Review by PhoenixUltima
"No, no, no. This isn't how to do an action game, folks."
It had to happen sooner or later; the PS2 finally got a crappy action game. And also an infuriating one. If I hadn't been playing on a rental, I would have smashed the game with a comically large mallet within the 1st hour. You wanna know just how unreasonably bad Oni is? Let's look at the fine points then, shall we?
Note that I only played to halfway through level 3; I swear to god I couldn't stand anymore of it.
It's the PS2, duh. Smooth, clean graphics, all that. To be fair, I didn't find the level textures bland like everyone else apparently does. IMO, the framerate is a tad choppy, though.
First of all, THERE IS NO MUSIC. None. Well, every once in a while, during some action sequence, you'll get some action music, but that's IT. The sound effects all fit well enough (though I swear some of the computers sound like air conditioners), but the lack of any music whatsoever brings the sound department down quite a bit.
Controls: -4 trillion x the number of toes on your feet
This is seriously what bit me in the ankle while playing Oni. If the controls had been much better, I might have given the game a 6 or 7, or even an 8. First off, the buttons are REALLY oddly-placed. This isn't to any great end, either; I've played games like Ape Escape that seemed to have bad controls, only to turn out to have controls that were thought out by a video game genius. Oni's controls were thought out by a video game retard. You can't really customize them, either; you do get 4 pre-set options for button placement, but they seem to be equally as awkward.
But that's not the bullet in the control's brain. I got used to the ass-backward controls eventually. The REAL problem here lies in... the sticks. The left stick (the one you move with) is WAYYYYYYYYYY too sensitive. Barely tapping on it results in stepping a few feet in the direction you pressed (or at least it seems like it when you're trying to pick up something). Dashing (pressing forward twice quickly) is way too hard; the over-sensitivity makes it more of a luck-based move than anything requiring skilled hands. The right stick (the one you move the camera at) is 10 times as annoying. First off, it m-o-v-e-s v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. In case you were wondering, this is not a good thing when an enemy is behind you (which happens somewhat often). Granted, you can direct your blows backward and to the side, but if your opponent is diagonally aligned with you, you're screwed.
Looking up and down is even worse. The over-sensitivity once again pokes its ugly head up here, and as a result, aiming at something above or below you (or in any direction, for that matter) is, again, more a matter of luck than skill. The game gives you the option for both normal aiming (up = up, down = down) and reverse aiming (the opposite of that). For some reason, they didn't make this available during the game; it's only available in the main menu's options. Not that it matters much; both modes control horribly. And, maybe it's just me and my perpetual lack of sleep, but the modes seem to switch on you sometimes (i.e you'll be used to pressing up to look down, and all of a sudden, pressing up makes you look up).
Even on it's own, the over-sensitivity would've made things bad and entirely not-fun. Combined with the superbly bad-placed controls, they shoot Oni's fun in the foot. Then in the heart.
Like I said, I only made it to halfway through level 3, but the bits of story I saw were mostly leading up to your average ''shady government branch created the hero/heroine for war/police purposes, but the hero/ine senses something's wrong and starts looking for the truth... knowing that it's out there''. Which probably would have earned a 8 or so with me; I don't mind a bit of government conspiracy in my games, as long as it knows it's place. But the story gets 6 points deducted for giving Konoko (the heroine) an excuse for being in this big pile of [censored s-word].
Like I said (ranted about) before: The controls are what really send Oni's fun on a one-way trip to hades. Note, however, that the actual gameplay isn't anything noteworthy. Basically, you try to get to the end of the level by finding panels that unlock doors, back-tracking to the door you unlocked, only to find another panel that unlocks the other door in the area you were just in. You do all this while the game throws too many damn enemies at you for it's own good (remember; you can't turn around quickly or move precisely, thanks to the bane of all existance that is Oni's controls). I admit that the fighting system is semi-fun when you can keep your opponent in front of you, but you have to fight so many of these damn people that it quickly becomes the-opposite-of-fun. And don't think you can just pull off a head shot to make them go away: A BULLET DOES LESS DAMAGE THAN A 2-PUNCH COMBO. There's just something... WRONG about that...
Remember; I only played to the halfway point of level 3. The mission objectives and story might become a skotch better than I'm predicting. But with the horrible, horrible (lack of) controls, why would you, me, or anyone want to find out?
Loading times: 0
I normally don't pay any attention to loading times in games; however, I normally don't play really bad games. That said, Oni has some of the loooooooooooooooooooooongest loading times I have ever seen. Granted, the PS2 is a fairly new system and developers haven't worked all the bugs out of developing for the system, but... 20 seconds is a bit unreasonable, don't you think?
Oni is the kind of game that tells the world that the developers are complete frickin' retards. I seriously think Rockstar did this from the inside of an insane asylum for the rich, where everyone gets access to a computer and the internet. So, to their caretakers I say: why the hell did you leave them unsupervised on the supercomputer capable of programming PS2 games?
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 03/11/01, Updated 03/11/01
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