Otogi: Myth of Demons
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox
Publisher
Sega
Developer
From Software
Genre
Action/RPG
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Fantasy Violence
 
Grade
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.

 
Grade
A

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

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