This weekend I had the opportunity to play a few minutes of the first Square Enix game for the Nintendo Wii: Dragon Quest Swords. There were more than two dozen kiosks dedicated to Dragon Quest Swords at the Square Enix Party in Japan, and after a short wait in a very long line it wasn't that extensive a wait to get a bit of hands-on with the Wii adventure.

The demo began with a trek through the woods. All the action of Dragon Quest Swords is seen from the first-person viewpoint of the lead character, chosen at the start of the adventure (either male or female), and control is handled via the Wii Remote exclusively. By holding the B button down, the character will move through a rigid on-rails path through the forest. Enemies will leap in from off-screen or out from behind trees and boulders, preventing forward motion; when this happens, these enemies must be taken out before the game allows you to continue on.

In battle, the B button activates the shield -- the on-screen pointer turns into a wooden shield that will block attacks if players anticipate where the attacks are heading. So, if an archer fires an arrow at you from a distance, your character will have a premonition of where it will hit with a flashing icon before the arrow's fired. Hold the B button and point the remote to the location on the screen and the shield will block the attack. Sounds easy, but when three archers fire their arrows at the same time to three different spots on the screen, you'll need a quick hand to swipe the shield across your view to prevent getting hit.

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