Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword

Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo
Release Date: March 25, 2008
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Reach out and slash someone.

0:00 I got interested in this game when I first saw a video of the touch-controlled action gameplay. It's what I always envisioned when I first saw the DS.

0:01 "In ancient times, humans lived in peace with Dragons. But then came the Dark Dragon, a malevolent giant that wasted no time plunging the Earth into the abyss of darkness." So the other dragons collected all their power into a fang that was used to make the Dragon Sword, which was gifted to a human who used it to defeat the Dark Dragon. In the millennia since, the dragons have died out, but their spirit remains in the Sword. Old-style art and battle sound effects in background help tell this text-based story.

0:02 Difficulty choices are "Master Kunoichi," "Master Ninja," "Head Ninja" and "Normal." Normal is recommended for first-timers, so I guess I'll choose that.

0:03 An old man with a cane stands by a grave. "I'm sorry I took so long to finally come and visit." He's Muramasa, visiting Kureha. "You and Ryu were inseparable." Ryu! Finally a name I recognize!

0:05 Cut to the foot of a waterfall, where our protagonist, Ryu, is training with Momiji, a white-clad ninja girl. Suddenly I'm in control of Momiji, for some reason. I tap the screen to make her run around, blocking Ryu's attacks automatically as they come. I try to slash the sword with a quick slash of the stylus (as I've seen in trailers) but I can't get a sword in edgewise. HA! Suddenly the training is over and we bow to each other. If that was the tutorial, I'm not impressed.

0:06 Chapter 1, "Forest of Shadows." Momiji tells Ryu to head back to the village, which he does. Momiji picks flowers and the sky turns red. "I sense something... something inhuman!"

0:07 Here's the real tutorial, telling me how to run and attack using the stylus. Many of my attack motions accidentally make Momiji jump, but otherwise the system works pretty well. Fast and responsive.

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

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