Gametap's Thierry Nguyen had a chance to speak a little more with Itagaki, after the demo, to get his thoughts on Ninja Gaiden II and how his wife influences the difficulty level of his games. A sample of the interview:
GameTap: In Ninja Gaiden, there were about three to five enemies at a time, while I notice in screens and footage for Ninja Gaiden II, that Ryu fights between 10 and 12 guys at a time. Can you talk about this change in amount of enemies that you fight, and if that affects the enemy A.I.?
Tomonobu Itagaki: In absolute terms, you are trying to kill the enemy, and the enemy is trying to kill you. So if the enemy ninjas sent their best guys, it would probably only take about three guys to take you down. But that would be too intense, as you would have to deal with constant attacks all the time. So we thought it might be nice if in the enemies you had, some were really good guys and some ninjas aren't that great. With that point of view, it would be okay to fight about eight or ten guys at a time, because you have varying levels of skill within the enemies coming to get you.
GameTap: Ninja Gaiden has an infamously harsh learning curve; you mentioned that for DS title Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword, you adjusted the curve on that game somewhat since DS players tend to be more casual compared to Xbox Ninja Gaiden players. Has a similar adjustment happened for Ninja Gaiden II?
Tomonobu Itagaki: I think it's important to have a steady learning curve. We want as many people as possible to see everything the game has to offer. Earlier when we asked you about Ninja Gaiden, you said you only got up to Alma. As a person who created that game, I feel pride in my creation that you weren't able to beat that enemy. But as the same time as a producer, someone who wants the game to be played by as many people as possible, I feel kind of sad that you gave up at that point. I think it's important we allow people to see as much of the game as they possibly can.