User Rating: 9 | Onimusha 3 PS2
Onimusha 3 is everything you want out of the series...and much more. The game takes place in both the past and the future-a new twist in the series. While this amps up the plot a bit, it also allows you to switch between two characters: Samonouske and Jacque (forgive my possible misspelling). While you first may think that this isn't much of a change, given the fact that Onimusha 2 gave you over 5 characters to play around with, its in fact more interesting done this way. While the other game focused mainly on Jubei, Sam AND Jacque are the main characters. In the second, you used mainly Jubei, only switching to the others on rare occassions. 3 allows you to have a much more balanced play value on the two characters; you'll play as Sam as much as you'll play as Jacque, allowing you to cooperate with two main characters, instead of a flurry of characters with smaller leads. While this is a definite upgrade to the series, what is even more shocking is the sudden change in the graphics engine. As it said in the other review, the engine has been warped so that it gives a fully 3D backround. While the screenshots do look quite impressive, you'll have to see the game in full motion to actually appreciate its beauty. Onimusha 3 is one of the best looking games on PS2, and holds up well with the other consoles in terms of graphics as well. the 3D backrounds, while not offering as much detail as 2D, have many advantages over their predecessors. The games environments are a bit more interactive this time around, creating a more realistic world in the process. The characters are also detailed with great care, and the special effects look spectacular. But what really shocked me were the water effects. the only way to put it is in this fashion: Only a hair from reality. You'll see fantastic ripples when you walk through, and you'll see a reflection of the ceiling, and it will become abstract and wavy when you disturb the waters surface. Also, while you dont see the ocean often, take every minute you can to gaze over at it-absolutely gorgeous. All this comes together to make the water effects look very realistic, indeed. Onimusha has never been a slouch in the musical section, and it doesn't fail to impress in this one. The orchestra does a great job in creating a great feel of combat and action, especially during the boss fights. It also fits well during other sequences, such as in the town. The sound effects are also great-you'll be quite satisfied with the sound Sam's Axe and Jacque's Mace make when they crush a demon's head. The gameplay is traditionally the same as the other two, with a few great tweaks put in. Each character has his own special attributes: Sam has a unique technique in which he releases a powerful strike(s) onto his enemy, while Jacque can do a really slick "grapple and throw" on his foes. Its especially a "kickass" moment when you grapple a giant demon twice your size, and swing him right over your shoulder, head-first into the ground. The other goldies are still there, such as the pretty magic attacks, and the swift one-hit kills. There is also an interesting move for Sam which is difficult to pull of, but looks incredibly stylish. It's taught late in the game by one of many scrolls laying around, but what it does is a large series of quick slashes, each one forcing the demon to release a soul. Nice. While most action games like this dont really give much replay value, Onimusha takes that a step up by giving you a few treats after you finish the game. Multiple difficulty settings, mini-games, alternate costumes, and, not to mention, just playing a fabulous game over again will keep you coming back for more. Onimusha concludes the series very well. Everything has been brought up a level to make it a superb action/adventure game, easily looming over 1 and 2 in every attribute. Definitely a classic-definitely a buy.