Holy crap is this thing short.

He looks imposing enough, but it still left me surprised to find this guy was the end boss

So, yeah, I just completed this lil gem here and was surprised to find my apparent playtime clocked at just a little over 4 hours... 4 hours, and that still included much backtracking as I tried to remember where those doors with the three eye emblem things to return to where. Though its noticeably short length definitely mixes in with the rest of the game, which overall just sorta feels... incomplete, or at the very least like it's some sort of tech-demo that was to set the foundation for the rest of the series, most especially the much more well put together Onimusha 3 and Dawn of Dreams.

I didn't necessarily dislike this game, though, but... the way the ending just sorta ends, after a rather lackluster boss fight, and without you fighting Nobunaga nor even getting to play as Samanosuke in his Oni form--one particular feature that became a staple shortly after with its sequels--left me with the impression that either the time alotted or its budget wasn't quite enough to make the game they intended.

For starters there's the way the game is designed, which makes stuff like the classic Resident Evil games come across as linear by comparison! The Resident Evil series are a good example to bring up at that, given the many similarities between the two related to the camera angles, tank controls, herbs, and prerendered backgrounds. But difference is in Resident Evil, you often still felt like you were progressing through a larger design; in the original game, you began in the Mansion, then you entered the Residential Building, the underground caverns, and then of course finally ended up at the Umbrella lab.

There was always multiple environments for you to eventually lead into as the game went on, whereas in Onimusha it felt like I was continuing to simply run around in circles amidst the Keep, until I was eventually lead into the demon realm or whatever, only for me to almost immediately face against two bosses in pretty quick succession, and then game over. I

Then there's that side character Ninja lady, who's inclusion felt a bit forced, and she ultimately didn't amount to much. She pretty much plays like Samanosuke, only she can't absorb souls, nor does she have any of the demon weapons, and there was simply nothing unique about controlling her.

This guy's voice sounds like a cross between Krusty the Clown and one of those talking chipmunks

It's still a pretty fun game, though, and it was certainly interesting to head back to find out how this series began. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it still manages to hold up at that, as it still looks pretty good courtesy of its beautifully detailed backgrounds, and its simplistic hack & slash gameplay is much like how I remembered it from Onimusha 3 -- fun, while deceptively rudimentary, with a much larger focus on timing more so than stylish combos ala Devil May Cry. Though the camera angles admittedly proved to be a nuisance sometimes, given its much more faster-paced action gameplay, but I was still able to get through it without any serious issue.

The writing and the voice acting are also horrendously bad as well, though that was the norm for a lot of games of that era of course, most especially Capcom's. But it didn't get in the way too much, and if anything proved to be rather entertaining, as if you're watching some poorly dubbed martial arts movie.

I guess I can understand why this game impressed so much upon release, as it is one of many of Capcom's technical showpieces, and undoubtedly made for a solid benchmark for the power of the PS2 at the time. Though with the release of its many sequels, two of which are undoubtedly its superior, the original kinda feels redundant in the grand scheme. But again, as a curiosity, it certainly served its purpose and I'm glad I finally got around to this. Also, unlockable panda outfit. That's almost as good as the gorilla centurion outfit in Shadow of Rome! Almost.

Though getting back to the start of all this, I was genuinely surprised to find how short this game is. There doesn't appear to be a pantheon of unlockable shit either, like most Capcom games. Although that panda bear outfit is still a cute novelty all the same. I've read that its original xbox version added in a notable suite of content at least, but it is a port I unfortunately lack access to =X

/rambling

TL;DR;

Good game, if still primarily obsolete with the existence of its much superior sequels. Hell, I'd even say that Onimusha 2 is a much better game, if not a more interesting one, after what little I've played so far.

Now goddamnit, Capcom, where's my damn Onimusha reboot/belated sequel?? The least you could do is give us a HD collection for Onimusha 3 & Dawn of Dreams! Just... y'know, something. Despite the shit-flinging from the claws of Capcom Megaman has to put up with, at least that guy is still getting acknowledged!

30 Comments
30 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

I'm fairly certain those are my screenshots.

Posted by Yummylee

@video_game_king: It seems that way... You'll get your cut at the end of the week.

Posted by Video_Game_King
You had BETter make gooood on yourword.

Posted by BBAlpert

Didn't one of the Onimusha games have the guy from Leon: The Professional in it?

Edited by Yummylee

@bbalpert: That would be Onimusha 3! Arguably the bestest Onimusha, though for me it ties rather neatly against Dawn of Dreams. However, Reno is primarily there as a face only. He portrays the character during the beginning and ending segments, while his character still speaks french, but during the meat of the game he's voiced by Paul Mercier, who should be most recognisable as Leon in RE4... The game's still great, but that revelation quickly deflated a lot of the excitement I remember having at getting to play as Jean Reno in a video game.

Posted by RazielCuts

@bbalpert: Yeah, I think the same game they mocapped a horse?

Posted by SteadyingMeat

@video_game_king: Goddammit. I knew I should have hurried up and finished the episodes before more stuff got spoiled for me. Ah well, I guess, I wasn't really enjoying them all that much anyway.

Posted by BBAlpert

@yummylee said:

@bbalpert: That would be Onimusha 3! Arguably the bestest Onimusha, though for me it ties rather neatly against Dawn of Dreams. However, Reno is primarily there as a face only. He portrays the character during the beginning and ending segments, while his character still speaks french, but during the meat of the game he's voiced by Paul Mercier, who should be most recognisable as Leon in RE4... The game's still great, but that revelation quickly deflated a lot of the excitement I remember having at getting to play as Jean Reno in a video game.

I realize that this wouldn't have made sense, since RE4 came out a year after Onimusha 3, but I'd like to imagine someone at Capcom responding to criticisms over predominantly using Paul Mercier's voice instead of Jean Reno's with "Listen, guys. We just said that the game would have Leon, we never said which Leon."

Posted by HatKing

@video_game_king: Goddammit. I knew I should have hurried up and finished the episodes before more stuff got spoiled for me. Ah well, I guess, I wasn't really enjoying them all that much anyway.

I'm not certain that's a spoiler. Primarily because I don't remember that scene in the game. So, take that for what it's worth, and keep playing them. Also, cheat (if possible) during the last bits of Episode 2, that part just isn't fun.

Edited by Yummylee
Posted by Reisz

Oh my god I loved Onimusha so much. I still need to play Dawn of Dreams. Man. I might have a Chanbara weekend soon, I still have a bunch of Blu-rays that I need to watch.

God damn, Onimusha. . . .

So good.

Online
Posted by Video_Game_King

@hatking said:

Primarily because I don't remember that scene in the game.

It happens when you finally bring Alyx back to life. Here's how it goes down:

G-Man: "Sup. It's been a while, man. I see your girlfriend's almost dead. Don't worry. She'll pull through. I need her to spread my message. *leans in close* When you see your father, relay this message to him: 'Cryptic yet innocuous spoiler'. Well, I'm done here. My business is needed elsewhere. Let's just hope the Vortigaunt forget how the previous episode began. *leaves, having had little influence on the overall plot*"

Posted by ThunderSlash

Yeah, the first Onimusha laid out the basic foundation of these games. The lipsyncing was horrendously bad IIRC. Onimusha 2, despite lacking Jean Reno, is probably my favorite one of the bunch (I haven't played Dawn of Dreams). It had a ton branching events and was super replayable. It almost played a bit like an RPG.

Posted by Yummylee

@reisz said:

Oh my god I loved Onimusha so much. I still need to play Dawn of Dreams. Man. I might have a Chanbara weekend soon, I still have a bunch of Blu-rays that I need to watch.

God damn, Onimusha. . . .

So good.

Yeeeeeeup. Though the original appears to be the weakest--haven't completed Onimusha 2 yet, but I already prefer it for how weird it is--it's still a rather consistently great series. And yes, if you like yourself some Onimusha, you owe it to yourself to play Dawn of Dreams! Though you should also know that it's a little different than its predecessors. But it still retains the same sengoku period, its slow-paced hack & slash gameplay, and not to mention some great boss battles (despite a few too many repeats), so it certainly still evokes a lot of what Onimusha is about. Plus, it's pretty damn long as well, much more so than any before it.

Also, this:

Posted by TheHT

You had BETter make gooood on yourword.

I gotta play through HL2 + Episodes again. HL2 is OK, but the Episodes are so fuckim good.

Edited by Yummylee

@video_game_king You haven't half sent my blog into a right tangent here... like half of the responses are related to HL2 >=/

Edited by miikelzelda

thats what she sed

Edited by Yummylee
Posted by Video_Game_King
Posted by jakob187

I really want HD reworks of this franchise. Badly.

Also, I never played Dawn of Dreams. Was that game any good?

Posted by Yummylee
@jakob187 said:

I really want HD reworks of this franchise. Badly.

Also, I never played Dawn of Dreams. Was that game any good?

Because of the pre-rendered backgrounds, that would prove to be tricky for the first two I believe. But the latter two should be A-OK, so it sucks that they never got one, and probably never will at this point And yes, Dawn of Dreams was great. Really surprised that so few peopled played it considering how popular this series was (the original sold 2 million+ copies, in 2001!), as whenever I see Onimusha is brought up, there's often a lot of encompassing posts of people saying they never played Dawn of Dreams.

Posted by jakob187

The only reason I didn't play Dawn of Dreams is because there was no Samanosuke in the main role, and that main character looked like it walked out of A Midsummer Night's Dream...which did not intrigue me at all.

Edited by Yummylee
@jakob187 said:

The only reason I didn't play Dawn of Dreams is because there was no Samanosuke in the main role, and that main character looked like it walked out of A Midsummer Night's Dream...which did not intrigue me at all.

Well... old game, but since you're (possibly) going to play it I'll spoiler just in case: Samanosuke is at least in the game, only he goes by a different name (Tenkai) and uses a spear rather than a sword. Soki is also a more interesting character than Samanosuke anywhoo; he's still not great of course (this is Capcom after all), but there's at least a little more to him than stoic samurai badass ala Samanosuke of Onimusha 1 & 3.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

I never played the first two but Onimusha 3 was a great game.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

I remember how excited I was to get the first Onimusha when I got my PS2. That was such a great game at the time. I remember 2 being good but kinda disappointing. The thing I remember most about it is that it introduces a currency system so you can buy items, but only in like the first hour or two of the game, then it just abandons it. I always thought that was really strange.3, I don't remember that much of. Not sure I even finished it. Jean Reno was cool, though. I do remember it reminding me a lot more of Resident Evil with the modern setting and creature design, too.

Dawn of Dreams, however, is a game I absolutely adore. It's weird, because it is tonally very different than the original trilogy and much deeper in its mechanics. It definitely feels more like a fully-fleshed out RPG.

Edited by Yummylee

@immortalsaiyan said:

I never played the first two but Onimusha 3 was a great game.

That it is!

@onekillwonder_ said:

I remember how excited I was to get the first Onimusha when I got my PS2. That was such a great game at the time. I remember 2 being good but kinda disappointing. The thing I remember most about it is that it introduces a currency system so you can buy items, but only in like the first hour or two of the game, then it just abandons it. I always thought that was really strange.3, I don't remember that much of. Not sure I even finished it. Jean Reno was cool, though. I do remember it reminding me a lot more of Resident Evil with the modern setting and creature design, too.

Dawn of Dreams, however, is a game I absolutely adore. It's weird, because it is tonally very different than the original trilogy and much deeper in its mechanics. It definitely feels more like a fully-fleshed out RPG.

Hmm, that's a shame about Onimusha 2, as its currency and this whole gift-giving thing is what had already set it above the original for me. Shame it's to abandon the economy thing so early on. And yeah, I agree about 3 in with its modern-day setting it begins to evoke Resident Evil all the more, when you saddle that next to its camera angles and tank controls. Playing as Michelle during the mid-way point also almost turned it into something like a cross between Resident Evil & Devil May Cry at that, with her machine guns & grenades and shit. Really enjoyed that part in particular, and I was always hoping there'd be some unlockable side-story or something that allowed you to play as her more often.

Also, for as much as I liked Onimusha 3, I fucking loathed that little kid Henri; everything related to him was all so painfully melodramatic, and I can still remember that one especially cringe-inducing scene where Michelle and Henri are slowly running towards each other after being reunited or something. Fucking gag. I mean its story is technically better presented than the prior two, but at the same time it could sometimes prove to be much more unbearable to sit through.

Dawn of Dreams is indeed such a great game, too. It's admittedly been a while so I can't remember a lot of the specifics, but I do remember that it expanded on its character-building features a helluva lot more, and that there was all kinds of secrets to unlock. Looking forward to getting back into it with this Onimusha marathon I'm on right now!

Posted by jakob187

@yummylee: I never care about spoilers. Always feel free to spoil the shit out of stuff for me.

I guess I'll have to check the game out. I've been wanting to go back and play all of the original Onimusha games. Now that I finally hooked my PS2 up in the living room, I guess there's not a lot of excuses left, right?

Well, I AM moving to a new apartment in January, so probably not AS MANY excuses.

Edited by Yummylee

OK, decided to play through this again because... hey, it's so damn short anyway after all :P Though this time now took me about 3 hours and 10 minutes, which is understandable given that I had so recently already completed it. But that still included me tackling the Dark Realm (twice!), and also going a little bit more out of my way to find those damn flourite things.

Anywhoo, this time I also found the game to be significantly easier. I think apart of that was because I now embraced the idea of abusing your weapon's magic attacks, whereas I was a little more stingy during my first playthrough. It made the fly lady boss battle much less of a hassle, as I'd simply use my fire sword swath thing to get her in mid-air, use the wind tornado attack whenever enough bugs came within the vicinity alongside fly lady, and would simply shoot at her with the Matlock whenever I had some breathing room. Most enemies will usually burst into blue orbs for you to replenish your magic anywhoo, so you could almost say your magic attacks are a little broken...

The end boss was also even easier this time around, now that I had found the secret Bishon sword. Didn't have to use a single damn healing item, which if anything only makes that entire encounter all the more anti-climatic... Was hoping that finding that sword would unlock a secret end fight against Nobunaga or something, but nope, same ending through and through.

Overall I think I've actually grown more fond of this game thanks to my second playthrough, too. It reminded me of how much I loved that there's friendly fire between the demons, so enemies with noticeably large attack range would also most often take out any lesser enemies in the process. One occasion had a regular demon climbing up onto the corridor, only for him to accidentally get shot down by an archer demon. That was funny. Plus, the Dark Realm was admittedly rather tense and actually helped illustrate the depth to the combat, as you switch between your different weapons for certain enemies, and know when best to use your magic attacks. I'm still pretty rotten with the counters, though.

I still never did find all of those damned flourite things anywhoo -- got about 18 of 'em. Still scored an A rank, but didn't unlock anything extra, and a quick google revealed that there's not much else of any note. Really makes me wish I could play the original xbox version all the more now... But yeah, I still quite like this game, and I now feel a little more comfortable in moving on and giving Onimusha 2 more of my time.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@yummylee said:

@video_game_king You haven't half sent my blog into a right tangent here... like half of the responses are related to HL2 >=/

DAMN IT! I just realized that I missed the PERFECT opportunity for a "right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world" reference! *storms out of blog angrily*

Posted by Yummylee

Um