The fastest, slickest and most intense action title on the DS.
Boasting a very well thought-out and executed control system, some clever combat and a nice story played out through beautiful cutscenes.
The combat is controlled by slashing across enemies with the stylus to perform sword attacks, tapping far-away foes to launch ninja stars or arrows and using other combinations of taps and slashes to dodge and perform special attacks. This works very well and allows the combat to rocket on at a phenomenal pace.
The graphics and sound are varied and colourful, giving a bright and rich experience that is unlike anything else on the DS.
There is also a limited upgrade system that works well and allows players to spend experience points on new moves and more a powerful sword, although all of the upgrades can be purchased with some ease way before the end of the game.
And that leads me to the major criticism: it's too damn easy! The normal story mode offered absolutely no challenge and playing through hard mode afterwards wasn't any harder. Then there was the final boss battle. After using my projectile weapon for the entire battle (as it was the only thing that worked), I ended up dying and having to try again ten times. Why? An instant-death move. What the fuck? Don't bore me the entire way through, including not losing a single portion of my life on the final boss, only to have a move that kills you instantly. Total crap.
(Oh, by the way, the battle requires an awkwardly-timed dodge. You are then allowed to kill the fucker).
So, although the action is spot-on and it's one of most visceral titles to hit handhelds, the difficulty level never picks up and the final battle was a kick in the teeth.
Overall: 80% - very nearly there guys, just crank it up a notch!