InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel

Moby ID: 26901
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Description official descriptions

InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel is an RPG game featuring an original story with characters and settings based on the anime series InuYasha. The story begins when Janis, an American, is transferred to Japan. She soon meets Kagome, and one day when looking for her enters the Bone Eater's Well and is travels back to feudal era Japan. While there, she inadvertently touches a Shikon Jewel shard, which is absorbed into her body. The jewel shard has awakened a power in Janis known as Kamuitama, a divine power which gives her some magical abilities. Janis joins up with Kagome, InuYasha, Sango, Mioku, Shippo and others from the series on a quest to find a way to retrieve the jewel shard.

The gameplay is typical RPG style with a quest mode and a battle mode. In the quest mode you can explore the various locations in the game and visit different villages. Different characters can be encountered to talk to and provide more information on your quest. You may also buy or find items that can prove to be useful, such as by restoring hit points or curing poison. As you progress through the game, the story will unfold. When you are exploring the fields and dungeons, battles are randomly encountered entering the game into battle mode.

The game uses a turn based battle system. Each character has several different attacks of varying strengths that can be performed; some characters also have different skills that can be used to attack (such as InuYasha's wind scar or Shippo's fox magic) or help out your party (such as by restoring hit points). Each character has a limited amount of energy, and as attacks are executed the energy drains; if you run out of energy you can't attack, but a turn can be utilized to "spirit up" and recover some energy back. The more powerful an attack, the more energy it will require. If all of your characters lose all of their hit points in battle the game will be over.

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Credits (Nintendo DS version)

43 People (28 developers, 15 thanks) · View all

Original Story
Original Art
Developed by
  • ART Co. Ltd.
  • Frontier Groove Inc.
Published by
  • NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.
Senior Vice President of Development
Senior Product Manager
Localization Manager
Associate Localization Specialist
Marketing Director
Associate Product Marketing Managers
Senior Public Relations Manager
Public Relations Specialist
Public Relations Coordinator
National Sales Manager
Channel Marketing Manager
QA/Customer Service Manager
QA Supervisor
QA Lead
Assistant QA Lead
QA Testers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 49% (based on 11 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)

A typical InuYasha story presented as a boring and simplistic Japanese-style RPG

The Good
This was an impulse choice for me, I didn't know anything about this game. But as someone who has seen about 100 episodes of the InuYasha anime I think I can reasonably claim to be a fan of the series, and I have always liked JRPGs as well (I've played both classics and obscure mediocre titles), so I figured I should give this game a try regardless. Unfortunately it turned out to be a letdown, but more on that later.

First of all, I though the story was actually pretty good. It was very simple and there was hardly anything original about it, but it was coherent and well presented. This is actually what I would expect from an InuYasha game. The anime InuYasha is an action/comedy show that's rather repetitive itself, the characters are static (don't develop and are very predictable in their behavior), none of them ever dies and no new major characters are introduced after the first couple of episodes. It's still fun to watch because you meet the same familiar faces and see the same running gags over and over again (where you already start chuckling before the point of the joke because you know exactly that it's coming - if that's your kind of humor, anyway). In this sense the story of this game is very much like a short series of episodes in the InuYasha anime, with minor story twists and the same familiar characters and running gags you're used to. All the major and minor characters are there, notably InuYasha's companions, Kaede, Myoga, Naraku and his servants, Kikyo, the tanuki demon Hachi, Koga, Kagome's mother and grandfather, and even Hojo (who's worried about Kagome's health, as always). The foes and the scenery are the usual elements from Japanese mythology. You get to visit several of the memorable locations from the anime, including the tree where Kikyo imprisoned InuYasha, Kaede's village, and Kagome's well where she can travel through time. The graphics are very simple but faithful to the anime's drawing style.

So just looking at the story this could have been an 'authentic' and enjoyable InuYasha game if the game itself would have been executed properly.

The Bad
Unfortunately there is very little to like about the game-play itself.

Like many Japanese-style RPGs, it's very linear, and the player doesn't really have any influence on the story. You can choose which locations to go to, but on the one hand some areas are unreachable at certain stages in the game because the monsters are too hard, or there is no point in going to some locations because the events that are going to happen there will only be triggered by something that will only occur later in the game. Because of this the relatively large number of locations you can go to is actually a source of confusion (I frequently wondered where I should go next to be able to progress the story) rather than freedom for the player. This is made worse by the fact that the game never gives any clues at all what to do or where to go next, so the only way to find out after you have finished a subplot is to visit all the locations where nothing has happened so far and hope that some event has been triggered there. This is a serious design flaw that takes away a lot of the potential fun in the game.

The most irritating part of this game is the random battles that occur extremely frequently (every time you take a few steps) on both the overland map and in most of the "dungeons". There is no way to avoid the random battles. There is a crystal in the game that should decrease their probability, but I wasn't able to notice any change in this respect (so at the very least it didn't have a noticeable effect). The random battles are no fun at all. They are mostly either far too easy to pose any challenge or frustratingly difficult. On the other hand, they are the main way to gain experience and levels in the game (since the story itself is relatively thin), so you have to go through several hundreds of them to be able to finish the game. Still you'd obviously want to avoid at least the random battles in the areas where the really easy monsters are since these only provide very few experience points later in the game, but this is not possible.

Speaking of battles, they aren't a lot of fun in the first place. Your characters always have access to the very same skills throughout most of the game, so one of the main features of RPGs, watching your character gain new skills and become more and more powerful, is basically missing. Another important element, gathering interesting items, especially weapons, armor and magic items, is also completely missing. You basically only find boring items (herbs, cookies and magic scrolls) that restore health or action points. Granted, the anime InuYasha isn't about collecting loot either, but this could at least have made the game a bit more interesting. Anyway, because of the lack of development in the characters' abilities there isn't a lot of room for tactics in battles either. Your only choice is basically between simple attack and special attack, but this gets old very quickly.

The problem is not just that the main plot is completely linear, but also the fact that there are no side quests or optional plot elements at all, although the setting of the InuYasha 'world' as such would have allowed for great adventures. After all, there may be hundreds of Shikon Jewel shards around, which could have been found by various demons. Unfortunately the creators of this game missed this opportunity as well.

The Bottom Line
What's left after all the missed opportunities is a boring and unimaginative game that I can't even recommend to other fans of the anime or of Japanese-style RPGs. It's not a complete disaster, it's definitely playable, sometimes even enjoyable, and I've played many worse games, but there are so many better games out there that this one's not even worth trying out. Don't waste your money and time on this game, you'll be better off playing just about any other good RPG (on the DS or otherwise) or watching a few episodes of InuYasha.

Nintendo DS · by Ferragus (46) · 2010

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Game added by Servo.

Game added March 3, 2007. Last modified February 22, 2023.