Product Type: Ubisoft Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... action. How could this work? I can't even reach the buttons! Alas... nearly ever action in Dragon Sword is performed with the st... more
What's a gaiden?
Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword (DS)
Member Name: mchitty
Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword (DS)
Advantages: Great stylus-led movement and combat, lovely graphics
Disadvantages: Not so much long term appeal
I have never played a Ninja Gaiden game before, however I have heard from reliable sources that they are typically fairly hardcore button-mashing hack'n'slash games.
As such I was surprised when I got hold of 'Dragon Sword' on the DS, more out of curiosity than anything else. The first surprise was that I had to turn my DS sideways, like a book. An approach seen in games such as Brain Training and adventure game Hotel Dusk, I was immediately off-guard as I was anticipating fast button-mashing action. How could this work? I can't even reach the buttons!
Alas... nearly ever action in Dragon Sword is performed with the stylus. And the good bit... this control method isn't flimsy, or gimmicky, or anything of the sort, in fact it's really responsive and a hell of a lot of fun to play.
Within 10 minutes of starting up you'll find yourself skillfully slashing your stylus across the screen as if it were your own Katana, slicing and dicing your enemies and the impressive 3D bosses with skill and precision. At least it feels this way, in reality the game is pretty easy, but it feels good to play and does a very good job of making you feel like a ninja.
So the gameplay is some of the most fun combat on the DS, but how deep is it? Unfortunately for what you get in insta-action gameplay, the game is not particularly deep or involved. You can complete it in a few hours, and the storyline is less interesting than I originally anticipated from the good things I've heard about the series.
On the other hand, there are some puzzles here that are a bit more intriguing than 'find the key to open the door', and although it may only take 5-6 hours to complete, those hours are certainly well spent!
Fortunately the graphics are very impressive. From the beautifully rendered environments (the backdrops are fixed) to the character animations right down to the flashy combat and spell effects, the rich graphics are some of the best on the DS and are a good match for the fantastically smooth gameplay.
Overall, Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is a great game, and although it's a little throwaway in terms of long term appeal, the beautiful graphics and super-fun combat more than makes up for it.
Summary: A really good action game on the DS
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