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Genma Onimusha



Action/Survival Horror



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 the fun.

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 the princess.

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 money, literally.

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 still creepy.

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.

Matt Thomas
Is now afraid of sushi & pandas.

Genma Onimusha: The Scores













The Final Word:  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.

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Genma Onimusha Movies
Need help playing our movies?

  • Onimusha (Xbox) [1] 7.85M MPEG
    New characters, fighting, old Chinese masters, fire, special effects and ninjas in this awesome blast of footage from Onimusha Xbox.

  • Onimusha (Xbox) [2] 3.85M MPEG
    In-game, and the hero is battling to save the day.

  • Onimusha (Xbox) [3] 2.85M MPEG
    A small but nice-looking cut-scene.

  • Onimusha (Xbox) [4] 5.66M MPEG
    Remember how you felt when you first saw the brutality of Onimusha? It looks more brutal now.

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