previews\ Jan 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm

IZUNA: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja - NDS - Preview

Coming fresh off of Atlus’s quirky line of Japanese RPGs is Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. Izuna presents anime style graphics and a funny storyline in a medieval Japan setting. The game’s aesthetic and light-hearted theme will bode well with fans of all things Japanese as you fight through old-school styled dungeons.

Izuna puts you in control of the titular heroine, a boisterous young girl in a village peopled with ninjas. However, not all is well in Izuna’s town lately, as her family and friends are acting a bit off kilter. Things take even more of a turn for the worse once Izuna unknowingly disturbs the peace in the village by unsettling the village crystal, and she becomes ostracized by the rest of the village. She embarks on a journey to set things right with her clan, fighting though mazes and taking on several different enemies and huge bosses.

Izuna is old-school in every sense of the word, from the dungeon structure to the gameplay. The dungeons are crafted like mazes, where you work your way in to take on a boss. The dungeons change dynamically, and are never exactly the same each time that you enter.

The combat system is real-time similar to the one in Contact, another recently released Atlus RPG. You walk up to enemies on the field and attack them closely. You’ll also have spells that you can perform via Talismans.

The main appeal of Izuna is the sly dialogue. Your character is a pretty flighty person, which can lead to pretty funny talks with other characters around the world. All in all, the dialogue is clever and well-crafted.

Graphically, Izuna has an old-school charm to it, feeling like a 16-bit RPG. The graphics are sprite-based, with a distinct anime/manga charm to them. While they don’t push the DS’s graphical abilities in the slightest, they still have a lot of personality to them and are pretty bright and colorful.

Izuna is an RPG that will definitely cater to the set that’s nostalgic for the classic SNES RPG games of yore. Everything about it screams old-school, from the level design to the sprite-based graphics. Look for a complete review of the game soon.

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