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This is where the swordplay comes in. By holding the remote forwards and level and swinging it horizontally, vertically and diagonally, you can unleash a number of cutting and slashing attacks on the enemies in immediate range of your virtual blade. Stabbing the remote forwards will - if you're lucky - administer a piercing thrust attack. For groups of larger enemies, merely swinging wildly may suffice, but in many cases you'll need to focus your attacks beforehand by using the remote to aim the onscreen cursor and select the point you want to hit. You'll also need to defend yourself from enemy attacks, by pressing and holding the B trigger beneath the remote to wield your sturdy shield. Basically, you trundle your way along the path using the sword to whack anything in front of you and the shield to stop anything hitting you. You might say that it's a little more simple, accessible and direct than your usual action RPG. Or you might say it's simplistic and leave it at that.
Of course, it's not quite as basic as that. Some enemies fire missiles, and some of these missiles can be returned to sender by focussing on the point of impact and swiping with your blade at the right time. Some explosive enemies can be repelled with a well-timed thrust, blowing up instead in their evil comrade's midst. There are treasure chests to discover and little secret items that can be unearthed, and each mission area has a few branching pathways giving you a little bit of choice as to what route you take from start to finish.
Finally, each mission ends with a climactic boss battle. Here it's mostly a case of observing patterns and deploying sword and shield accordingly, but these are also the moments at which you'll unleash your finest moves - or master strokes. You start with one, and you'll unlock more by gaining levels or new weapons. Press the 2 button at the bottom of the Wii remote, repeat the gesture being shown on screen and you can administer a super-potent blow that will wipe a healthy chunk from the boss' health gauge. And, as a bonus, you may feel extra-heroic for a second or two as well. Do it standing up and let out a manly roar for the full effect.
Dragon Quest Swords hasn't forgotten entirely about good old fashioned RPG features like parties, spells or inventory management either. On missions after the first you'll be accompanied by another character whose main responsibility will be spell casting. You don't control them directly - though you can activate specific spells on demand, providing they have magic points available. Instead, you can allocate tactics to them from four simple options, ranging from 'just keep us healthy and away from death's door' to 'forget restraint: just blast that git to kingdom come.' You can also heal yourself (or them) using bought or found herbs and potions, and you may need additional materials to restore your shield when it's taken too much damage or bring an expired ally back to life.
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