Claymore DS Review

Monday, June 15, 2009

Claymore for the Nintendo DS is the game adaptation of a sleeper hit anime/manga series of the same name about half human-half monster women created by a shadowy organization to fight demons in a medieval setting.

Personally, when I found out that a game was coming out for the DS more than a year ago, I was simply ecstatic. Claymore belongs to the Shounen genre, but does not delve on the usual cheesiness prevalent in typical hack-and-slash stories like Naruto and Bleach. Manga scenes are always beautifully drawn and even in the anime produced by Madhouse a few years back, the series boasted artistic battles and realistic strength progressions.

If there was any anime-to-game translation that I would watch out for, I knew it in my heart that it would be Claymore.

I won't dillydally and get to the point. Claymore DS as a game is simply disappointing.

Graphics-wise, the backgrounds are very bland and feel detached. Across six stages, I saw four backgrounds basically being alternated: town-forest-plains-cave. It reminds me of Shadow of the Beast for the Sega Master System, which is kind of cool, if we're still in the 1980s. The claymore sprites are disappointing as well, given that we're talking about an anime that boasts a uniquely detailed artstyle, we're treated to a bargain bin SNES sprite that hardly passes for a claymore were it not for the trademark cape. Monster design is likewise borderline retarded, with the first four levels alternating between wolves of various colours and demihumans of various colours. I specifically do not remember Clare ever fighting power ranger puppies.

Gameplay wise, the concept of being able to adjust the claymore's power levels is pretty sweet, with the risk of "going over" being higher as your power level goes up. The representation of power is somewhat lacking however, as your moves are still limited to the same things, and the only indicator you have is the electrical aura around the claymore's body. The usage of a radar to find your target is nice, which kind of reminds me of the dragonball radar.

Controls are simply too clunky. Response is somewhat delayed and the physics is seriously messed up. A few minutes of fighting with the monsters in stage one will tell you how much problem you'll get because of it in the future. Fight scenes are downright crass, lacking the finesse you'd half expect with Claymores involved. There are times you'd think you're playing a clunky NES castlevania beta.

As for storyline, you get to follow three claymores, including my personal favorite Miria. The storyline faithfully follows the actual storyline of the series and yes, you do get more moves later on. If ever there's anything a fanboy might delight in, it's this aspect.

That mentioned, I think for a conclusion I believe this game is what it is. A boilerplate anime-to-game translation reserved for only but the diehard fans of the series who can look beyond the game's rather obvious flaws.

If you ask me if I'm playing, screw it.

I still <3 Miria.


Anonymous said...

Good thing i don't have a nintendo ds.. that will spare me the disappointment.


P.S.: My brother also <3 phantom miria

Sean said...

Sigh, yeah I hate it when such a good show makes such a lousy game...


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