Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword

Posted by staff | Posted in Nintendo DS | Posted on 06-11-2010

5

  • Innovative DS Stylus Functionality – Smoothly maneuver and fight through levels with the intuitive operation of the DS stylus
  • Hold the DS Like a Book – Hold the DS with one hand like a book to assist in the operation of the stylus which allows players to view a wider range of scenes
  • Cast Ninpo, Ninja Magic, by Symbol Input – Using the DS Stylus, draw various symbols to quickly execute numerous types of Ninpo
  • # New to the DS – Experience Team NINJA’s first original action game for the Nintendo DS
  • Take on the role of Master Ninja Ryu Hayabusa

Product Description
Uncover all the mysteries of Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword as you fight enemy ninjas and battle various fiends while taking on the role of Master Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa, in an all new storyline for the Nintendo DS…. More >>

Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword

Comments posted (5)

I’ve held off from buying the Nintendo DS for a couple years now. I used the excuse that there really wasn’t any games for it that appealed to me. While the DS line-up of games have gone beyond the Nintendogs, Brain Age and Pokemon lines it was still limited in heavy action-oriented games. It took the announcement and subsequent release of Team Ninja’s latest title in their great Ninja Gaiden series to finally make me pick up a Nintendo DS. I am more than happy and glad I broke my embargo of Nintendo’s newest handheld. Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword was all I had hoped it would be and actually made the DS fun to play with.

Anyone who games a lot knows that Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden series for the Xbox (soon for the 360 as well) was seen as a game for the hardcore of the hardcore group of gamers. This series was unforgiving in its difficulty and didn’t baby the players. While such a thing may alienate the more casual player it does pose as a great challenge for gamers who have seen and played all types of games and where a challenge to their gaming skill comes only rarely. I was concerned that transferring that difficulty level from the console to the handheld would prove to be a problem, but Team Ninja seem to have found a balance in Dragon Sword’s overall execution. While Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is not sadistically difficult it’s also not a pushover. There’s enough of a challenge in the gameplay that it shows the spirit of what the Ninja Gaiden series has always been: a challenging and fun action series.

Dragon Sword also made great use of the DS touch screen and stylus system by pretty much using it as the end-all and be-all of moving and fighting throughout the game. The rest of the buttons, shoulder bumpers and D-pad have been relegated to act as a way to block incoming attacks. This makes the game quite intuitive as making slashing motions over an enemy on the touch screen would cause Ryu Hayabusa to lock on that opponent and make his attacks. Combo attacks and chains could be achieved by making the correct patterns with the stylus over an opponent. For hack and slash players the combat system will be easy to use even fancy attacks are not made, but for those willing to learn the special techniques the stylus-touchscreen mechanic could be quite rewarding.

The graphics on this game is some of the best I’ve seen on an DS game released so far. While not on the same level as the Xbox’s Ninja Gaiden Black or the upcoming 360-exclusive Ninja Gaiden 2 this DS title pushes the limits of what the handheld’s innerworkings can accomplish. Dragon Sword using 3D animation for the player and the enemies on the screen while using pre-rendered 2D animation for the background. Similar to past Resident Evil titles this marriage of 3D characters with 2D environments makes for quite a beautiful looking game. The comic book style animation for the cutscenes also makes the game play out like a manga. This illusion is further enhanced by the fact that the game is played with the DS opened like a book.

Overall, Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword was quite the successful foray for the traditionally hardcore Ninja Gaiden series which always came out on the newest and powerful console system. Team Ninja was able to bring the action-oriented gameplay of the original console titles, but also bring an innovative and intuitive gameplay through near-exclusive use of the DS stylus and touchscreen. Here’s to hoping Team Ninja will continue to make more Ninja Gaiden and original IP titles for the DS to complement the titles they’ve been releasing on the 360.
Rating: 5 / 5

Tecmo’s classic franchise Ninja Gaiden makes its debut on the DS with fantastic results. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword continues the adventures of the heroic and deadly master ninja Ryu Hayabusa, as he takes on evil forces including all sorts of beasts and baddies. What makes Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword on the DS so unique is the game’s control scheme and presentation: holding the DS sideways (like with Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Planet Puzzle League), you move Ryu with the stylus, and attack enemies by slashing across them with the stylus as well. This allows for some great combo attack strings that are just plain cool. Not to mention that this is one of the best looking and well animated games to hit the DS yet, especially from a third-party. One thing the Ninja Gaiden series has always been known for is the challenge it provides, and while there is a bit to be found here, it isn’t nearly as super difficult as past games in the series have been. This can be good or bad depending on your own experience with the series, with the game’s only other real flaw being that the touch screen controls aren’t always as precise as they could be. However, everything else about Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword is spectacular: from the cut-scenes to the storyline to the epic boss battles, this game is a blast. All in all, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword is one of the best recent third-party titles to hit the DS, and for fans of the series that own Nintendo’s handheld, this is an essential pick up.
Rating: 5 / 5

This game was fun for me to play. I have been waiting for a game like this since I got a DS.

Ultimately, its a game where you run around and kill bad guys by slashing them up. Not having played many of the other Ninja Gaiden games, I can’t compare.

The gameplay is very, very similar to God Of War on the Sony systems: you run around and slash, and you get some super powers as the game progresses. However, there are no puzzles to solve.

To some reviews that pointed out drawbacks, they are true, and thus this isn’t a five star game. You do just hack and slash, and it can get a bit repetitive (but I do think that its fun with the stylus). Also, a lot of the gameplay scenes are not real 3d.

All that said, a game like this on the DS is long overdue, and I’m glad I have a copy.
Rating: 4 / 5

Pros:

- Ninja Gaiden on the DS… Hellooo?

- Outstanding production values

- Stylus controls work amazingly well

- Comic book style cut scenes

- Same great sound effects/music score from Xbox classic

- No graphical equivalent on DS

Cons:

- Short

- Some of the moves can be tricky to execute

- Vertical view can make you feel boxed in

- Most bosses are recycled from xbox ninja gaiden
Rating: 5 / 5

The basics:

Is this game fun: Incredibly.

How do the Stylus controls work: Generally very well.

Is this game a recommended purchase: Highly at the now greatly discounted price.

Ninja gaiden DS is set 6 months after the events of Ninja Gaiden and the story continuity is a welcome feature. Though, if you’ve never played the original xbox game or its subsequent editions (Black, Sigma) you are really not at a significant loss. This game is basically an intelligent hack and slash actioner and story is an added bonus.

As other reviewers have noted, production values are top notch. The graphics of this game has been rightly acknoledged with being some of the best on the DS. They look fantastic with only the large bosses looking blocky. Music is excellent and appropriate with the only downside being the virtually non-existent recorded voice work. Couldn’t we at least have some for cut scenes? Oh well, not a huge disappointment.

Controlling Ryu is accomplished with the stylus and generally this is well executed. Ryu has quite a few combos and new ones can be bought with souls (?) that are collected as you progress as well as upgrading your magic and your sword (Dragon Sword, DS, get it? :) ). A few complication can arise due to map layouts as you are sometime deep into the foreground where combos and actions are harder for the the DS to decipher as Ryu is quite small during these situations. Again, mostly a minor nitpick.

Additionally, Ninja Gaiden games can be known for their “challenging” difficulty. NG Black was supposedly especially difficult and the PS3 remake contained an unlockable easy difficulty if you died enough times, which the game mocked you for choosing. IMO, that easy difficulty was the right one making Sigma a joy to play. NG DS falls into about the same difficulty as the Sigma easy (ninja dog) difficulty – it isn’t a cake walk but it isn’t as challenging as the main series by far.

My only other nitpick is the game’s length. I logged approximately 7.5 hrs into the game including looking for extras and playing optional “challenge rooms”. The main story could probably be finished in much less time if someone was speeding through the campaign. Replay incentives are there for the person looking to collect all extras AND is interested in playing a more difficult level. This is because extras can only be fully gathered by playing the “hard” difficulty, something that doesn’t interest me.

So minor issues aside, I had a blast with this game. It features excellent graphics and great hack ‘n slash action with functionable stylus controls. For anyone who is a fan of the genre this is a highly recommend. Additionally now that this game can easily be found with a greatly discounted price, it is easy to forginve any shortcoming in length and makes this an easy recommend for everyone.
Rating: 5 / 5

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