|Violence, Blood and Gore
| The Good
Longer, better story
Gift system and allies are a nice addition
| The Bad
Camera angles leave player open for cheap shots
No analog control
Poor control implementation
In Onimusha 2, the story picks up some years after
the events of the first game.
The evil Nobunaga has risen again and is laying siege to feudal
Japan. After finding his village destroyed, the samurai Jubei
Yagyu vows revenge and proceeds to track down Nobunaga. He
ends up in the mining town of Imasho, where he meets a variety
of allies, including Magoichi, Kotaro, Ekei and Oyu, who will
lend a hand to help him defeat the demonic minions. From there,
the story unfolds into a larger and deeper tale than the original
From the opening cinema, you'll be amazed by the extremely
high quality of the graphics. The CG cinemas are a sight to
behold as they show a great attention to detail and style.
Even the pre-rendered cutscenes with the in-game engine look
great, as the character models are extremely well detailed.
The facial models alone show a great range of emotion. While
the game is built with pre-rendered backgrounds on which the
polygonal characters move, most of the background are animated,
giving them life. One of the more impressive moments is in
the opening part, where a steady downpour of rain is effectively
animated on top of the locales. Spell and lighting effects
are gorgeous and the character animations are superbly done.
The basis of Onimusha 2's gameplay is very similar
to the original title. Combat involves hitting the Square
button to make attacks, the Circle button to absorb a variety
of souls (some of which replenishes your health and magic),
and the Triangle button to use magical attacks. The player
will find a variety of weapons, including a spear, bow and
arrows and flintlock. With the souls absorbed from the demons,
one can upgrade Jubei's weapons and armor. In addition to
the elements from the first game, Capcom has added a few things
to the basic formula. Enemies now drop gold, which the player
can use to buy items in town. While these items are fairly
useless in combat, they can be given as gifts to certain people,
who will in return give you health items, ammo and even other
gifts in return. An icon will turn up when you're by someone
who you can give a gift to. Talk to them to get a clue what
they want, and then press the start button to pick an item
to give as a gift.
During your trip your through the game, you'll find a number
of locations where one of your allies will help you in combat.
Also present is a gauge that, once filled, will cause Jubei
to turn in the "Onimusha", a glowing warrior (much
like in Devil May Cry) with enhanced
power and speed. Along the way, you'll also find scrolls that
unlock combo attacks for certain weapons, which will help
in breaking up what could become a monotonous combat system.
The puzzles in the game are fairly simple and probably won't
pose much of a challenge to anyone.
The music for Onimusha 2 is topnotch and really plays
up the timepiece aspect of the game. Sound effects are likewise
well done. Voice-acting, though, is odd to place - for the
most part I would have to say that they're pretty cheesy,
but I would almost think this is by intention. The further
into the game you get, the more you realize the script is
being played up like a '70's samurai flick, almost like it's
been translated and dubbed poorly by intention. The voiceacting
is never bad enough to be any more than good for a smile.
As is the problem with most games built with pre-rendered
backgrounds, there are going to be a lot of times where the
game camera is going to leave you open for cheap shots as
you move from one angle to another. And, if the camera angle
leaves you at the end of an area, you may have to fight your
way towards being able to even see what your doing. One of
the biggest drawbacks is a holdover from the last game - the
controls. Not only are the controls still the same scheme
as in Resident Evil (up
to go forward, left and right to turn, down to back up), but
you're still forced to use the D-pad to move your characters.
With such an action oriented game as this, I can't imagine
why Capcom didn't use the same control scheme as in Devil
May Cry, which would have made more sense. Also, the is
noticeable pause between cutscenes and while entering new
While Onimusha 2 does manage to add to the original
formula by giving you a longer game, deeper story and more
gameplay elements to the combat system, the fundamental flaws
from the original game still hold this title back. If you
loved the first game, you should make the effort to check
out the sequel.