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Ninja Gaiden III Hero Mode Lets You "Enjoy The Story"

Okay, so some of the hardcore out there will condemn this move, saying it's a sell-out by the developer and a futile attempt to enlist the pansies who can't handle Ninja Gaiden's legendary difficulty.

But director Fumihiko Yasuda told Joystiq that we must remember a few things about the controversial Hero Mode.

Firstly, it's optional. If you don't want the auto-evade and auto-block and would prefer to have the full challenge, you can do that. Secondly, the mode is in place because in the past, Yasuda believes they were losing players during the adventure; i.e., they didn't stick around long enough to finish the game. Plus, it helps to bring out the storyline. Said Yasuda:

"We really wanted to flesh out the story this time around, so we wanted people to enjoy that story and get used to the game as it is. In the past the games were really hardcore and we couldn't get players to stay with us and complete the game."

Yes, technically, that's still a concession to the massive slew of casual gamers out there, and the fact that Japanese developers continually try to find new fans by catering to Western tastes. Basically, Team Ninja doesn't want players to get frustrated by dying a million times and thus, never really feeling the story and plot. So they offer the Hero Mode; nothing wrong with that, right?

As for the rest of the game, it'll still be good ol' Ninja Gaiden, only with a lot more blood. Ryu still has superhuman speed and ability, but when he takes his mask off, "he's a human like all of us." And Tecmo doesn't want that to go unnoticed any longer.

Related Game(s): Ninja Gaiden III

Tags: ngiii, ninja gaiden iii, hero mode, ninja gaiden ps3

9/20/2011 9:44:45 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (56 posts)

Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 10:04:56 AM
Reply

I think that is perfect. And it does not remove anything from the hardcore gamers. There will probably be trophies/achievements for harder modes as well as some content you can only access if you beat the game at x difficulty. If some hardcore players really whine does that mean they always chose the easiest difficulty anyway and now they will be tempted by hero mode? lol

Also this is a good thing to me since by what they are saying it right now, they are putting an emphasis on the story and it might be really good since they have a mode thats made literrally just to *enjoy* it. In the older entries there was a pretty big void of emotions from the main character and I played more to just *kick ass* lol Ex: Monsters A: Puny insect how dare you interfere! Ryu: ... stare ... Monster A: roar! Monster A dies. Ryu ninjas out and some chick of the moment depends on him lol On to the next mob with the same formula! XD

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 9/20/2011 10:12:45 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 10:45:40 AM
Reply

I am one of said pansies. But I don't like this, hardcore games shouldn't make room for pansies.

I know, I know, it's all about sales and accessibility...

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:20:52 PM

Normally I agree with you, World, but not on this one. Adding this level of accessibility should, in theory, attract more buyers who, after playing Hero Mode, should have developed their skills enough to play the normal mode. It's a good long-term-thinking strategy to improve sales and public awareness.

For example, I know tons of people who are interested in Dark Souls but will never play it because of its hardcore nature, saying they don't have the skill to play it effectively. They're missing out on a great game, and From is losing sales. But what if Demon's or Dark Souls had that sort of Hero Mode that allowed less skilled players an entry level to develop their skills to the basic level necessary to play the game as intended? Would the franchise see more sales and greater popularity? I suspect so.

Anyway, just my two cents there. I'll never use such a mode since I'm a stubborn S.O.B., but here's hoping it brings more gamers into the fold!

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:22:31 PM

BTW, I'm sure you know all this. (You're super knowledgable.) Just spelling out my thinking. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:38:31 PM

Yeah I know, you have solid points of course but I worry about the direction gaming goes by attracting more sales. Good for business yes, but then one day you wake up and the games have all been reduced to the level that a child can play them. It's a direction issue. Ironically I am more likely to play this because of these changes, but dumbing down is not something I'm a fan of now that I've been a victim of it.

I remain unconvinced that the normal modes will remain intact, these kind of changes tend to get mission-creep easily.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 5:27:58 PM

I agree with World on this. There's always been "easy" modes in games, for those less dedicated to stand up to a good challenge.

TheAgingHipster, the point of contention I have with your point is that it suggests a persons behavior or tolerance level is contingent on the entry point of difficulty an obstacle presents. I'm a big advocate of the stance that behavioral habits govern independent of the conditions. That is, just because a game has a dumbed down mode, doesn't follow through necessarily that the person will be compelled to play the game through on higher difficulties. Many people do not play games for a challenge. As soon as the game starts being too difficult they will go somewhere else. Their habits, in my experience, will not alter themselves to accommodate higher difficulty, as being relaxed is a state they do not want to move from. They want to keep their mind in neutral, and therefore they'll keep it that way, unless a significant change happens at the behavioral level to compel them to stress themselves otherwise. Being successful in games like Ninja Gaiden and Demon's Souls demands that a player is actively thinking about their actions. Actions that don't need ample portions of stimulating content in trade for progress. Studies show that most game players, even dedicated ones, don't finish their games.

Seemingly, content driven gaming has become the mainstream standard with most critics and game players alike, with only rare critics applauding a game on merits of functional design above all else, as Gamespot did with 2009's Demon's Souls GotY award. It may not have been the spectacle of other games, but it certainly demanded the most thought at the playing level. Where a person's actions were always made accountable through heavy consequence when failing to make logically sound decisions.

But anyway, as for NG3, I can already tell from observing the gameplay that changes at the design level have been made to accommodate a wider audience. It's the dumbing down effect of broadening a game's appeal to the masses.
My concern is that if NG3 succeeds very well because of this new easy mode, that Team Ninja may altogether change the direction of NG's play, relying more on story and dramatics to carry the series forward.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/20/2011 5:28:36 PM

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 5:51:34 PM

Oh sure, there is absolutely no guarantee that creating such a mode will significantly improve sales and/or attract new players to the franchise. But as long as the watered-down mechanics are merely optional, surely you can concede that it can't hurt. The inclusion of an easy-play mode, assuming the core gameplay remains unchanged otherwise (*AHEMFINALFANTASYXIIICOUGH*), seems to be a great attractor for less enthusiastic gamers.

For example, I know a lot of "casual" gamers that only bought Donkey Kong Country Returns and New Super Mario Brothers Wii because of the "self-play" modes that showed them how to make a tricky jump that kept killing them. Those same people might see something like Dark Souls and love the story and graphics, but the extreme difficulty will stop them from playing it unless there's something to help ensure they will see the ending.

Incidentally, my wife falls into that category. She thinks Demon's Souls is beautiful and creepy and she loves watching me play it, but she says, and I quote, "If YOU still die often, I would never even beat the first level!" The easy-play modes that Team Ninja and Nintendo have implemented let less skilled players enjoy our hobby as much as we do, and I wholeheartedly approve.

...well, as long as the core gameplay doesn't suffer FINALFANTASYCOUGHHACKSTUPIDPARADIGMSCOUGH.

Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 9/20/2011 5:56:17 PM

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:05:42 PM

I contend that Demon's Souls wasn't _hard_ per se, but punishing - chuck in pre-boss/cheap kill checkpoints, and it'd be about as difficult as most modern games on 'hard'. And making something more repetitive and tedious isn't my idea of fun.

I also fully agree with the hipster here. One thing that we're forgetting is that all of us have been gaming for many years. While people argue that many games have been dumbed down, in many ways games have also actually got, on average, harder, but had checkpoints added in to reduce the punishment factor. I still go back and play PSOne and earlier classics, and modern games aren't 'easier' than they are, per se - the big difference just tends to be checkpoints.

One of the big reasons games, on average, have got harder is because we, as gamers, have improved our skill levels over time. So for many games, 'easy' now is about as tough (but less punishing, due to checkpoints) as normal was way back when (yes, there are exceptions, but I'm just talking on average here).

And this means new entrants to games, or to the genre are going to get mauled now _more_ than they would have back in the day. Now, if NGIII wants to be the new Battletoads, fair enough, but as Hipster says, if they actually want to have enough sales to keep the franchise going as AAA, then they need people to be able to play and enjoy it. I'm a firm believer of not assuming everyone has a certain amount of skill and that games should have a wide range of skill levels to let as many people as possible take part (imagine if I invited someone for a casual kick of the footy, but said that they've got to be able to kick a minimum distance to participate? Their lack of skill/leg muscles might count them out, even if they'd be trying just as hard to kick).

And as for the 'hardcore' gamers whose shallow sense of identity is presumably threatened by letting other people play on lower difficulty levels, they really need to get a big dash of emotional development ;).

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Gabriel013
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 12:55:31 AM

Axe99, you're last paragraph earned you the thumbs up.

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ryu
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 10:51:47 AM
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that's one of the reason i played this game! no story!

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Riku994
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 10:54:21 AM
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I can do both, thanks :P

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cLoudou
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:05:03 AM
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Man up and play it like its meant to be played. Kids these days can't take an ass whooping and needs to their hands held.

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slugga_status
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:30:00 AM

Co-sign

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Riku994
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:46:06 AM

Cosine

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cLoudou
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:33:18 PM

Damn phone messed up my rant.

*Need their hands to be held

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:23:50 PM

This makes me want to go on a... (wait for it) ....tangent.

*giggle*

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:07:48 PM

lol - so sexist _and_ elitist then are we? ;). NG's always been a harder than average series, of course, but assuming that everyone is of equal skill level (or even has the capacity) is like telling everyone who runs the 100m to get times within tenths of a second of Usain Bolt or not bother trying. And sounds about as silly ;).

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:30:11 PM

dont forget your talking to the angry birds generation lol they need some sort of a bridge between that and easy mode XD

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:31:50 AM
Reply

I do not understand how something that is "optional" is an issue for anyone.

Don't like it?

Don't use it.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 12:47:13 PM

Omfg so nicely worded. Amen.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:39:04 PM

The fact that it even makes room for these things could alter the gameplay enough to turn people off.

example: Sure, I can select my spells manually in FFXIII but because of the new battle system my team still autobattles improperly.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:55:52 PM

World-
Unless you know that for sure, that's just speculation on your part. Are you sure this is the case with Ninja Gaiden?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:59:22 PM

of course not, I'm just rabble rousing. But it won't mean anything anymore to say that you beat a NG game.

Always speculate for the worst case because that's what you'll usually get this gen.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/20/2011 2:01:50 PM

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:25:23 PM

Cynicism is always the best policy.

...or should that be skepticism?

...........actually, I think both work in this thread. Go me.

Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 9/20/2011 2:26:03 PM

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:15:46 PM

@ World, that's a design issue - designers regularly make a mess of 'hard' difficulty settings as well (W@W's grenade-spamming on Vet anyone?), but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have hard difficulties either, eh? ;)

As for whether it means anything or not, _all_ games are about learning patterns and strategies and applying them. In most cases 'hard'/ 'hardcore'/ 'veteran'/ 'named hard enough so all the kids whose sense of self needs propping up by success in a game setting can get their emotional reinforcement they so desperately crave*' settings are just an exercise in spending more time learning the repetition/strategy, or building the hand-eye responses for the game in question. Yes, NG is a particularly tough one, but all it generally meant was that someone had practiced a damn lot to finish it, and if they hadn't more the better. The God of War series is still an awesome brawler that has some tough as nails difficulty settings, as well as easy settings for fans that love the idea but either lack the reaction speed (and this _does_ vary by person), lack the experience, or can't be arsed repeating the experience over and over to learn things that deeply.

As long as they don't shank the design, NG3 on Hard will still be damn hard, so it'll still mean stuff to those that need it to. Sure, finishing the game at all won't, but given this all revolves around gaming one-upmanship and bragging rights, and trophy counts will show who finished what at what level, even those with fragile egos are still catered for :).

*Note - not suggesting this applies to you World, would be very surprised if it did.

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:33:12 PM

Well I dont get it since even finishing it on normal mode is no big feat. Bragging rights start when you do it on Hard and further. So I dont see how, because of Hero super easy mode, you wont be able to brag about finishing NG on hard.

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Dreno
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 12:14:26 PM
Reply

Unfortunatly I have a bad update for the psn release of ffVI and chrono trigger.
Just read about it on G4.

Apperntly sony "mislabled" the game for a release on psn for this Tuesday. They have scratched the games from the blogs, and no new release has been givin yet.

Sorry everyone. Ill be glad to relay anymore info when I find some.

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TheManOfAction
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 12:20:18 PM
Reply

Wasn't there already a mode like that in previous Ninja Gaiden games? I think it was called "Dog Mode" or something

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Teddie9
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 12:23:30 PM

yeah but you couldn't access it from the beginning, the game would suggest it after I think every 3-5 deaths, which got really annoying.

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DemonNeno
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 12:32:44 PM
Reply

Not a big deal. I'll leave it off. It's like complaining you have a light switch on your wall.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:56:07 PM

LOL!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:41:54 PM

Damn thing is always getting in the way of my wall groping sessions.

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:16:22 PM

@ World - just so long as the wall is consenting :).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 7:34:04 PM

What i do with my wall is none of your business!

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 11:34:50 PM

That means if you go to his house you gotta make sure not to touch the walls XD might be sticky lol

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gumbi
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:03:47 PM
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I think this is a great Idea. Make it so everyone can at least enjoy the game. It will get more exposure, and hopefully more sales. More sales means more games, and more games is good.

It's not taking anything away from the hardcore NG fans. It's just giving everyone else a chance to play and enjoy. If anything, it further demonstrates how hardcore they are.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:30:01 PM
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Eh, so it goes. The game is still looking interesting.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:40:36 PM
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So if Dark Souls had a wussy mode people wouldn't be upset? I think not.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 1:54:13 PM

I am not sure, but I do believe having options for all skill levels is the way to go.

More options usually equate to more sales.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:00:09 PM

Obviously. But it devalues the whole premise the game is based on.

It's a slippery slope to full-on casual weakness across the board.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/20/2011 2:00:50 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:39:15 PM

Eh, I don't see how it matters if it's optional. If the regular mode and game plays just as hard as the hardcore want (and as the developers originally envision), what can it hurt to have the "wussy mode?" :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:44:12 PM

It hurts those smug bastards that bang their heads against the wall for weeks so they can say it wasn't that hard. That's why people play these games, to pretend it wasn't a big deal because the whole reason it exists is for the reward-based mindset.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 3:00:58 PM

Never understood that. I beat Ninja Gaiden and DMC3. I banged my head against the wall to do it.

And it was hard as sh**. I'm secure enough to admit that. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 3:02:58 PM

DMC3 had me pulling my hair out, had to rage quit.

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:18:02 PM

If Dark Souls left it just as difficult as Demons Souls and had checkpoints, so I could enjoy the game and skip the tedium, I'd actually play the damn game. I don't need 'easy', I just don't need tedious repetition either ;). Fortunately the NG series tends to be good with checkpoints and focus on the difficulty instead ;).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 2:45:26 PM
Reply

Like putting a motor on a bicycle. Something of the experience gets lost. Imagine an auto-climb option in Uncharted.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/20/2011 3:01:48 PM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 3:40:53 PM

Don't they kind of have something like that in the Vita version?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 4:06:26 PM

I know you can stroke your screen.

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:20:02 PM

But you _don't_ have to use it, that's the whole point. If they were making NG3 and it _only_ had an easy difficulty setting I'd be against that even more strongly than I'm for putting it in (for almost exactly the same reasons when it comes to variable skill levels). But it's optional. I walk to work, but I don't mind that a bunch of softies (travelling comparable distances) ride bikes and drive as well - I still enjoy the walk regardless ;).

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 10:51:13 AM

World -

Yeah, putting an engine or a motor on bicycle hasn't worked out. /sarcasm

If you want exercise, go ride a GT Mountain Bike.

If you want to cruise, go buy a Harley Davidson.

Neither wrong, but both right.

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Nas Is Like
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 6:55:33 PM
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I don't know how anyone could not finish an adventure in Ninja Gaiden. They're just so entertaining and captivating.

Damn parents not controlling what their kids are playing...

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ZenChichiri
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 7:20:00 PM
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I don't think it's a really big deal. I hope that they don't change the game just to accommodate the new feature, but I have a feeling they won't. This is why we have trophies anyways. There are going to be trophies related to having Hero Mode turned off, which will show our accomplishments. That way I can beat the game with it turned off then change my profile pic to that of a smug son of a nice guy.

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Spartan Prime
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 8:13:23 PM
Reply

On a related note, would the PS3 version carry the Sigma name or just plain NG III? By the way, I'm new here but a frequent visitor. I have to say, you guys are the best PS3 community on the net, hands down. I've visited a lot of sites, but this is where I keep going back to. :D

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johnld
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 @ 9:32:51 PM

i prefer sigma since they started it already. also having the sigma can fool people that the ps3 version is better like the previous 2. not like the ps3 needed it. the only thing i didnt like about sigma is that the blood was edited out. i'm not sure if the game comes out simultaneously across all platforms.

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Kall555
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 3:09:47 AM
Reply

I love me some Ninja Gaiden but alot of people i know stay clear of it due to it's difficulty which saddens me because they don't know what they're missing & that sense of personal triumph after beating a boss feels warmly rewarding after repeated Game Over screens.

This mode will hopefully bring in the crowds & the fact that it's optional is a win for all gamers, be it elite, hardcore, casual or newcomer.

Day one buy for me, i hope it's as gory as NGII on 360.

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___________
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 @ 4:33:47 AM
Reply

BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i always said the departure of Itagaki would be the death of the series though they did not have to prove it to me!
sigh, when will developers understand reaching out to new fans is only going to hurt their sales!
please TN dont turn into $E!

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