Inuyasha: Demon Tournament
The stunningly prolific Rumiko Takahashi is one of Japan's most successful manga artists. Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha are familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in manga or anime, and that's just the tip of the iceberg; she's also responsible for Mermaid Forest, Maison Ikkoku, One Pound Gospel, and countless shorter works.
Based on the anime of the same name, Inuyasha: Demon Tournament is a one on one tactical fighter, somewhat similar to a stripped down Tactics Arena Online or Shining Force mixed with Street Fighter. Demon Tournament has been expertly realized in Flash and is available on AdultSwim.com to promote the series now airing on Cartoon Network.
Select one of eight different characters to begin. Each character has a unique set of moves, represented as a deck of cards. On every card you'll find a name, damage amount, energy cost, and a 3x3 grid. Use a movement card to move in the direction of the arrow on the bottom of the card. Using an attack card will subtract the card's energy cost from your energy bar and, if the move connects with your opponent, the card's damage amount is subtracted from their HP. The red squares on the grid of attacking cards determine the area affected by the attack. Each player also has a guard card, which will protect you from up to 15 damage received on the turn it is played, and an energy up card, which will restore your energy bar by 15.
Both you and your opponent choose 3 cards to begin each round, which are revealed one by one as the action unfolds. As a reward for defeating a foe you get a shard of the Shikon Jewel and the opportunity to choose one of five mystery cards to add to your deck, granting you abilities such as special attacks, enhanced movement or healing.
Analysis: I've always been more fond of Ataru, Lum and the Urusei Yatsura gang, but Demon Tournament is superbly produced and doesn't require any knowledge or appreciation of InuYasha. Though the combat tends to degenerate into random guesswork, it is fast and fun guesswork, with graphics and animation that rival commercial products. Also, watch out: after completing the game and trying to start a new battle I encountered a strange bug, kicking me out of Flash and into an error message.