Japanese developer Tecmo has responded to reports that the European version of gorgeous Xbox action title Ninja Gaiden will be trimmed of some of its more gratuitously violent aspects prior to its PAL release. Spokesman John Inada reminded the US press this week that "most of the European countries have much more strict standards against the use of violence," and that "if we have to make minor alterations [to get it published in every European country], we will."
However as it turns out various reports that focus on the removal of decapitation sequences and other specifics are entirely speculative at this point. Speaking to Microsoft today, gi.biz learned that Tecmo hasn't even started modifying the game for its European release. When asked specifically about the removal of decapitations, a bemused spokesperson told us, "Nothing as it stands has been changed" (their emphasis, too).
Indeed, although an official statement from Microsoft UK conceded that "minor changes may be made to ensure that the game satisfies ratings requirements in Europe," we were told categorically that the game will be submitted as is - with decapitations, head-stump blood geysers and exploding chest cavities intact. If, at that stage in production, the authorities in certain countries demand a few alterations, some changes may have to be made, but it's no more or less severe in this case than in any other.