Ninja Gaiden II Director Says: “We’re Not Using Violence of Violence’s Sake”

Ninja Gaiden II media so far depicts intense violence and gore. Hacked limbs, execution-style kills and other decapitations protrude through the title. Is there a reason for it, though? According to the game’s director, Tomonobu Itagaki, there is; and he’s fairly confident that the ESRB and other game rating organizations will agree.

“We know that we’re going to have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” commented Itagaki, regarding the eventual ratings submission. “But for us, I think that with the way the violence is used in the game and how it works with the gameplay, we’re not using violence of violence’s sake. It’s really tied into how the game plays. We don’t want to compromise on that element at all.”

From what has been witnessed concerning the violence so far, Itagaki is correct. By hacking off an enemy’s legs, you won’t necessarily kill them. You will disable them, and they’ll attempt to take you down with them, though, by pulling out a grenade in a suicide that’ll (hopefully, for them) lead to a homicide, as well. There will, obviously, be many variations when it comes to just how enemies will react when they lose a particular body part. We’ve yet to see all of them, of course (but, do look forward to it).

Itagaki explained further, “[Violence is] one method that you can use to really bring a player into a game and make it more satisfying…. It’s one portion of making this game the best action game on the market, but it’s not like we have a specific goal to [make this the most violent game ever].

“…We want to continue to pursue the violence in cool way, in a bad-ass way.”

You’ve got the ninjas, you’ve got the stylized kills, the impressive graphics and locales; you’re off to a good start, Tecmo.