Team Ninja has explained that Hero Mode in Ninja Gaiden 3, which is a less-challenging mode with auto dodges and blocks, was implemented so newcomers to the series could experience the story without dying all the time.
Speaking with Joystiq at TGS, the game’s director, Fumihiko Yasuda, said the mode is entirely optional so those who want hard, ninja fighting action need not worry: there’s a “super hard difficulty mode,” as well – an aspect Team Ninja producer Yosuke Hayashi touched upon back in July.
“We’re keeping the hardcore aspect of the game anyway, we’re just trying to get the players who have never had a go at Ninja Gaiden to come check it out,” he explained.
“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.”
Part of the story is making Ryu a bit more relatable as a human, but all the while still maintaining his over-the-top, almost super-human ninja capabilities.
“When he has that mask on, he’s a ninja,” said Yasuda. “When you take that mask off, he’s not a ninja anymore. He’s a human like all of us. To leave that aspect out doesn’t make sense. We wanted to show that human under the mask. Who is this guy, why he does things.”
Ninja Gaiden 3 hits PS3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 in 2012.