Can someone tell me what kind of bug crawled up the butt of the
undead? I mean, they're always out causing trouble, resurrecting
various evil entities or gnawing on the occasional human head
for a late night snack. Some zombies, like Michael Jackson, have
tried to go straight and make a decent life for themselves, but
most end up on a quest to find the perfect brains du jour.
According to Capcom, feudal Japan was full of these evil dead
guys. They just can't seem to kick that brain-eating habit and
the intelligence of the locals are suffering because of it. Join
the fight for humanity and play Onimusha Warlords!
You are the great Samanosuke Akechi, swordsman extraordinaire.
Inabayama Castle has been overrun by evil Demons (ie. zombies)
and, of course, it falls on your armored shoulders to stop them.
So how does a simple guy like Samanosuke kill what's already
dead, you ask? Easy - with the power of Ogres! It seems that the
Ogres and Demons had some sort of falling out in the past and
the Ogres are more than happy to help mess up things for the Demons.
Okay, so it sounds like an XFL game. But while the story's not
one of the best, some top-notch gameplay surely makes up for it.
Onimusha may fall into the survival horror genre, but it actually
has the heart of an action game. You'll slash your way through
hordes of demonic underlings using several types of weapons, both
melee and ranged. You'll also use a magic gauntlet to capture
the souls of your enemies once you have smashed their mortal shells.
These souls will enable you to further power up your weapons and
items, making our main character one bad mamma jamma.
When you're not swinging around your chosen instrument of martial
mayhem, Onimusha has the feel of the Resident Evil series that
Capcom is famous for. You'll search out keys and various other
items that will help you get closer to the heart of the problem.
You'll also need to occasionally solve a straightforward box puzzle
in order to gain said items.
It's obvious that Onimusha is based on the RE formula, and sometimes
the similarities are a bit annoying. You still use the infamous
"green herb" for health, search for items like cogs
and key pieces, and are unable to walk up a simple set of stairs
without the push of a button. It's not a big deal, but a little
more creativity on this end would have been nice.
Some similarities are a good thing, though. Controlling Samanosuke
is a breeze thanks to the Resident Evil style control scheme.
It's been tweaked to be a bit more responsive for the faster paced
action of Onimusha and it won't take long for players to slash
like a pro.
Don't think that Onimusha is just a button masher (though one
could certainly play that way), since a smart samurai will discover
the secrets of swordsmanship with a little practice. Dodging and
slashing at the correct instance can bring about a sweet one-hit
kill. Very satisfying, indeed.
To further augment the solid show of gameplay, Onimusha gives
gamers an awesome visual treat. Picture perfect CG and great looking
scenarios do a good job of showing off the PS2's capabilities.
There are also a few impressive instances where Samanosuke battles
enemies in shallow water, complete with the appropriate water
effects. Everyone should be glad this game got bumped from the
N64 and original Playstation to the next generation.
Cheeseball English dubbing may be the norm, but fortunately for
us, a smart move was made at Capcom to provide the option for
Japanese with English subtitles. I can't begin to tell you how
happy this makes me. Bad English dubbing in a game like this should
If you're lucky enough, a mini-game called Oni Spirits will be
unlocked. A nice touch of replay value, but nothing to get excited
The only real letdown in Onimusha is its length. The first time
through will probably take around ten hours or so, exploring every
nook and cranny and running around like a lost soul. If you decide
on another round to pick up other things you may have missed,
the game can be completed in less than three hours. So little
demons, so much time.
Still, Onimusha is an extremely solid game with not much to complain
about. Its amazing graphics and fun gameplay make this one of
those games that you need to experience. Just watch out for those
damn zombies. You never can tell when they'll be in the mood for
a samurai snack.
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