After seeing Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire I was eager to get my hands on it and try a few of the stages. I started out in an aqua dungeon fighting against a single headed green dragon. The dragon had a simple pattern that involved teleporting and leaving watery spheres that explode when you run over them. I started attacking it with a mess of inaccurate sword swipes. Sometimes I would swing the remote horizontally and my character would thrust forward. Other times the horizontal slash did not recognize the direction I swung the remote, so if I waved the Wiimote left the hero actually attacked with a right handed swing. This didn’t matter too much in the boss fight since the dragon was a large target, but remember this fact I’ll come to it later. The sword didn’t appear like it was doing much damage so I switched over to the single dragon claw by pressing right on the D-pad. The single claw lets the hero do a powerful uppercut by swinging the remote up and if you want to do more damage you can switch over to using two claws by pressing left on the D-pad. When you use two claws you move into “tank mode” where you walk slowly, but can attack with both hands. You can swipe with the nunchuck and then the remote as if you were punching the dragon. Neat!
Since the game is still in early stages the dragon fight was in immortal mode by default, which means you had unlimited life plus dragon power. As soon as I turned off immortal mode by pressing the number buttons I watched the dragon power meter rapidly drain. The fight went back to using the sword, instead of the other dragon powers. When the dragon is damaged enough a glowing weak point is exposed and you have to swiftly hit it to move to the next part of the fight. If you don’t deal enough damage in the time window the dragon recovers a little life and you have to damage it again to make the weak point appear.
Once the boss battle was over I went back to try out one of the levels, without the god-like invincibility. The gameplay is similar since there aren’t any specific combos to learn, but when small, fast wolf monsters dashed towards the hero things got difficult. Sometimes you wouldn’t see the creatures coming towards you because they appeared off screen. Even when you spotted the wolves sprinting towards you, hitting them with the sword was another problem. A horizontal swipe would be the best way to attack them because it covers more distance. But sometimes the remote wouldn’t accurately register a horizontal slash, instead a vertical slash would appear on the screen and the wolf would hit you. Granted the game is still in early stages and there is an easy way to fix the problem, switch dragon powers. If you use the tail whip you can easily hit a group of wolves and armored soldiers. The dragon head is just as useful since it shoots a small batch of fireballs.
While I tried to use controlled swipes for most of the game I watched a handful of people play Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire too and they were rapidly swinging the remote in frustration. After a few minutes they would put the controller and nunchuck down to get in line for Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution. I admit that during the boss fight my instinct was to swing as fast as possible too, but that isn’t how Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire was designed to be played. Dragon Blade: Wrath of Fire takes some getting used to, but considering how few original action games are on the Wii this might be one to look forward to.