| Fantasy Violence
| The Good
The best combination of an RPG and an Action game.
A combo system that is more then just button mashing.
An epic story and soundtrack to keep you on your toes.
| The Bad
Lack of extras and secrets.
I'm not too sure how many different reasons there are for
buying an Xbox, but it's safe to say that my reason is simply
one word: Sega. Some of Sega's greatest games of the generation
have made their home on the box. Panzer
Dragoon Orta, Jet Set Radio Future,
and Shenmue 2 all have made my
gaming experience memorable. So when I heard Sega was publishing
an action/rpg called Otogi I immediately became interested
in it and soaked in the hype like a sponge. When it was released
I had no hesitation in my purchase because the Sega brand
is synonymous with “stellar” and Otogi is no exception.
Otogi tells the story of a land lost to chaos. The
Great Seal which has protected civilization and the rule of
the Imperial Court has collapsed by some unexplained phenomenon.
Mankind as we know it disappeared and in it's place laid a
wasteland riddled with demons. Our hero, Raikoh, was an assassin
who once served the Court. He was saved by an unknown entity
known only as The Princess and in exchange for his life and
her powers he must rid the world of demons. The plot unravels
through the narrative of the Princess. While it may not make
sense to many those who look for deeper meanings and correlations
to the real world may find it enjoyable as I do.
If Otogi's tale was the bread it's gameplay is the
butter. It mixes the best best of both the action and rpg
genre. As you progress through the game Raikoh levels up,
gains HP/MP, and equips new weapons and magic. In between
levels you can buy said items as well as accessories at the
Princess' shop as well as repairing your weapons. Once you
get into the action all combat is real time using a combo
system that may be familiar to most action gamers. Although
instead of mashing two buttons the entire time, combos can
be mixed up by attacking on ground and the air, while dashing,
or all three. You can also throw in a spell to mix things
up. One can imagine with all the combat possibilities the
camera can become a pain. Well, fear not. The lock-on system
is implemented very well. It steadies the camera but at the
same time doesn't hold your hand throughout the battle. Also
the camera can be re-centered with the push of a button or
fully controlled with the right analog stick.
Aesthetically, I have been blown away. Everything from the
level environments to the game menus tell you that a highly
dedicated team put their heart and soul into making this game
a work of art. You almost hate yourself for destroying all
the buildings, trees, and the other interactive parts of the
level (which about 90% of it is). The game menus offer nice
ripple effects when you make selections and the in game environments
replicate medieval Japanese architecture.
Much to my pleasure, Otogi supports Dolby Digital
surround sound and when you listen to the music and sound
effects you will understand why it would be a shame if it
didn't. The gothic/horror music enhances your experience significantly,
a philosophy that many developers today ignore. The heart
pounding effects and classical gothic music will print an
image of this game into my memory forever much like the tribal
music of Panzer Dragoon or the alternative styles of
Jet Set Radio Future did.
In a day when the video game hobby becomes increasingly expensive
replayability is much more important. Even at its reduced
price tag ($40), Otogi may or may not be worth the
green. It does not boast extra levels or a hundred hours of
game play. Simply once you play the game the only replayability
comes simply from playing it again. On the plus side this
not a game you will want to rush. If you think your going
to just clear stages like clockwork and complete the game
you will soon find yourself overwhelmed in difficulty. Levels
can be replayed after they are cleared which is almost necessary
to gain levels and money to purchase equipment. Your enjoyment
of this game all depends on your level of appreciation in
the realm of aesthetics. Otogi consists of beautiful
artwork and compelling story telling and if this not reason
enough to replay the game then you may want to look elsewhere.
However, much like Ico and Panzer
Dragoon Orta it will go down as one of the most memorable
experiences of this generation.
- Grand Admiral