Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is the first handheld game in the popular Ninja Gaiden series, and is an action adventure controlled almost entirely with the Nintendo DS’ stylus on the touch screen. Holding the DS on its side, much like a book, players control the ninja hero, Ryu Hayabusa, by pointing to parts of the environment in order to make him move, making gestures with the stylus to control combat, and tapping the screen to throw shurikens. The DS’ microphone is also used for some gameplay elements (such as waking sleeping characters by shouting into the mic) while magical attacks are initiated by tracing Japanese characters on the screen. The game has received generally very positive reviews from the games press.
Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword is rated “T” by the ESRB, and carries descriptors of “Partial Nudity” and “Violence.” There are two particular female characters in the game, the Ancient Greater Fiend Nicchae, and the Ancient Greater Fiend Ishtaros, who appear in the artwork that appears in both the manual and between gameplay scenes to be mostly naked. Though their bodies are adorned with elaborate markings that cover up anything that might be considered “naughty” they are certainly quite voluptuous.
The combat throughout is fast paced, and involves a combination of swordplay, magical attacks, and shurikens. Ryu hacks and slashes his way through an enormous number of bad guys and monsters, but there is never any blood shown. Enemies invariably disappear in an elaborate spray of magical sparks. This is quite unlike other, recent Ninja Gaiden titles, which have all been M-rated, and featured considerable amounts of blood and gore.
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