A few weeks ago, we told you about our first look at Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword when it was shown at a Tecmo event in Tokyo. The short and sweet is that the game looked spectacular for a DS title, even displayed on a large screen in front of a room filled with people. Well, we finally got the opportunity to play it, and the crazy thing is that this portable Ninja Gaiden feels every bit as promising as it looks. As if that weren’t enough, super-developer Tomonobu Itagaki himself was on hand to answer some of our most pressing questions about this DS offering whose story bridges the gap between the first and second Ninja Gaidens.
You may have heard about the fact that every button on the DS is block because every other move you have is controlled using the stylus. And if you did, you probably said, "Seriously? Can that possibly work?" And the answer to that question is yes: it not only works, it's fantastic.
The demo starts with Ryu standing alone in a beautiful beach environment, nothing more than a trail stretching the vertical height of the right screen (you hold the DS sideways, like a book) toward an open doorway in the cliff side. Simply touch the screen in the direction you want to go and Ryu will faithfully follow as one static screen gives way to the next. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and margaritas when a swarm of minions soon show up to do exactly that thing that swarming minions tend to do.