This first taste of combat was simple but exhilarating. From a distance, tapping on the enemy of choice will throw a ninja star at them, and getting closer and dragging the stylus over your target will slash your blade in the direction and angle of your gesture, be it vertical, horizontal or diagonal. You can also double tap to jump and execute mid-air combos. This last form of attack was so fun that we lingered for much too long in one particular area where bat-like enemies kept respawning, just so we could unleash string after string of gravity-defying combos.
Overall, the combat feels very intuitive. Even when totally surrounded, the battles always felt fun and never intimidating. It will be interesting to see how these fighting elements are kept fresh throughout the game, since Itagaki tells us the Dragon Sword you start with is your only weapon throughout the entire game – “Hence the title.” We did notice, however, that because you can slash horizontally, vertically, and so on, there's an added layer of depth that even the full-sized Ninja Gaiden games don't have.