The second DS sequel to the Xbox 360 role-playing game Blue Dragon plays like neither the turn-based original nor the strategy game Blue Dragon Plus. Instead, Awakened Shadow is an action-RPG, with the player controlling a customized character and attacking enemies directly with a variety of weapons and spells. The hero can be backed up by one or two computer-controlled allies, including series lead Shu and his friends, among many others. Their help is needed, as dangerous monsters lurk behind the mysterious doors that have sprung up throughout Neo Jibral Castle Town.
As the game begins, the hero becomes the only person who can still summon the power of his or her shadow, which can take the form of several mythical beasts with their own sets of abilities. The hero can share that shadow power with allies, allowing them to participate in battle.
The hero can use shadows to cast spells, which use up magic points and require a short time to recharge before being used again.
One or two other players can take the place of the artificial intelligence-controlled allies, and the multiplayer aspect combined with the loads of loot to be found and forged lend the game a classic dungeon-crawl flavor.
Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow
RATING Everyone 10 and older Nintendo DS $3
PLOT Action-packed role-playing fantasy
DETAILS Nintendo DS, $35
BOTTOM LINE An epic sequel