If you're in the market for an action game that wrings the most out of the Nintendo DS's visual and sonic capabilities, you need look no further than Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword. It is possibly the most technically proficient title available for the system, brimming with superb, smooth-as-silk visuals and sword-slashing sound effects that make the action practically spring off the screen. It's impossible to imagine how Dragon Sword could have better captured the overall look, feel, and flow of the console games, from protagonist Ryu Hyabusa's midair acrobatics to the dramatic Eastern-hued soundtrack. And while it may have its problems, the gameplay does a pretty good job of keeping up, matching most of this brilliance with a compelling adventure and stirring, combo-stringing stunts that are thick with thrills and kills.
* Production values are through the roof
* Stylus-only combat keeps you engaged by letting you string together loads of dazzling attacks
* Brilliantly captures the spirit and tone of the previous games.
* The level of challenge, especially in boss battles, is underwhelming
* Some level designs create occasional control issues.