It's like every time you turn around, a once-proud Japanese franchise is suddenly, inexplicably floundering.

We've already caught wind of the possibility that Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City wasn't such a hot idea and now, the mediocre reviews are starting to come in for the highly anticipated Ninja Gaiden 3 .

When stuff like this happens, one can't help but to return to comments made by ex-Capcom boss Keiji Inafune. Last year, he criticized the Japanese gaming industry for falling behind the Western competition and only recently, he sounded off again , saying it may have "gotten worse." Thing is, since when do new Ninja Gaiden titles score so badly? Granted, they've been re-releasing basically the same game ( Ninja Gaiden Black ) for so long now, it has started to feel a little old and tired. And that's why Sigma Plus for the Vita wasn't so hot.

But NGIII? The brand new effort? The game that, by all rights, could've and perhaps even should've been the very best action game of 2012? There seems to be no end to this string of Japanese disappointments, and it's kinda depressing. Sometimes you have to wonder: are the developers aware they're letting these glorious franchises slide? Or do they really think they're doing a good job? Will Tecmo and Team Ninja be surprised by the poor critical reception?

Related Game(s): Ninja Gaiden 3