And somehow that makes it more violent and disturbing.
Yosuke Hayashi, the leader of Team Ninja has made clear that the third 3D Ninja Gaiden will not feature the free dismemberments and constant decapitations that were prominent in its predecessors in order to show that Ryu is a “dark hero”.
“For Ninja Gaiden 3 we wanted to focus on the act of cutting someone down, and what it’s like to actually kill someone with a sword. Once you start lopping off limbs, your enemy goes from being a living thing that you’re killing to just a thing.
When you’re actually cutting into a person, and you feel them getting scared, and the blood is spraying right on you, you hear their dying breaths in your ear — that’s the kind of visceral violence we’re going for in Ninja Gaiden 3.”
That sounds really uncomfortable and not necessarily like my definition of fun, but he adds:
“Ryu Hayabusa is a dark hero. If people want to take the easy way out or a cleaner way out — not killing people — that’s not what the story is about and what Ryu Hayabusa is about. To be a dark hero, you have to do bad things in order to do good.”
Makes sense, but I never saw Ninja Gaiden as the kind of series that would actually be about that type of deep thought and assumed that the story was just an excuse for, well, chopping shit up. Then again, a lot of Ninja Gaiden players might as well have turned into murderers already, given how aggravatingly hard those games (old and new) are, so maybe they’re just playing to their core audience?