Tomonobu Itagaki's redux of the Ninja Gaiden series received a lot of praise and attention when Ninja Gaiden first appeared on the Xbox back in 2004. It also spurred a number of follow-ups, including Ninja Gaiden Black for the Xbox and the recent appearance of Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword on the Nintendo DS.
Team Ninja also released a PlayStation 3 revamp of the game in the form of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, although Itagaki had no hands-on involvement with this port due to his focus on Ninja Gaiden II. As for how he felt about it, Itagaki's distaste is such that he has refused to sign copies of the game.
Itagaki-san was in London on Friday, promoting the upcoming June 6 launch of Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360. GameSpot sat down with the enigmatic developer for an exclusive interview. Among the topics discussed, Itagaki reiterated that NGII would be easier than its notoriously difficult predecessor, following the complaints of fans and in consideration of his daughter, who is now old enough to play the game.
He also revealed what's in store for NGII's downloadable content (in addition to variants of lead character Ryu Hayabusa's costume), as well as whether he's likely to develop for the DS or Wii in the future.
When asked about future projects, Itagaki said, "I'm planning to make an announcement about what I'm going to be doing in the future around July," which hints that he could possibly be attending E3 2008. He also said he has no plans to revisit any other classic Tecmo properties, such as Rygar or Mighty Bomb Jack.
Watch the full interview, above, to find out what Itagaki-san has in store for Ninja Gaiden fans, why he wants to make a game about World War II's Pacific theatre, if there's a Master Ninja Tournament coming for NGII, and what he really thinks of the state of Japanese development.