Visually, Dragon Sword doesn't just hit a home run, it blasts the ball into orbit. We've said it before and we'll say it again - parts of this look like a PSP game, and on a system that routinely sees some of the worst graphics of the modern generation, that's incredible. The action stays smooth even with such impressive visuals, but we wouldn't expect anything less from a team known for its technical prowess. Audio is up there too, with crisp samples, appropriate grunts of rage and fitting sound effects.
In fact, the only area Dragon Sword doesn't excel is length. We tore through this ninja side-story in five hours, ranking Master Ninja on nearly every level. Actually, we checked our stats with the Wi-Fi Connection's global ranking, and as of this writing, we're number three. In the world. Not sure what that means, but realize we struggled through the original like everyone else. That means series regulars will eat this game alive on standard difficulty. There are, of course, much harder settings to try.
Beyond beating the game, there are various trinkets to collect and power-ups to purchase, but most will be found/bought in one trip. So, it's a short ride, but like any quality roller coaster, it'll rattle your senses and challenge your reflexes. On DS, Dragon Sword has no equal, no fitting comparison, and for that we applaud Team Ninja. Only slight control issues and the general feeling of sameness after 13 levels of hacking keep it from soaring even higher.
Mar 12, 2008