TGS '07: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword Hands-On

We slash evil on the DS in Team Ninja's awesome portable Ninja Gaiden adventure.

Tecmo let Tokyo Game Show attendees get their hands on an updated version of its upcoming Nintendo DS Ninja Gaiden game and, unsurprisingly, it was a blast. The playable demo on display in Tecmo's TGS Booth is a short but sweet run through a few areas to a boss fight. The demo offers a good showcase for Ryu Hayabusa's promising DS outing, which takes a whole new angle on how to play an action game on the DS.

The demo opened up with Ryu Hayabusa making his way through a courtyard and taking out enemies as they appeared. There was a tutorial feel to the action, given that onscreen prompts appeared to offer hints on how to use the stylus to deal with enemies. The demo had the same structure we've seen in our previous sessions with the game, and it required Ryu to enter areas, clear them of enemies, and move on. After we went through a few sections, a huge red dragon dropped in, like they tend to do, and menaced Ryu. The battle was straightforward and not terribly long thanks to a mix of dodging, blocking, and stabbing. The game's control still continues to impress us with how tight and responsive it feels. We'd still like to put the scheme to the test in a longer play session with the game, one that has a broader variety of enemies that will force us to mix offensive and defensive play. Nevertheless, so far the game handles admirably.

The visuals in the game were outstanding. It sported a solid amount of detail and fluid animation, all of which helped give the game an impressive sense of speed. Ryu's actions were slick and complemented by flourishes such as sparks and wind lines during his more powerful attacks. We're also digging the sense of scale in the game, which is enhanced by holding the DS sideways. The added room allows bosses, such as the dragon, to tower over Ryu.

The audio in the game offered a good complement to the hectic action, with effects that framed everything nicely. The clashing of swords and the general stabbing of people sounded good and crisp on the DS, as did the voice samples from Hayabusa and his foes. The dragon's roar didn't have quite as much kick as we'd like, but it was still pretty menacing. The soundtrack in the demo was unobtrusive but perked up doing combat and boss battles.

Based on the too-brief demo, which should be appearing in download kiosks in Japan at some point in the future, we're anxious to get more time with Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword. The game is fun and the control has a really good feel to it. Anyone looking for an action game on the DS needs to keep an eye out for Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword. The game is a promising and welcome entry in the DS software library, which is notoriously thin on ninja content. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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Discussion

95 comments
ng2006
ng2006

Oh this looks cool. Will it have a PC version?!

PS3Compass
PS3Compass

Hmm... I might buy a DS just for this!

mingfu
mingfu

Cool game!!!!!!!!

mingfu
mingfu

Cool game!!!!!!!!

pip3000
pip3000

@thunderbone - I thought the control scheme for phantom hourglass was good too - but the game felt like a tech demo. the story gameplay wasn't as immersive as other zelda games. But dragon sword is gonna be so dope! hopefully it's out before x-mas.

thunderbone
thunderbone

I get the impression the controls will have somewhat of a similar feel to Phantom Hourglass. If that's the case, they should actually function quite well. (Though, I've read an awful lot of complaints about PH's control scheme. I think it's just fine.)

flaminshadowman
flaminshadowman

this game is gonna be great,(just finish Ninja Gaiden Sigma), just hpoethe controls wont be bad.

me64
me64

this game gonna be a buyer!

lew_0911
lew_0911

Ninja's are always good - especially the portable ones. I'll be watching this one.

Myriam_D
Myriam_D

I'm intrigued. What IS the control scheme in specifics, if it's so fluid? I might finally get in to Ninja Gaiden.

CM101
CM101

looks good. Hopefuuly ninja gaiden 2 can match it :D

XBASX
XBASX

"We slash evil on the DS in Team Ninja's awesome portable Ninja Gaiden adventure" Hm this can actually turn out to be a good game, concidering the word "awesome" from gamespot.

stodawizyed
stodawizyed

this game looks pretty fluid, judging from the hands-on vid. perhaps i'll give it a look when it comes out.

dwmorrow
dwmorrow

thunderbone, I noticed that in the latest build of No More Heroes, enemies explode into a shower of pixels, whereas earlier movies showed enemies gushing enormous, comical geysers of blood. Makes you go "Hmmm".

Will47
Will47

I can't wait for this!!!

thunderbone
thunderbone

I'm rather disappointed. I've noticed a trend with Nintendo's portables. Many games' console counterparts are rated M with blood and gore, but usually end up with a T rating with no blood once the game makes it to a Nintendo portable. It happened back when Metal Slug Advance came out for the GBA (although the blood-filled games were rated T), and again when BiA came to DS. The over-the-top violence is one of the things that made the MS series appealing to me. And although the console version of BiA wasn't all that bloody, it at least had enough to give a sense you'd done your mission. No, I'm not some young kid who is trying to rebel. The novelty of blood and gore has never worn off for me since back to the MK days. It was something that I had never experienced previously, and was always something that caught my attention. (And was one of the biggest things that drew me into the XBox NG games.)

Lord_Artix
Lord_Artix

Awesome. I'm definently going to have to check this out at some point. Because everyone loves ninjas.

wjuk
wjuk

Sweet. More Ninja action on the DS (and Wii) FTW. Think about it, assassinating dudes with the Wiimote & nunchuk. Priceless.

littlestreakier
littlestreakier

ninja gaiden on ds is gonna be amazing!!! at first when it was announced all i was thinking was, how the hell is ng gonna look good and play well on the ds? but tecmo has some amazing people developing and they seem to always deliever AAA material, excluding beach volleyball lol

me64
me64

this game is gonna be so epic!!!

Wiifanboy_4life
Wiifanboy_4life

Mustah- Yeah! Like Canvas Curse. That game was sick.

Gamer_152
Gamer_152

Ninja Gaiden, really want it, gonna be awesome.

kasra_showan
kasra_showan

i like this game.but price for iran very expensiv. baba kheli gerone harbazi 80 $

ThePhilatron
ThePhilatron

Ninja Gaiden 1 was so good that I have no choice but to buy every future Ninja Gaiden game.

mustah
mustah

Great! A game with no buttons!

Mr_Jaminson
Mr_Jaminson

This looks like it could be the next DS game I get, unless of course Phantom Hourglass comes first.

JP-
JP-

Ninja gaiden 1 was great so this one must me great to with all the new gore and weapons and stuff only the graphix could be a bit more next gen

iliyun
iliyun

cant wait to get this game

VagrantChild24
VagrantChild24

I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. I was really skeptical about the controls (and still am a bit) but it's nice to hear that it does work relatively well.

Jubei50
Jubei50

i'm was not a handheld person but this game impress me enough for me to get one cause everything is brand new.

kappareign
kappareign

zelda: phantom hourglass oct 1st ninja gaiden dragon sword nov 1st good deal 8)

A7Xfan
A7Xfan

The only DS game on my list for this year. Save for possibly Dementia The Ward.

tibiazak
tibiazak

@kratos_karmakar: dude, the fact that the DS has a reputation like that is because there aren't many games for it like this... @greenxmega: well, it was a demo... this is awesome, can't wait to get the game - and it's just before my birthday too! :P

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

wat has the world com to. kick ass game like ninja gaiden on girl ass ds. im getting old and im just 18

rogue81
rogue81

From what I can tell in the screenshots GS gave us, Ryu is using a sword. Besides, in Ninja Gaiden for the xbox, you were able to upgrade the wooden training sword into one of the most powerful weapons in the game, the "Unlabored Flawlessness". Don't underestimate the power of a stick.

adam-99
adam-99

that game looks awesome. and in the videos he was using a sword.

irmeleeman5995
irmeleeman5995

Well are they going to detail the control scheme for us...?

iciris
iciris

MUST POST PICTURES PLEASE