Just a bit more concept information to fill in what I intend:
The main character will be lightly dressed (as the first sketch).
He'll start with no weapons, just the usual kick/punch combinations.
As he progresses then he'll be able to pick up various armour parts (helmet, breastplate (and flappy bits) and gauntlets.
For weapons he'll be able to pick upto 3 different length swords (with varying special abilities) that he can store on his body.
Additionally he'll have a cutesy dragon or horse to ride.
I've been reading about the setting and its a little like the last ninja 2 where he has had to go forward into the future (2353ish here) so it leaves scope to have some cool technological weapons as well as maybe a robotic dragon or steed to ride.
I think I'll finish blocking the basic character out and then go to the drawing board and put all these words into pictures.
oh and it might be called 'third samurai' to be original (not)