Dragon Quest Swords - hands-on

Aug 31, 2007

On paper, Swords takes us back to the games of our childhood. Not the hours sat with whirring consoles of old, but an earlier time still: adventurous games that took us from the playground to the surrounding wood land, stick in hand, ready to squeak a puny "have at you!"

Swords liberally borrows from this youthful heroism. No ice-cold samurai larks here. It suggests that the remote is no plastic oblong full of gyroscopic confusion - an artifact of modern times - but the hilt of a broadsword, yours for smiting with. A clean slice downwards achieves as much in the game, or perhaps you choose to gouge guts with horizontal gashes. Inigo Montoya wannabes can forward-thrust the remote and cold hard steel with it.

Only your sword never actually appears. The excitement, the visualisation of clashing blades, is all summoned by you, sincs swipes only manifest as blue streaks across the screen. Technically it's sound thinking. Red Steel proves that the Wii doesn't have the clout to master one-to-one weapon movement, and Square Enix don't want to break battles into take-turn affairs - after all, whoever dreamt of polite forays with the forces of evil? But it's odd nonetheless.