Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 due Sept. 29

Tecmo locks down North American launch for its expanded, less violent PlayStation 3 outing of Ryu Hayabusa; European and Japanese releases to follow.

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As the all-important fourth quarter approaches, more and more games are either staking their claim to a firm release date--or retreating into next year. On Monday, two Ubisoft titles, Splinter Cell and Red Steel 2, slid into early 2010 launch windows, while Forza Motorsport 3 locked down October 27. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 has now also joined the latter camp, with Tecmo announcing it will ship in North America on September 29. That’s the same day as Dead Space: Extraction and the same week as Gran Turismo for PSP's October 1 launch.

Tecmo is hoping to find an opening in the jam-packed fourth quarter.
Tecmo is hoping to find an opening in the jam-packed fourth quarter.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is developed by Team Ninja, which lost its lead designer Tomonobu Itagaki last year before owner Tecmo merged with Koei. Like 2007's critical hit Ninja Gaiden Sigma, the game will be an expanded and visually upgraded version of a Ninja Gaiden title--Ninja Gaiden II, in this case--previously released on an Xbox platform. However, unlike its predecessor, the game will slightly tone down the over-the-top violence of its original incarnation.

"When we developed Ninja Gaiden 2, we very much placed the emphasis on the violence," Sigma 2 producer Yosuke Hayashi told reporters at a London event in June. "Since last year, the number of games featuring high levels of violence increased. So rather than do something the same as everyone else is doing, we decided to make it different." The game will, however, still feature blood, dismemberment, and decapitations.

Besides the regular $60 edition of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, GameStop is exclusively offering a $70 Collector's Edition. According to the retailer's product page, the special version will include an 80-page book with three parts: a strategy guide, a section with "vibrant Ninja Gaiden art," and a comic book that corresponds to in-game cutscenes. All editions of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 feature a new online co-op mode with more than 30 challenge stages.

For more details on Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, read GameSpot's brand-new hands-on preview or watch the just-released footage below.

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