Ninja Gaiden release date finalized

Tecmo and Team Ninja's long-awaited action game will absolutely, positively ship March 2.

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Today Tecmo announced the final release date for Ninja Gaiden, all but ending the game's long journey to stores. The first Xbox installment in the classic series will ship out on March 2, will retail for $49.99, and is rated "M" for Mature.

"Tecmo's focus while developing Ninja Gaiden was to create the best action game ever, and with the game only a week away from launch, I am proud to say that we have succeeded in this goal," said Tecmo general marketing manager John Inada. "Ninja Gaiden will set a new standard in the action genre, and we guarantee it was well worth the wait."

And what a wait it has been. Gamer anticipation for the fantasy action game has been building since it was announced in May 2002. Its 11th-hour postponement last December capped a year of disappointing game delays, and the game recently slipped again from its February release date.

GameSpot's Brad Shoemaker recently took a whack at the combat-intensive game. You can read his hands-on impressions for more on Ninja Gaiden.

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