This is the January 2008 issue of Nintendo Power, labeled as Volume 224. This is the first issue to celebrate the magazine's 20th anniversary and it plans to do so with special articles for the entire year. This issue also published the Nintendo Power Award nominations. It's featured articles included Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, Ninja Reflex, Dragon Quest Swords, and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Cover Story

This article previewed Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the Nintendo DS. It was developed by Team Ninja, who has also developed Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. As of this issue there are plans to release the game in early 2008 after the original release date was pushed back.

The story is set six months after the events in the Xbox game. The protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, and his protégé, Momiji, have a training session and after a while go separate ways. We soon learn that "Fiends" have attacked Momiji and are making their way towards the village. As Ryu defends the village he must also save an old blacksmith named Muramasa. Muramasa acts as the storekeeper of the game, selling weapons and items when needed. He also gives Ryu Ninpo's, magic spells that requires drawing Sanskrit letters with the Stylus in order to cast them. Later on in the story Ryu will discover why Fiends have appeared and caused havoc in the vicinity. As Ryu goes on he will also learn the secrets behind his weapon of choice, the "Dragon Sword".

The article gave a broad overview of how the game appeared in it’s early stages, but it paid special attention to the control scheme. Like many DS action/adventure games, the player will move the main character using the stylus. There were a series of diagrams that showed how to make Ryu do basic movements like running, jumping, and attacking. Other diagrams showed some offensive/defensive techniques, another showed how to draw a Ninpo, and there was even a diagram showing how to do the “Ultimate Technique”.

The article was followed by an interview with Tomonobu Itagaki, the producer from Team Ninja.

Other Highlights

  • This issue included a 2008 Virtual Console Calendar. Despite the name, the calendar starts at December 2007 and ends at April 2009.
  • The magazine previewed Ninja Reflex (not to be confused with Ninja Gaiden) and briefly explained the game's six events. A Wii and Nintendo DS version will be available in March.
  • There was a preview of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. The events in this game take place seven years after Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations and the differences between how some of the characters were then and how they are in the current game were included in the article.
  • A Special Feature celebrated Mega Man's 20th Anniversary. The article was split into two parts; one had 20 questions for Mega Man's producer, Keiji Inafune, and the other had "20 Reasons We Love Mega Man".
  • The Nintendo Power Awards 2007 nominations were announced. Each of the 18 categories had six nomination slots and often had Wii and DS games competing against each other. The "Game of the Year Overall" category was the only one with 12 nomination slots, combining the nominations from the "Game of the Year Wii" and 'Game of the Year DS' categories.
  • This issue had the first installment in Nintendo Power’s celebration of its 20 year existence. This installment took a tiny peak inside the very first issue and reminisced how the old Nintendo Power's were filled with strategy maps. There was also a note of how each article had their own fonts and design, making articles very unique from each other.
  • Player Profiles #9: Interview with Toby Gard, the original creator of Lara Croft who played integral roles in the development of Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary.


Title Score Console Reviewer ESRB Rating
Boogie 7.0 DS Chris Sh. 04Everyone 10+
Draglade 7.5 DS George S. 04Everyone 10+
Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash 3.0 DS Chris Sh. 03Everyone
The Golden Compass 4.0 WII Chris H. 04Everyone 10+
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law 6.5 Wii Chris H. 05Teen
MX vs. ATV Untamed 6.0 DS George S. 03Everyone
MX vs. ATV Untamed 6.0 Wii Chris A. 03Everyone
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams 9.0 Wii Steve T. 03Everyone
Samurai Warriors: Katana 7.5 Wii Tom H. 05Teen
Super Swing Golf Season 2 6.5 Wii Steve T. 04Everyone 10+
Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command 8.0 DS Scott P. 05Teen

See also

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