Genma Onimusha sucks
the souls of Xbox gamers and leaves the console
gasping for air.
Genma Onimusha is an enhanced
port of the chart topping PlayStation 2
title. Taking advantage of new costumes,
new areas and better looking graphics,
the Xbox version of the game stands out
from the ordinary port, yet short of the
sequel or remake class. Equally developed
and published by the renowned Capcom development
studio, Genma Onimusha muddles up the Horror,
Survival, RPG and Action genres into one
very neat game.
I went into Genma Onimusha
with a totally clean mentality. Not having
played the PlayStation 2 version of the
title, I didn't know what to anticipate.
Looking at past reviews for the original
title that launched nearly a year ago,
my hopes were set high for Capcom's soul
sucking Xbox title.
Combining the olden day
fairy tale aspect with a more dark and
shadowy atmosphere, this good meets horrid
title got me right on my feet off the bat.
Cool graphics, neat environments and original
characters had me all wanting more. To
be completely honest, it wasn't long before
both frustration and anger spoiled all
At the start of the game,
the player takes the shoes of Samanosuke,
a very talented "hero" like icon to the
villagers. He must then find his long lost
princess which is desperately in need of
a savior. Just as the game begins to appear
to look like just another ordinary Japanese
storyline, some pretty freaky events unfold
before your eyes. I quickly found myself
fighting half a dozen soul stealing monsters
with master swords and bow/arrow combinations.
The storyline evolves very efficiently,
with neat turn of events just as you think
everything is going your way.
On top of the main character,
the player also sees some time playing
as a female ninja named Kaede. She will
quickly help you on your mission to save
Samanosuke isn't exactly
fighting alone. On his right arm is placed
a cool spirit eating tool, to help him
recharge, gain invisibility powers and
even put together some dreadful magic powers.
Samanosuke's weapon arsenal features different
level swords and the good 'ol bow and arrow
to help him battle off the demons.
Visually, Capcom did an
excellent job in bringing Genma Onimusha
to the Xbox and taking benefit of some
of its graphical advantages. Smooth environments
and backdrops helped me feel like I was
part of the sword-fighting action. The
characters are all very well designed and
look quite spiffy.
On top of the wonderful
looking aspect of the game, Genma Onimusha's
cut-scenes are utterly stunning! From the
opening video to the short mid-game excerpts,
the cut-scenes help evolve the storyline
in a truly magnificent way. While the cut-scenes
are amazing to watch, it is almost like
there is too many of them and not enough
gameplay time. Once you complete 2 minutes
of play, you will be presented with a neat
cut-scene, then, 2 minutes later, the same
thing again. It does get a bit boring after
a while, but thanks to the amazing detail
and quality of those videos, it almost
makes it worth the wait. Even if you don't
plan on playing Genma Onimusha, just watch
the opening video, it is almost worth the
Frustration is the only
word that described my time as a sword
battling maniac. Lack of save points, period.
Whoever thought of the idea of putting
save points half an hour away from each
other is without a doubt the opposite of
a genius. Not only did dieing and having
to restart merely at the beginning again
aggravate me, it quickly took away the
great first impression I had of Genma Onimusha.
A difficulty setting would have also been
a smart addition.
If you're familiar with
the Resident Evil control method, then
you should feel right at home with this
title. Genma Onimusha's button configuration
does take a few minutes to master. In order
to suck in souls, or create devastating
combos, a very large mixture of button
mashing is necessary. Make sure to avoid
playing with wounded fingers.
The biggest complaint I
had early on was with the directional movement
of the character. I have always been a
fan of the ordinary "aim where you want
to walk" type scheme, and since Genma is
quite different from that, it did take
a bit of practicing before I could know
exactly where I was heading in the game.
Having multiple camera angles did get in
the way a few times in the midst of sword
battles. Overall, there isn't really much
to complain about once you got the button
layout figured out. Battles are also very
unique. You can't just walk up to a guy
and press the sword attack button multiple
times. In order to actually stand a chance,
the block triggers are going to need to
meet some action.
In terms of replay value
and longetivity, Genma Onimusha has near
nothing to offer. With one extremely short
single player story mode, don't expect
to be playing this game day in and day
out. If you're looking for a decent weekend
rental, this is most defitely the game
to get. Some sort of multiplayer battle
mode would have been interesting. Just
imagine sucking the soul out of real life
friends, sitting next to you. The possibilities
are endless, but like always, developers
only learn from their mistakes.
The audio aspect of Genma
Onimusha is sharp. The character voices
are accurate considering the Japanese translation.
The game's music does help hype the player
into a battle mode, but can get quite a
bit repetitive after a few short hours
of gameplay. Enemy fleets make disturbing
sounds when in the area, and at some times,
I could find myself hearing them nearby
and just anticipating a scary sound or
attack. Their groaning resonance can also
get annoying and repetitive at times, but
Without all the sugar coating,
Genma Onimusha is a port of an extremely
wicked game. Unfortunately, the small add-ons
to the Xbox specific version weren't exactly
enough to categorize the game as a must
buy if you already own the PS2 original.
On the other hand, if you are yet to play
this Capcom series, I suggest to at least
rent Genma Onimusha for your Xbox console.
If you like your cut scenes, then buying
may be an option for you.
Is now afraid of sushi & pandas.
Onimusha: The Scores
If you have played its almost identical PS2 counterpart,
I don't exactly suggest buying this title, but instead
renting it. However, if you are yet to try it, Genma
Onimusha may become a considerable purchase. Yet again,
on the other hand, its short longetivity rating almost
makes it nothing more then a decent weekend rental.