Demon Sword (NES)

Demon Sword Box Art

Demon Sword

System: NES

Release Date: January 1990

Developer: TOSE

Publisher: Taito

Genre: Action

Get ready for another subpar action game with Demon Sword. It’s an epic saga of good vs. evil, as the Dark Fiend rules the world with an iron fist. The world demands salvation and in comes Victar. His old rusted sword once defeated the Dark Fiend and now must be repaired to put an end to his reign. Be prepared for seven levels of jumping, sword-swinging action.

When you load the game up, the first thing that comes to mind is Legend of Kage. The A Button swings the titular sword. Every time you swing, you get a high-pitched annoying clang. The B Button throws shurikens across the screen. These can be powered up throughout the game by collecting certain items. As they power up, they are thrown farther and even turn into energy beams by the end of the game.

You have to find your way to a boss battle at the end of the stage. On your way there, enemies will constantly jump on screen and try to defeat you. In order to survive, you have to kill enemies and power up. Black Balls add to overall size of your health bar. Red Balls restore a life bar when it drains to zero. An arrow increases the throwing speed of the shurikens. An arrow wheel allows four shurikens to be thrown in four directions at once. Another type of arrow transforms Victar into three invincible warriors for a short time.

You can also collect keys as you kill enemies, which open up gates around the level. These transport you into mini-boss battles. These fights are difficult until you settle into a pattern of throwing ninja stars at their feet. Once defeating them, they may drop Fire Spheres, which circle for protection. Lightning, which destroys enemies and injures bosses. Or the Power Beam, which shoots a wave of energy forward. To activate these, you have to pause the game and choose the magic, then press the Select Button to use them.

The Demon Sword is repaired after every two levels and becomes longer. It also becomes stronger and you definitely want it strong. You get a nice looking cut scene after the sword grows, but it goes on for far too long. The bosses are uninspired, but they’re super strong and will kill you quickly.

Graphics: 1.0

The graphics are too busy and not very good at all.

Sound: 0.5

Even if the music is alright, the sound of the swinging sword is obnoxious, grating, and infuriating.

Gameplay: 1.0

You just run and jump and swing the sword. The shuriken is so weak throughout the game, it’s unusable.

Difficulty: 1.0

The level will wear you down, which means you can’t get touched by the boss or you die.

Fun Factor: 0.5

I had to force myself to finish saving the world because it was so boring.

Overall Grade: 0.8

Demon Sword earns a D. This is a bad game and I’m disappointed in TOSE and Taito for making it. I guess the Japanese version was better.