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InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Art Co
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:

For those of you who’ve never heard of InuYasha, you might not get quite as much enjoyment from InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel as fans of the series will. Rumiko Takahashi’s beautifully done anime ran for 167 episodes, 4 movies so far, and now Namco/Bandai Games has released the 4th video game based off of the series, the second of which is made for the DS.

Being that Secret of the Divine Jewel is for a handheld system, the characters are very sprite-like, but they all look like the anime characters that you’re used to seeing, down to Inuyasha’s ears and Shippo’s fluffy tail. Most of the cities that you visit are quite detailed. You can even just sit and watch the cherry blossoms fall sometimes, which is very beautiful. The enemies, well they are a little lacking in uniqueness at times. Most simply change colors so you know they’re a “different” enemy. But to balance that out, all of the gods and boss Youkai (demons) are very detailed and individual.

As for the sounds, well, I personally liked the background music. It wasn’t so obnoxious that you'd turn the volume down, but it also wasn’t so inspiring that you’re going to go burn it to CD and listen in your car. The music does change depending on what area you’re in, and it is appropriately more dramatic for harder areas and battles.


InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel starts in present day with a new character invented just for this game. Yes, I know it’s non-canonical, but it works. With only this new character, Janis, playable, you start out looking for Kagome. You make your way into the Feudal Era, eventually find Kagome and meet Sango (and Kirara), Miroku, Shippo, and of course, Inuyasha. These will be your only playable characters throughout the game, but for those of you worried, yes you will at least see, if not fight side by side, with a good many of the characters that you love and hate from the anime.

Once you’re in the past, you set off on a quest to find a god, Datara. To do so, you’ll end up going back to the future, back to the Feudal Era, and even 500 years further into the past. To start out with, you travel solely on foot. Eventually, Hadji the tanuki will show up and you can pay him to fly you around. Sometimes, you’ll have to pay Hadji because there is no path to get to where you need to go.

One thing to make note of, as we all know, Inuyasha is fully human on a new moon. During this time, he loses all of his special attacks and demon abilities. Time only passes as you’re walking on the world map, so if you enter a dungeon with him human, he’ll stay human the whole way through that dungeon.


Difficulty in InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel can be measured in two ways - how hard the battles are and how hard is it to progress in the game. While you’re wandering around on foot, you will encounter a great number of random battles. At the beginning of the game, you’ll end up fighting every 3 steps it seems. For the most part, the enemies in Secret of the Divine Jewel are easily beaten, though. Since you’ve always got a character that can heal in your party, and healing items are readily available, you almost never even lose a character in battle. And if you do, you just heal them at the end. There’s nothing special you have to do to revive them other than heal.

Progressing through the game, however, can prove to be quite difficult at times. I’ll go ahead and warn you up front, you’re going to get lost in this game, and you’ll probably get lost very often. Most of the time, you’ll just have to fly around on Hadji and try everywhere. But even though you’re constantly lost and always fighting, you will still keep on playing because you want to know what happens!

Game Mechanics:

To move your party on the world map, use the D-pad. You can use the touch screen if you want, but it’s very difficult to move that way. At any point on the world map, hit Start to save. You can only save on the world map. There are no save points anywhere in the dungeons, which at times was a really bad thing. At least one area, I had to go over an hour without saving.

Battles are fought with anywhere from 2 - 5 characters, depending on where you are in the game. You can use the D-pad to scroll through your various spells and attacks, or you can use the touch screen to select them. Then, you just touch the enemy (or group of enemies) that you want to attack. Overall, the controls are very simple to figure out and easy to use.

Although InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel does have some problems, such as a lack of save points, way too many random battles, and very little direction as to where you’re going, I’d still highly recommend it. Yes you do get a little frustrated at times, but it’s still a wonderfully crafted RPG and a great addition to the InuYasha series.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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