Worth playing for a strategy fan, but not so much for anybody else.
Released: November 11, 2003
Game Genre: Fantasy Turn-Based Strategy
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
ESRB Descriptors: Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes
Onimaru and Oboro are siblings that discover they are part of the Oni Clan, a clan of ancient warriors. At the same time, the evil Nobunaga awakens the Genma, a race of demon-like creatures. Onimaru, Oboro and their comrades must stop Nobunaga's plan to control the world.
I didn't really have a problem with the way the storyline was implemented, but it has no depth, and it's barely original. It's just different people, different races of demons and a different evil dude. Same story, different game; stop the evil dude from gaining world power.
Onimusha Tactics plays like any other strategy game on the GBA. It does have a couple of unique features, though. For instance, when a Genma is killed, the Oni Gauntlet that Onimaru wields captures the killed Genma's soul. These souls can then be used to upgrade certain weapons and armor. Also, Genma stones can be looted from killed Genma. These are used to create the weapons that can then be enhanced.
The game plays through episodes, with the ability to save between each. Also, after a certain point in the game you gain the ability to travel to another plane of existence, in which you can train your forces between battles.
The game's pace is very slow, and that caught me off guard a bit. The last strategy game I had played was Fire Emblem, which is incredibly fast paced. I felt like the first few episodes wouldn't end.
Capcom could have done better. Not only are the graphics a bit scratchy, but even the menus look large, out of place, and pixilated. No flashy cutscenes or in-game graphics. Battle scenes are reenacted very slowly. Incredibly slowly. In a battle between two forces of 8 troops each, only one character moves at a time. Then another one does. Then another one. And another one. Until the battle scene is over. Not cool.
The game has a decent length to it, but there is absolutely no replay value.
Overall Score (6.8/10)
Rounded Score (7/10)