Ninja Gaiden II's release date, GameSpy were told, is "some time this year"; Itagaki confirmed that the game is roughly 60 percent complete. Although GameSpy weren't able to get hands-on time with it, they had a chance to sit down and see how it's progressing. As Itagaki started the game up, he told GameSpy that one of the evolutions of the game lies within the realm of choice. There's no "Ninja Dog" arm band to remind amateurs of their weak-sauce (lack of) skills; instead, Team Ninja has incorporated a range of difficulties so that players on the less hardcore side of the spectrum can enjoy the experience. There's an optional autosave system incorporated into the traditional save shrine for gamers who don't want to micromanage their data. There's also a healing station, which alleviates some of the need to use hard-earned potions.