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Ninja Gaiden 3 Xbox 360 release date announced

Four player multiplayer shown off in new screenshots

Ninja Gaiden 3 will release on Xbox 360 in March 2012, Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi has revealed along with some - needless to say - horrifically bloody screenshots of the game's multiplayer mode in action.

The first Ninja Gaiden title not helmed by eternally sunshaded dude's dude Tomonobu Itagaki, Ninja Gaiden 3 continues the story of Ryu Hayabusa through a "darker, more realistic world". It will be "more accessible" than Ninja Gaiden 2, but not easier.

The multiplayer brings character customisation, unlockable special moves, four-player fights and the option, should you so choose, to stab yourself. Whether because you've dishonoured your ninja heritage, or simply because there's nobody else left to stab, is up to you.

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Hayashi was blunt when we asked him whether Itagaki's high profile departure had been painful for Team Ninja in March.

"Itagaki-san created Team Ninja. That is a fact, and cannot change. I joined Team Ninja when Itagaki-san was in charge. But here's another fact: Itagaki-san did not make those games by himself."

Look out for hands-on thoughts in the not too distant future.

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