Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword review

  • Incomparable action
  • Eye-searing visuals
  • A bold experiment that worked
  • Feels samey after a while
  • Minor control problems
  • Could use more enemies, moves

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

More Info

Release date: Mar 25 2008 - DS (US)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Action
Published by: Tecmo
Developed by: Team Ninja
Franchise: Ninja Gaiden
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Partial Nudity, Violence


  • wyndamn - November 23, 2010 7:14 p.m.

    i forgot to say it deserves a 9/10 instead of 8.
  • wyndamn - November 23, 2010 7:10 p.m.

    i would love another LONGER sequel for this game cuz really it rocks !! the only thing holding back this game are two things; - You have to play it with your ds vertically (like a book) even though is very unique. - The history is quite too short. That said i hope if they include lots of bosses and more ninja puzzles.
  • GameManiac - November 26, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    I hope Team Ninja makes a sequel for this game...

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