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  1. #1

    Retro|Spective 027: Onimusha

    Capcom went through an era of attempting to milk their Resident Evil style titles that resulted in several attempts at creating new ip from a similar mould. One of these attempts would take the form of...

    Onimusha

    Mainline Entry 01 - Onimusha: Warlords
    Formats: Playstation 2, Xbox, PC
    Following the mould of Resi with more focus on sword play and less on horror, this new series dropped the player in the Sengoku period of japans history using elements of real history alongside supernatural spins. Out to save a princess from demon's you run against pre-rendered backgrounds solving minor puzzles and taking down demonic hordes. Originally intended for N64DD then developed for PS1, the game would take until PS2 to make it onto shelves later receiving a tweaked port in the form of Genma Onimusha and a limited release port on PC which only came to light in select markets. An immediate success, Capcom was quick to try and make a franchise of it.



    Mainline Entry 02 - Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny
    Formats: Playstation 2
    Arriving quickly on the heels of the previous game, the sequel followed a new lead in the form of Jubei and expanded on the idea of having sections where the player took control of other characters for brief sections, the actions of these characters deciding who would help Jubei in the end. Co-developed alongside the original game, Capcoms quick one-two delivery worked and despite only being released on one platform the game was just as much of a hit.



    Spin Off Entry 01 - Onimusha Tactics
    Formats: Game Boy Advance
    ATactics rpg entry was released on Nintendo's handheld using a grid based view to progress through the games battles. The game was very much a spin-off, mostly modelled on the narrative structure of the first game but not typing in directly the any of the running canon.



    Spin Off Entry 02 - Onimusha: Blade Warriors
    Formats: Playstation 2
    If you're known for fighters what else do you do but create one for characters who fight. The decision was ill-advised though, pitting series characters against one another this title delivered a simple fighter who's narrative followed on closely from the second game but in a way that many fans weren't that interested in.



    Mainline Entry 03 - Onimusha 3: Demon Seige
    Formats: Playstation 2, PC
    Two years passed since the second entry and Capcom came in loud with this trilogy closer. The new game introduced time travel elements with the present day sequences being set in Paris and led by Jean Reno's Jacques. The third game was mostly notable for the improvements made to the combat and the switch from prerendered backdrops to real-time ones but otherwise delivered a well received supposed send off to the series that was intended to win back some western gamers who'd begun to drift off with the second game. Once again the game was well received though it came in with just 75% of the total sales the previous two entries achieved.



    Mainline Entry 04 - Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams
    Formats: Playstation 2
    Another two years later Capcom returned to the series despite its supposed end with this fourth entry set a few decades after the third. Capcom built the game citing heavy fan demand and the new title utilised things Capcom had learnt during its time making failed title Shadow of Rome. Once again the game arrived to a positive critical response but this time the audience had no interest and sales fell dramatically for the new entry bringing the series to an end barring an announcement for a browser based title years ago.



    What are your memories and thoughts of the Onimusha series?

  2. #2
    I've never played an Onimusha, but I'd like to. Can series veterans recommend an entry point? Not sure I've the stamina for all four played sequentially.

  3. #3
    I played the first three and there is that sense that it's a contained trilogy so you'd probably be better with either the original or Dreams so there's less cross referencing events

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wakka View Post
    I've never played an Onimusha, but I'd like to. Can series veterans recommend an entry point? Not sure I've the stamina for all four played sequentially.
    If you're going to play one, I'd recommend the first game. The first three main games are something of a trilogy, though I seem to recall you can jump 1>3 without too many problems.

    1 is a fun game but it is very short. I actually rented it and finished it in one day; the duration "4hrs 30mins" comes to mind, though that might not be right given how long ago it was. I do know for certain though that I kicked it off at 10 and returned it to Blockbuster before they closed that day.

    I think it'd be fun if you're a fan of those sorts of games, because it feels like a middle-ground between Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, for reasons that I guess are pretty obvious. It really doesn't surprise me the first game was going to be a PS1 game, as with lower-detail character models and VFX it could definitely have been one.

    Onimusha 3 is a title I recall very fondly. I particularly remember that the Jean Reno character had loads of moves involving a kind of whip which were extremely fun to use. This one was contemporary with God of War and you can see that there was some "great minds think alike" going on there. The whole Jean Reno thing was cool, but a bit disappointing as the character just uses his appearance, not his voice (Reno only voices him for a few words at the start of the game when he speaks French).

  5. #5
    With such a short duration, the first game sounds like a good shout. Thanks doods. Is the PAL version OK or do I need an NTSC-U copy?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by wakka View Post
    With such a short duration, the first game sounds like a good shout. Thanks doods. Is the PAL version OK or do I need an NTSC-U copy?
    I would say that PAL is fine, as that's the version I played.

    That being said I'm sure someone will be along momentarily to yell "ugh seriously why not just **** INTO YOUR EYES?"

  7. #7
    PAL Onimusha is 50hz bordered only sadly. If you have the option, get a US version. Although PAL is like £2, so couldnít blame you. I played 50hz palmiriginally but Iíd rather US if I had a choice.

    Playing ONI 2 afterwards really makes you realise what you missed as the combat is quite fast paced. Would rather you play that didnít though!

    I love Onimusha, perfect little games. Great combat, story, level design, enemy design, level up system, risk/reward mechanics and feel.it doesnít get enough praise and Iíd adore a remaster/collection.

    Onimusha 4/Dawn of Dreams was actually great. Full 3D instead of pretenders backgrounds, lots of story, lots of characters, all individually playableA loads of level up/build options, a world map to go back and replay- with optional bosses etc. The template was very different to the previous games- but it was a great game- a shame many never got to try it.

  8. #8
    Aren't the "Genji" games on PS3 spiritual sequels? Did anyone ever play them?

  9. #9
    Are they? I thought they looked guff. A genji title was out on the PS2 originally, so I can’t see that being the case.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MrKirov View Post
    Are they? I thought they looked guff. A genji title was out on the PS2 originally, so I can’t see that being the case.
    Turns out they weren't. They were like Onimusha knock-offs, and were directed by a former Capcom staffer - but that person wasn't directly ever involved with Onimusha.

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