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Game Review, Onimusha: Warlords

Marcus Shontz, Writer

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Everyone enjoys games, and some probably more than others. Some prefer to play more often than others, while others get their fix in short, seldom bursts. One may have a few favorites. One may have a few which aren’t their favorites. There are multiple types of games, and in the 21st century, video games are the most popular and prominent. Some like to keep up with new games, rarely ever remembering the old, and of a particularly vintage.  That is what I intend to do, play and show appreciation of the older, and possibly forgotten games one may not have heard of.

One of the games that I’d say, is a hidden gem, or a game that people have all but forgotten about, is Onimusha: Warlords.

            Developed, and published by Capcom at the beginning of 2001, this was one of the first hundred titles to grace the PlayStation 2 Console, and quite possibly, one of the best.

 

Grading Scale: Grading will go as follows

Story: 0-10

Gameplay: 0-10

Graphics: 0-10

Sound: 0-10

Overall: 0-10 (Average taken from 4 categories)

 

Story:  The story begins, where you play as the Samurai named Samanosuke during the Sengoku Period, whom is fighting against Nobunaga Oda. After that, he goes on a quest to save a Princess from Nobunaga’s Minions.

To not give anything crucial away regarding the story, It was a very engaging, story, and full of action. I truly enjoyed it from start to finish.

9/10

 

Gameplay: This is a Onimusha Franchise strong suit. There are many enemies which give hours of hacking and slashing. However, the game does employ a interesting way of “parrying of sorts”. There will be a flash of light from a enemies weapon and at this point the player should attack then. The player can take out large groups of enemies using this method. A means of character progression is that Samanosuke gets different weapons, with each one essentially representing different elements (air, wind, fire, earth), and catering to different play styles, giving the player his/her own unique style.

However, Warlords does have its faults. I particularly had issues regarding the camera angles, they could get very weird and confusing at times, when Samanosuke would enter another room, I would sometimes have issues with running back to the previous room by mistake. Overall, I enjoyed the gameplay, however, the quirkiness got a bit annoying at times.

7/10

 

Graphics: Graphics are generally favorable, however does not take full advantage of the PS2’s, potential, probably because the game started development with the intention of being released on PS1. Due to this, there are many 2d backgrounds in the 3d world. This leaves Onimusha lackluster, however forgivable. I found the graphics pleasing to the eye, and some of the level design beautiful.

8/10

 

Sound: I found most of the sound placement exactly where it was supposed to be, and sounding like I’d imagined it would. That’s all fine and dandy, but I took particular notice at the quality of the orchestra and found it to be particularly enjoying to listen to. It accompanied the game well, including instruments, and sounding like music in Feudal Japan may have actually been. Due to this, it added a fair bit to the immersion and mood. Although probably sounding great at the time, the game has aged, and on a new speaker system, or a good set of headphones, you can hear the platform restrictions of the Ps2 and the heavy compression of the audio in general. This is the type of game that is very deserving of a HD Remaster.

6.5/10

 

Overall (Average of scores): Onimusha: Warlords from start to end was a very enjoyable game. However, it is showing its age. I still found the game very enjoyable to replay through, as fun as it was when I was younger. This game is very deserving of a HD Remaster, along with the later entries in the franchise, especially if the Onimusha Franchise was to receive a reboot.

7.6/10

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Game Review, Onimusha: Warlords