Review by Railven

Reviewed: 09/16/02 | Updated: 09/16/02

To absorb, or not to absorb, that is the question.

A sequel to one of the finest early Playstation2 games EVER! Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny is a step up for action-adventure games. The increase of depth is incredible. No longer do you just walk into a room, kill everything in site, and then head off to the next room. For once you actually have a reason to do some killing.

Gameplay: 10!!!The gameplay is just so smooth. You can move around a lot faster then in Onimusha: Warlords. The controls are basically kept the same, but the reaction time just makes the game more enjoyable. Issens are easier to pull off, counters are becoming more effective, and kicking has returned with a great touch. The repetitive slashing of monsters doesn't seem to ever get boring when you can just try new techniques, circle strafing, strafing, side-steps, and the sword techniques are back with some fresh new animation. A great approach at controls for a action-adventure game. The controls are just the icing, the real fun comes from the ability to do an Issen Combo. Slaying up to 7 monsters at once is incredibly entertaining, and the animation used is just beautiful. The new Onimusha form adds a little more to the frenzy of slaying. The trading of gifts just adds to the countless hours one can find them self playing the game. Giving certain gifts will trigger events that will make a person go through trial and error till they find the right combination.

Story: 10!!!In all my years of playing videogames, this is the first time a action-adventure game took so much time to develop the characters and stories. Jubei has his reasons to destroy and so do the other characters. The majority of action games lose their story the first time through, leaving replay value just to attain secrets. Onimusha 2 makes it that if you take a different approach through a second game, you will most likely not receive the same storyline or cinemas. There is a total of 100 different cinemas to explore, and after countless hours of gameplay you can finally say you got them.

Audio/Video: 8!!I'm not a huge fan of pre-rendered backgrounds in this new era of videogame power, but Onimusha 2 does a great job at bringing back nostalgia. With the open usage of polygons for characters, since they aren't used much in the backgrounds, you can expect to see some nice crispy designs. Jubei looks so realistic, and the rest of the cast all look beautiful. Capcom is really learning how to create nicely rendered characters. The audio is incredible. If you increase the volume and listen, you can hear ambient sounds, monsters from around corners, your own breaths in certain areas, and the best part...the music! The music adds a lot to the atmosphere, from a tragedy, to a love scene. The music makes the playing experience bearable even when you have to go through it so many times.

Replayability: 9!!! Finally an action-adventure game that has some replay value. Most action-adventure games can be finished 100% within 2-3 days for a fairly good gamer. Onimusha 2 brings an onslaught of reasons to replay the game such as, unlocking all the scenarios, 4 modes of gameplay, 4 mini-games, and tons of secrets. Just really great to see how many times you can sit and play through the game.

To buy or to rent? This is game is a must for fanatics of swords and demon slashing. It has lots of replay value, but that would only apply to a hardcore gamer, as most gamers are satisfied with completion of the game. Rent it first, see if it is up your alley, and if you like what you got, go for the gold and purchase this baby.

Conclusion: A breath of fresh air in the stale repetitive action-adventure genre. Although the game doesn't offer much different then its predecessor in mechanics, it packs a bunch of new suprises to the genre that any gamer would find attractive and interesting.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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