Onimusha 3: Demon Siege PlayStation 2 Official Website
Developed by Capcom
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
One of the best PlayStation 2 games we've seen to date is Onimusha 2. For a game that's well over a year old now it still gets a decent amount of attention and in my opinion it's the best game Capcom have released for a long time. Imagine my surprise then when I learned that the sequel to this great game would be the final Onimusha title. It came as quite a shock but after some thought maybe it makes sense. All of the Onimusha games have been great (I'm not counting Blade Warriors as it wasn't an Onimusha title in the true sense) and perhaps it's best to remember the series as being full of titles that are all great rather than knock out sequel after sequel where the quality often subsides and then tarnishes the image of the series. It's time to bring the curtain down on the Onimusha series as we review Onimusha 3.
For this final game in the series the action spans 500 years and features two key characters. You'll begin the game with Samanosuke in the year 1582. As you take control of Samanosuke he's once more fighting the forces of Nobunaga as he approaches the burning Honnoji Temple. Once inside it looks like the showdown between Samanosuke and Nobunaga is about to happen when a time portal opens in the ground and transfers Samanosuke to Paris in the year 2004. The people of Paris don't realise it but this is a blessing in disguise as Samanosuke was not the first to make the 522 year journey, as Guildenstern and the Genma demon forces of Nobunaga are doing their best to wipe out the citizens of Paris. To add more spice to the story though Jacques Blanc, a French cop also gets caught in a time portal and makes the reverse journey and ends up in sixteenth century Japan. Needless to say it's an intriguing story with which to finish off the Onimusha series.
If you've played the previous Onimusha games, and if not why not?, you'll know what the game is all about. The Onimusha series has always been about solid action sequences and to a lesser degree puzzle solving and Onimusha 3 is no exception. The combat system has been refined and has to be the most comfortable in an Onimusha game. Jacques begins with a machine gun and will eventually use a whip which makes combat a very different experience from what you're used to with Samanosuke. Once again you'll have to gather the souls of your defeated enemies, which serve different purposes depending on their colour. Of course there are some differences this time around and having two characters in two different centuries means you'll need someone or something to allow them to communicate with each other. The answer to this problem is Ako who looks like a Japanese version of Tinkerbell. Ako is very useful though, as despite being only 30cm tall, she can travel through time and space to bridge the gap that exists between Samanosuke and Jacques. Once again though the game play is great and for the most part it's just as good as Onimusha 2.
Graphically there are some major differences with Onimusha 3. The most important of all has been the change from pre-rendered backgrounds to a full 3D environment with polygonal backgrounds. Whether you appreciate this change or not will depend on your opinion of pre-rendered backgrounds. Personally I thought the pre-rendered backgrounds had far more detail and made the game more aesthetically pleasing. That's not to say I'm disappointed with the 3D backgrounds though as they do look very good indeed. One disappointment though has be with the camera angles. As the game is now fully 3D, backgrounds and all, I would have thought you would have been able to have control over the camera but unfortunately you don't. For the most part this is OK but there are times when you wish you could turn the camera around in order to get a better view of your enemies and there are times when you are hit by an enemy that is off screen, which can be irritating. A special mention must also go the CG sequences, by Robot, which look stunning and are the equal of any other seen in a game to date. The character animations in the game are also impressive. It's amazing to see how they've improved since Onimusha Warlords.
Deaf gamers will be able to fully enjoy Onimusha 3 as the game is subtitled. The introductory CG is subtitled as is the rest of the game which is great as it means deaf gamers can enjoy another great Onimusha title. You save your game at the blue protective mirrors, similar to the previous games, but saving the game is not the only function these mirrors have. You can also enhance your armour and weapons as well as obtain training lessons. These lessons, which are split into beginner, intermediate and advanced, are text only so you'll have no trouble in learning new combat skills.
Onimusha 3 is a cracker of a game and proves to be the finale that the Onimusha series fully deserves. Is it better than Onimusha 2? Well I preferred Onimusha 2 myself but I have to admit I like Onimusha 3 almost as much. The story is once again absorbing and the desire to learn how the game unfolds will alone drive you to spend many hours playing the game. The game is just under 20 hours long but I suspect many will want to play through again and again because the game is really enjoyable. I particularly liked the way events in the past have an impact on events in the future. In fact I just hope Capcom bring out a series of equal quality (which is going to have to be something very special indeed) to replace Onimusha because it's a series that's going to be sorely missed.
Game Rating: 9.1/10
Again we have another cracking Onimusha title. It's a pity the camera angles haven't been improved but overall it's a great finish to what has been a very memorable series.
Everything is subtitled so there are no problems for deaf gamers.