It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Ninja Gaiden. The last entry in the series, Ninja Gaiden 2 and the following Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 both suffered an equal amount of controversy. NG2 was notoriously hated for the obnoxious gameplay faults, while NGS2 solved these annoyances, NGS2 created a new problem; the decrease in blood and gore, and instead the blood was replaced by purple gore (err….mist). People love Ninja Gaiden the way it was designed by Itagaki.
Ninja Gaiden 3 was announced at TGS last September. We were left only with a teaser image that stirred a lot of speculation. The teaser raised a lot of questions, and one of the most notorious questions of them is: “Is Ryu taking off his mask?” Tecmo answered with a trailer that was released during GDC:
I’m not sure if I am liking the whole “unmask.” I have always thought of the remake of Ninja Gaiden to be much better in character design to the very original NES Ninja Gaiden games. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the hell out of the originals for its extreme difficulty, I loved Ninja Gaiden and I still love it to this day, no matter how “old” it looks. It is still one of the best action games of its time.
The trailer has raised a lot of eyebrows, and a lot of “leave the mask alone!” responses. Ryu’s mysterious nature has never been in the spotlight. His face was shown in some Ninja Gaiden games. And so, therefore I don’t think the unmasking is about revealing Ryu. Some people are speculating that the unmasking is about someone else, others are saying that the reveal is about revealing Ryu’s “fiend” side, in other words, they’re saying that Ryu may have been infected, others are saying that something pissed Ryu off so badly he went and got some powers to take revenge.
If you look carefully in the trailer, he has some markings on his arm. His eyes are yellowish/orange. Some species in the reboot Ninja Gaiden games have different eye colors; one was wearing red, one was wearing green, one was wearing blue. In the reveal image Tecmo released, his eyes were “sparkly” green, his eyes has always been green, suggesting that Ryu wasn’t infected. I think that he was initiated into a clan – I am thinking a new clan. The face looks like it has some markings, though I’m not sure because it could also be blood splattering on his eye. If my memory serves me right Black Spider Clan members had bright yellow eyes to accompany their grey uniforms.
I notice something else in the trailer, it looks like the story takes place in a war-torn Ninja Gaiden universe. Most likely, Ryu may have lost his entire clan; that includes the legendary Dragon Sword. It seems like Ryu is so angry that he thrust his strength into his sword enough to make his enemy die a violent death.
One thing that the trailer shows is that the developers seem to be taking cues from God of War 3’s book placing you in the role of the enemy, while you’re supposed to survive that attack with Quick Time Event gameplay. QTE’s are prompts that tell you to press or turn a button.
Ninja Gaiden 3 is set to make its debut at this year’s E3, and the game will be playable at E32011. More information is forthcoming as we approach June 7th.