Tomonobu Itagaki, the cigarette smokin' and hard drinkin' game designer behind Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden, has something to say. He would like to say he's sorry.
"Look, I'll say it: The boss character in Dead Or Alive 4 was definitely too difficult," Itagaki tells Edge magazine. "I'll apologise for it. I'm the one who did that, and I'm sorry."
"But, look, Ninja Gaiden, it was absolutely intentional that it be that difficult," he continued. "That game was a revival version of a classic game for old-school gamers, so I wanted to make the hardcore happy." And everyone else unhappy?
Ninja Gaiden II, however, is another story, Itagaki says. Another sad, sad story. "Ninja Gaiden II, though, I really wanted more people to enjoy that, but... we ran out of time for balancing. That was a tragedy. Really."
That doesn't mean his upcoming game, Devil's Third, will be another frustrating tragedy. Itagaki contests that there is "nothing to worry about", because the game's publisher THQ is offering testing support to help ensure the title is balanced.
"It's going to be the best game ever," Itagaki adds. Ever!