What does one think of when one hears the name Ninja Gaiden? I think insane difficulty, and the pride that comes from beating many of the levels/creatures/bosses.
This game lives up to this expectation. While for the most part the game isn't too difficult, there are several fights that when I finally succeeded in, I was ecstatic (I'm thinking primarily of the "boss" of the first level. Upon finally defeating it I nearly jumped for joy. And that was only on normal difficulty).
Of course, like any good Gaiden game, there are difficulty levels. And, here there is a reason to play through all three - a collectible system which has the parts hidden in all three modes, requiring one to play the game three times through... And, while to some this would hardly be necessary, to a collectionist like myself, it works.
The controls are, thankfully, very easy to pick up, and beside certain skills which are harder to execute (Izuma Drop), all respond as they should.
The music is gorgeous (I found myself wanting to have the sound on at all times) and the graphics are really nice for the DS. Even the orientation for the game (sideways as opposed to the normal vertical) works well - the DS is lite enough that it takes several hours straight of playing for the hand to start getting tired.
The story isn't particularly strong, but it's far from bad. Besides, the series has never been known for really tight stories, so it doesn't negatively impact on the experience. In addition, the cut scenes are beautiful, rivaling those of FF3.
All in all, if you're a fan of the series, this is a must play.
Due to some poor planning on my part I've ended up with way too much to play. With five games on the table one had to draw the short straw. I typically don't review a game I don't beat, or at least complete the majority of, but Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is the exception.
Once again you take the role of Ryu Hayabusa, this time around six months after the events in Ninja Gaiden. Just like before your village is under attack and you are the only one capable of saving the day. You hold the DS in its book style with a map on the left screen and Ryu on the right screen. Every button on the DS is block, while every other action is done with the stylus. Drag the stylus to move Ryu, and slash across your enemies to swing your sword, or tap them to throw shuriken. These controls work great for a Ninja Gaiden game on a portable system, but this causes it to be a little easier than most Ninja Gaiden games.
Ninja Gaiden DS is a wonderful portable action title, and should be a welcome addition to any DS owners collection, not just Ninja Gaiden fans.