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Handheld Massacres - Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword for the DS

On 06/30/2019 at 12:37 PM by Matt Snee

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The last game in my Ninja Gaiden series will focus on Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword, for the Nintendo DS. This is an interesting game because you play the DS sideways, like a book, and you use the stylus to control Ryu, the ninja. It's strange that this game ever got made, as the bloodletting of Ninja Gaiden doesn't seem like it would fit on a Nintendo system, but it's actually a pretty cool game. 

The graphics might not look impressive for a handheld now, but at the time they looked nice. The control took some getting used to, but it worked fine for the most part. Like other newer Ninja Gaidens, there's some nonlinear aspects to the game, as you choose where you want to go (the left side of the DS displays your map). Most of the time you'll be slashing your enemies with the stylus, but there are magic scroll powers too. 

I didn't get too far in this game as something else eventually distracted me, but now that I think about it, I'm a bit nostalgic about it. It was pretty cool, and the graphics were neat, and it was a novelty all around. I wish I had played it more. 

dragons 2



Super Step Contributing Writer

06/30/2019 at 05:58 PM

"Ninja Gaiden. Now there's a game." - Cris Collinsworth

I think that bottom screen shot looks pretty darn good for DS. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/30/2019 at 07:08 PM

Yeah it’s not bad. There were some certainly ugly DS games. 


06/30/2019 at 08:33 PM

Why does it look so much better than any other DS game. I want to play it. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/01/2019 at 12:06 PM

It's quite cool, man. If you still have a DS, you could probably find this game for cheap. 


07/02/2019 at 09:22 AM

I recetently, gasp, traded my 3DS, but I still have my DS and all my games. 

Seems it's $6 at a Gamestop near me. May have to make a trip. 

Cary Woodham

06/30/2019 at 09:31 PM

I didn't know there was a NInja Gaiden game on DS.  Or if I did, I forgot about it.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/01/2019 at 12:07 PM

yeah it didn't make a big splash, and it probably didn't help that you had to play it sidewards. But it's not bad. 


07/02/2019 at 01:40 AM

That game came around the time of the knockdown, dragout, screaming divorce of Tecmo and Tomonobu Itagaki. I thought about getting this but never did. Apparently Itagaki chose the DS over the PSP because he thought the PSP was not a proper handheld console.

It's funny how things change. Nintendo was more open to M-rated games in 2008 than they were in 1993, yet were still prone to censorship and not releasing games in the US at all if they deemed them against their family friendly image. Sony built the PlayStation brand by promoting an edgy image. Now, Sony is getting flak for censorship of Japanese titles, while Nintendo has recently come out and said that censorship is a bad thing that inhibits the industry, and to let parents decide what is appropriate for their kids and use the parental controls every console has (in Nintendo's case, advertised by that cute video of Bowser being a good dad to Bowser Jr) to decide what's acceptable in their homes. A lot of this seems to be about the Senran Kagura games.


07/02/2019 at 07:39 AM

I played all the way through this game. It is surprisingly good! Did you ever play Legend of Kage 2? That was another good ninja game on the DS but it was a more traditional 2D action game.

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