Onimusha:Dawn of Dreams is a decent game, but certainly not the best. DOD plays like an action game with RPG elements. New to the series is a boss life bar (the same long yellow bar taken from capcom's Devil May Cry series). This turns the boss battles into long and boring endurance tests. Not to say that all boss battles are bad. This game features a character switching system. Main and support characters can be switched on the fly and you can even issues specific commands to your partner using the D-Pad. All of the characters have different advantages such as speed, power and range. Certain character skills are also needed to access specific hidden areas. Many fans are annoyed about DOD's dark realm which spans 100 floors. Its very time consuming to clear each floor with each of your characters to collect prizes on each difficulty level. On a positive note, mastering the dark realm on all difficulties does enhance your skill and power. The story is a mixed bag. The beginning is sluggish but it really picks up around the middle of the adventure. From that point onward it retains that epic Onimusha feel while standing on its own two feet. Fans of the previous tales will enjoy this title because it makes many references to the previous games. The game comes with both a Japanese and English voice track, both of which are decent. The unlockables are decent. One secret is a nod to another capcom classic that fans will instantly recognize.
Onimusha fans may be put off by its appearance and feel but the game is actually good. The fast paced fighting music and j-pop looking characters may be clichéd but the game is interesting. Its hidden multi-player function coupled with its length creates a lot of replay-ability. This game may not appeal to casual gamers, only Onimusha purists.
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