During last year's Tokyo Game Show, outspoken game designer Tomonobu Itagaki issued us a bit of a challenge. "If there's a game out there that is more beautiful, more interactive, faster and has better action than this game," he said, "please let me know." Well, it looks like such a title may still be absent from the DS catalog, as reviewers have had some awfully nice things to say about the short-but-sweet Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword.

Honestly, we should have seen this coming, what with a fairly obvious clue buried in the game's title. Cross some things out, tilt your head to the left and ... voila!

Ninja Gaiden :D ragon Sword
  • Gametrailers (88/100): "Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword proves to have a sharp edge with good tech and smooth pacing. It also manages to turn the stylus into an effective ninja weapon, making it play like no other game on Nintendo's little dual screen."
  • IGN (86/100): "Very few developers outside of Nintendo are truly willing to take the risk of experimenting a brand new way of playing an established franchise, but Tecmo's Team Ninja did just that with its DS-exclusive design. The risk worked: Ninja Gaiden on the Nintendo DS is a really great game that offers a fresh, unique take on action games, and gives the touch-screen handheld gamers something that they'll never see on any other platform."
  • Game Informer Online (78/100): "Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword is a commendable attempt at making a straight-up action game on the DS. I like the combat and the mechanics, and even though the battles get repetitive, it's frantic and fun enough to occasionally make you forget that fact."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.