Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What I said about Onimusha 3, I take back. Sometimes, you have to put the manual aside and play the game for yourself. There's a bit of a learning curve, but tutorials are built into the game itself. Playing on a keyboard is quite unwieldy, but you can't go too far wrong on a hack-and-slash RPG lite.

The game has cinematic ambitions, employing Jap heartthrob, Takeshi Kaneshiro and French action movie star, Jean Reno, as the 2 main characters the player controls. The plot is one heck of a mess involving Samurai, demonic time-travel experiments and French special forces. Disregarding all theories of time-paradoxes, the 2 heroes trade places in time and despite the 500-year difference between them, have to cooperate with each other somehow to get time sorted out again, and go home.

O3 is a more arcade style RPG, rewarding fast reflexes over problem solving. There are several in-game puzzles that hold some useful items, but the more fun thing is mastering the "Critical" moves -- 1-hit kills that can chain together in a mass slaughter of enemies, releasing the most number of "souls" that you can use to heal, upgrade weapons and armour, invoke special magical attacks, or become invincible for a short period of time.

So it's beat up on monsters, upgrade, and beat up the next boss all the way till the end. Some bosses are quite tough, so I've learned to close in, block, hit, RUN AWAY, heal (if necessary) repeat until they die. If only I could learn to time my "Criticals" better... my current technique is so inefficient, unglam even.

And as Capcom is wont to do, there are mini-games and new costumes (like Samurai Sam's silly-looking cowboy outfit) to unlock just to encourage replaying the game once you've finished it.

Grand, cinematic scale in-game movies though the script is quite cliched -- cringeworthy sometimes -- but this is one game that keeps throwing surprises at the player, and that keeps the fun factor up.

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