So, I’ve already written a few things, and just didn’t have a blog to post them to. So here we go… impressions of Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams for the PS2.
So, the game is pretty solid, overall. Somewhat in the vein of the excellent Onimusha 3, except with a free-roaming camera and a few more party members. The criticals are back, deflections, Oni magic, and lots of purchased weapons. Each character plays very, very differently, and the game is long. Perhaps too long. My save file had 30 hours, but I left the game on pause a lot, so I figure it can be finished in 20.
I have to say, the last boss fights were far too long. They threw way too much at you. All four of your members have to face off against a boss, you get a small save breather (thank goodness), then have to take on not one, not two, but three bosses in a row. And all after the game tricks you into thinking that it’s over each time. Yeah, I know I should have expected it by now, but really, now. It’s borderline absurd.
Another annoyance, although a small one, is the environmental puzzles are very contrived. I actually don’t have a whole lot of problems with switch / key puzzles. They’re at least somewhat necessary to a game of this type to mix things up. I just find things like ladders you can’t climb, even though it’s clearly in reach of the characters, or the inability to jump down to areas because you can only take one particular path there is absurd. You can’t even jump at all in this one, and to be fair, you couldn’t in the last one, either. I still don’t remember the environmental puzzles being overly stupid. Get to the research facilities and tell me you’re not rolling your eyes at climbing the ladders next to the doors that require crests to get through.
Graphically, the game is a mixed bag. There are a few quite decent CG movies. There are also quite a few movies that are done only sort of in-game, in that they’re movies of in-game sequences. It’s kind of blurry looking and all of them tend to look a bit washed-out. The in-game graphics are actually pretty good. Of course, they should look pretty decent, considering when this came out in the PS2 lifespan.
Voice acting is generally competent as well. It’s not meant to be taken overly serious, and some of the performances are over-the-top, but there’s nothing there that is overtly offensive.
Anyway, I’ve had enough of typing right now. Time to hit the hay, after rendering my final verdict… an 8.0 out of 10. It gets far too formulaic towards the end to give it any higher marks. If you’re going to start with an Onimusha game, my recommendation is the excellent Onimusha 3. This would run a close second, and is a treat for those looking for some facsimile of the gameplay in its predecessor.