I think this is my "Guilty pleasure" game of 2006. I saw the movie and didn't care for it, but since I've bought all of the other RPG/Action/Adventure games the DS has to offer right now, and I wanted another DS game, I took a chance and bought it. Why? Because, while the PS2 and 360 versions were generally hailed as yet two more crappy movie video games, the GBA and DS versions everyone seemed to at least like in part. To me, the game is a hodgepodge of lows and highs. Some of the graphics and animations are amazing, some of the close up graphics and wall textures are horrid looking. The game has a nice flow, but the storyline is blatantly trying to suck. Hell, the intro of the game just kind of plops you in, and it made me feel like there was a glitch in the game there. Flying the dragon is easy after a bit, but the first time you ride it the ride will be over before you get the hang of the controls. I may seem like I'm knocking the game, but in all honesty it's fun as hell. Running around the countryside along rivers is amazing graphically, and there's very little pop up. You have a bow and since you can see enemies from so far away, you can pick them off from a distance if you have the patience. There'sa lot of stuff to find, and the touchscreen is put to good use. The touchscreen has a map that is pretty detailed showing any items of interest and all enemy locations, plus it has this wheel you can spin to precisely adjust the camera. You can also adjust the camera with the "L" button, but it's not as precise. It also has a quest log, which I think all games should have from now on. A lot of games have the quest log, but not all. They're great, especially for these type of games. You cast spells and use herbs and whatnot by drawing various runes on the touchscreen. And you can interact with the dragon the same way. I don't know about the game's length... Gamespot said you can finish it in 5 hours, but IGN said it's a lengthy game. It seems like it'd be a short game because after an hour and a half of playing, I've learned about 5 new attacks already. As for difficulty, I can't say much about it yet. From the start to where I am now, I got away with simlpe button mashing to kill enemies. The newest area I go to... I got my ass handed to me by button mashing. these dudes had huge warhammers and the ability to ram into me causing damage. Bottom line is this game, while it is far from perfect, has a ton of great qualities I'd like to see implemented better in another game or even a sequal. The presentation and uniqueness is there, but the storyline, some of the graphics and maybe the length need some work. If you're close to a place that rents DS games, I'd say it's definitely a rental. I may check out the GBA version as well as it's a full blown turn-based RPG.
Edit: Wow, lots of typos and meandering thoughts, but... it's freaking 12:30! *Yawn*