GBA Review: Onimusha Tactics

Onimusha Tactics takes the series to new levels. The story continues the exploits of the Oni Clan featuring another descendant, Onimaru. He, like all descendants, has bean gifted with the Oni Gauntlet, which grants him mystical powers to fight Genma, demons. He, along with his sister Obaru and other warriors met along the way, are tasked with fighting hordes of Genma in order to defeat the evil demon lord Nobunaga who wants to destroy Japan. The premise, while interesting, doesn’t quite fulfill in the same way the PS2 series did. It’s a bit bland, lacking depth and interesting characters.

 

Take aspects of Onimusha and combine them with other tactical RPGs, like Tactics Ogre, and that’s what Onimusha Tactics looks like. It’s a typical strategy RPG with EXP, skills, items, equipment and so forth. Adding the use of souls, a typical mechanic of the series, Onimaru can enhance weapons and armor along with use recipes to create new gear. Other than that, there are no shops and there is no way to break down old equipment. As for skills and magic, each character learns new abilities as they gain levels and some weapons even have abilities. Yet these skills are far and few between unfortunately. It’s bare bones, fairly easy, and more linear than a narrow hallway.

 

Again, while the Onimusha universe is cool, this game doesn’t quite prove that. It looks, plays, and runs fine, but there’s nothing special about it. Capcom sucked the soul out of other franchises, put them in OT, and rushed it out the door. Gasp, maybe the developers are part of the Oni Clan and instead of demon souls, the developers can suck good ideas out of games. While that joke may fall flat to some, it’s true enough for summing up OT’s design.

 

Onimusha Tactics is a game that, to Onimusha fans, is a let down. The Onimusha series should definitely be resurrected for the next console generation. This, unfortunately, doesn’t hold a candle to the main series. Everything from the graphics, music, combat, and story are all just ok. Onimusha fans desperate for a new title should skip this retro game and petition for a reboot instead.

 

Score: 2/5 Stars

 

Special Notes: This article was originally published on August 8, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.

 

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