Purchased this game yesterday on steam (1/27/2013 - I feel this is pertinent.)

When I launch the game I can see the "Eidos" intro screen, then the "IO - Interactive presents" intro screen, then the "Mini Ninjas" splash screen with all the trademark info.

It then gives me the screen "This game saves automatically, when you see the [cube icon] please don't shut off your computer" (or something to that extent).

Then I can see the screen resolution change, and for a split-second I can see a windowed "loading screen" that *may* be the main menu...but I can't tell because it crashes to the desktop as this transition is happening.

Sometimes instead of immediately crashing to the desktop, it'll get stuck on a black screen. Sometimes I can see a mouse curser, sometimes I can't. When I can't, this usually means I'll need to Ctrl+Alt+Delete - and end the process manually (which will then give me a windows error "Ninja.exe has stopped working" - press close to terminate the program or check online for more solutions.)

My System:
Phenom II 1100T (not OC'd)
ASUS Crosshair 4 Formula mobo (latest BIOS)
16 GB g.skill DDR3 RAM (1866)
ASUS HD 6970 2GB video card (latest drivers catalyst version 13.1)
HT | Claro omega PCI sound card (latest drivers)
USB mouse/keyboard (I've read that this might make a difference?)

Things I have done:
-Updated Graphics Drivers (I use CC cleaner in safe-mode to get rid of all the remnants of older drivers and this shouldn't be the case as it's a 4 year old game.)
-Installed/Re-Installed DirectX 9.0c
-Installed the OpenAL file (Apparently some people have had luck with this...)
-Installed/Re-Installed Sound Card drivers (as some people say it may have been a sound driver issue (HT Claro Halo.))
-Tried running the .exe in WindowsXP SP3 compatibility mode (as administrator)
-Used a "Game Copy World" fix that skips the Intro screens - (Didn't work so I had steam verify game files and replace the "fix" (everything is back to its original file state.)

I'm really at a loss here, as I see people are having the same issues (for years?), but there's absolutely no "official" feedback regarding a fix or a workaround of any sort (I've literally spent hours trying to research this problem.)

Please, Eidos (or anyone wise of this problem) show me how I can fix this, my daughter will be extremely thankful.