'll make you say, 'Whoa,'" teased Itagaki, though he refused to offer further details. "In the past, when I've said I've been thinking about something, there have been times when I haven't followed through. This time, you can rest assured that I'll follow through [with downloadable content]."

While discussing DLC, Itagaki noted his dislike for titles such as Namco Bandai's Beautiful Katamari, a game that includes locked disc content only accessible if users purchase a downloadable key from Xbox Live. "That's not very beautiful, is it?" he jested. "That's awful. Games like that should cease to exist from this planet."

He also touched upon Namco Bandai's recent revelation that Yoda and Darth Vader will appear in Soul Calibur IV, with one character exclusive to the Xbox 360 edition and the other exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version. "I think [the exclusivity is] a disservice to gamers," he said. "This is like saying, 'You gotta get both [versions] if you want to get everything.'"

He went on to reveal that Ninja Gaiden II features a new difficulty mode, The Path of the Acolyte, and a robust tutorial that will hopefully help willing players to avoid the frustration that the first Ninja Gaiden on Xbox was known for. "The first game was great and had a lot of depth, but we weren't necessarily able to get everyone up to the level of skill where they could use everything the game had to offer," he admitted.

Itagaki then downplayed the odds of an eventual Ninja Gaiden II re-release a la Ninja Gaiden Black, explaining that the re-release came about as a result of the low Xbox Live population at the time. "I wanted to give offline-only users a chance to experience all of the [downloadable] content as well," he noted. "But now, it's totally different. I don't feel like I have to worry about that any more."

Other discussed topics included Ninja Theory's Heavenly Sword, which Itagaki praised for its animation, but criticized for "game design parts [that] left a little to be desired."

For more details on Ninja Gaiden II and Itagaki commentary, check out the full interview.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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