Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword Revealed

So there are things you can do on DS with the stylus and touch screen that you couldn't do on a console?

Itagaki: Exactly. For instance, if you point and tap the stylus at a far-away enemy on the screen, Hayabusa will throw a shuriken (throwing star) at that enemy. If you point at a flying enemy, once again he will throw a shuriken.

We have implemented an immensely intuitive control system. If you use the stylus to slice side-to-side over an enemy, Hayabusa will slash him with his sword, and you can change the type of slash by varying the angle of your slice. You can jump if you want to, of course, and you can wall jump using the environment.

There are two reasons why we were able to make these kinds of actions controllable at speeds even greater than standard gaming consoles, and the first is because the Nintendo DS is such a fantastic device. The second reason is that we at Team Ninja have built up an immense amount of skill and technology over the past ten years that we've spent making action games. Specifically speaking, it is very important to have a command recognition algorithm that can tell instantly what the player wishes to do and reflect that in the control of the game.

Deep. What attracted you to the DS, then? Do you think there's an audience on DS for Dragon Sword?

Itagaki: There are a total of six Nintendo DS machines in my home. I only have three Xbox 360s! [Laughs.] Wait, isn't that what you meant?

Something like that, yeah... Finally, then, will this tie in with what we might see in Ninja Gaiden 2?

Itagaki: You ask such interesting questions! [Laughs.] Well... I am personally overseeing the development of everything from the story through to the gameplay elements for both games, so if you're observant you may be able to extrapolate some similarities between the two, yes, and not just in the area of story.

We can't wait to extrapolate! So when is Dragon Sword due for release?

Itagaki: I am currently planning on Autumn. This is my first all-new project in a while, and I am greatly enjoying its development.

Thanks for your time.