When I bought my PS2, one of the games I really wanted to play was Onimusha. This was before we had a local gamestore, so the only way to do this was to go and rent it until I finished it. And wouldn't you know it that this amazing game was entirely beatable within a few days, but, there is this one puzzle thats unstoppable. I'm a little ahead of everything, so I'll start with the usual did you play Onimusha Warlords?
Storyline wise, this game has one. I really don't care at all. You're a samurai, there are demons, go kill them. You're somehow helped by Ogre's (I think this was a translation error?) and given a armlet to absorb demon souls. Using those souls you power up your guy, and that's enough for me. Anything else that happened I've forgotten or just don't care about. Except Nobunaga. His ambition, which let me stop and see if anyone will pick up on that joke, is to take over the world or something and you have to stop him. He's pretty obviously the final boss, and its one of the most satisfying final bosses I've fought in a game ever. At the time when this came out this looked amazing to me and I say it still holds up really well. As far as 3D games go this is what I like to see.
The gameplay is excellent. To this day, it's still as I recall it. This is what I want a game to be. You've enough RPG elements to feel like you could get stronger and actually kick more ass. Not that you don't start off kicking ass. You're a samurai, so as such you've several swords at your disposal. You get a lighting one, a fire one, and a hurricane one. As well as a secret special one that I won't talk about. Each one has speed/power balancing, but my favorite move is to down an enemy and stab them with your sword. Nothing is more satisfying. I mean that too. Nothing. It's really great to knock a demon down, then run over and just thrust downward and kill the poor guy, jerk the sword out, then kill someone else. You've some other attacks too like a bow and arrow and a gun, which you need for one particular boss. At least I always used them on her. It's this big flying bug demon thing and I just blast at it. You can also upgrade your armor and special moves. It's pretty easy to level that stuff up, just kill demons, collect their souls with your gauntlet, and move on.
Your basic slashes feel like an old school beat em up, but the way everything is presented is like Resident Evil. Backgrounds are these beautiful pictures of broken down eastern buildings full of death and evil, and its up to you to stop all this. I know some people can gripe about the camera, but that doesn't bother me. Even if I can't see my guy kicking peoples faces in I'll just assume I'm hitting something until either I die or they do. I've always done that. If I can't make out where I am or whats going on, just use your buttons to the best of your ability. Run somewhere where you can see. Is it really that difficult to do that?
As predicted I made it to the god damned water trap. The puzzles prior to the water trap give me no trouble at all, but once I hit it, the pressures on. Even saving my game before I go into this hell hole, I still can't get it right. Seven years later. The only way I beat this part before was to have a friend beat it for me. He made it seem like the easiest thing in the world. I'm ashamed to say it, but at least I'm honest with you guys. I can't do this puzzle. I'll try and try. I'll do it all day if I have to. I can't do it. I might have hit it once by accident and done it, but there's no way I can do it again. At least not today.
It's also available in a special edition called Genma Onimusha for the xbox. I've yet to find a copy for myself, but I don't really want one. The only extras are a panda costume for the main character, which is worth buying and playing through it again for me, but I'm in no rush to do so. Not when I have all three sequels sitting here unplayed. Two's really good as far as I've gotten into it. The other two I've yet to start up and really get into but they look to be similar enough that I'll enjoy them. There's also a spin off fighting game that I rented, its okay, but I didn't buy it yet. There's also a tactics game on gameboy advance, but only me and like five other people in America like strategy games like that.
I will fully recommend Onimusha to anyone who likes action beat em ups or survival horror. it's a Playstation 2 classic and a must own if you're into that system. It's really cheap too. Which is really good. I always love when a great game is dirt cheap. You'll find it anywhere. It's not terribly difficult to beat, just get past the water trap and you're all set.
One last bit of trivia, Devil May Cry came from a glitch in this. No really, dead bodies would float in the air from certain attacks and that was brought over to Resident Evil 4, which then became Devil May Cry. If I've gotten the story straight. It might have been Devil May Cry by then, who knows? I mean they teased us with that fourth game for years. A little more trivia I uncovered was that Heath Ledger was going to appear in a film adapation. Strange isn't it? One thing I didn't mention was that the star of the game, Samonosuke, whose name I never want to try and type again, was based off a real actor. Other games featured similar leads.