This article originally appeared in Nintendo Gamer magazine.
Ready the first aid kit, because the sheer act of reading this preview may just burst open your blood vessels and cause your arm to drop off simply to save Ryu Hayabusa the hassle of hacking if off later.
That said, a first aid kit won't be much use to the thousands of goons in Ryu's latest bloodfest, as Team Ninja have decided to treat Wii U owners to a new and improved version of Ninja Gaiden 3 where all your gory dreams of decapitated heads and dismembered torsos come true.
Blood flies everywhere in lightning-fast battles...
We begin our descent into this new breed of ultra-violence in a crumbling desert compound. A slightly strange habitat for a ninja perhaps, but when bodies start piling up left, right and centre, we soon forget any qualms we had about the dishevelled décor. Blood flies everywhere in these lightning fast battles, and if it's not spurting out of limbless goons like turbo-charged fountains, it's often splattered right across the screen as Ryu slices and dices his way to victory.
He can also hurl deadly shurikens at incoming foes, but they just don't have same kind of visceral (or indeed visual) impact as ripping open someone's arm or neck with a katana. This meant we often fell into using the same attacks over and over again - but with enemies sniping us with rocket launchers from above and plenty of other fleet-footed foes vying to stab us in the back, mastering the art of dodging and doling out counter attacks at least ensured that any button-mashing was spread across several different buttons instead of a select few. Whipping out a quick arrow to take down those rocket launchers doesn't hurt either.
Yet the sheer speed of these relentless battles makes the GamePad's on-the-fly weapon changing a pretty useless addition to the gameplay. When your back's against the wall, there simply isn't time to look away, let alone move your hand to the touchscreen, and we found the Wii U Pro Controller to be far more suited to Ryu's non-stop gullet-ripping when push came to an exceedingly bloody shove.
Outside of battle is a rather different story, with only the smallest sprinkling of enemies to keep us on our toes. Thankfully these transition corridors were brief, throwing us back into the action before we could say sliced goon sandwich. The gore may be excessive, but if Team Ninja can correct all of Ninja Gaiden 3's Other Format flaws with a simple blood-transfusion, then we're all the merrier for it.