A remaster not only true to the original, but even better.
The preservation of games has been a topic that I’ve been vocal about in the past – I welcome remakes and remasters of games with open arms because it means a newer generation of people can have easy access to older games; I appreciate remakes a lot, but I believe remasters are more important as I think the original experience should be preserved first, then a new or more graphically impressive take on it should be made.
Some remasters cannot even do a proper job of preserving what a game was through its graphics, gameplay etc – A prime example of this is the Silent Hill HD Collection where voice acting, graphics and technical issues made it into a completely different experience. I wanted to highlight this due to the fact that the Onimusha Warlords remaster is one of my favourite remasters of any game I’ve seen, or at least can recall. It does the simple job of upscaling the graphics, remastering the music and keeping the voice acting the same – Plain and simple. So what does it do then to actually make this release a better game?
It adds two things that just make the experience so much smoother – Analog control, just like how the Resident Evil REmake ports did ’em, and active weapon switching so you don’t have to go through menus to change your weapons.. And that’s it, the rest of the game is all the same and no one would say otherwise… So let’s get into if the game is good or not, nearly 18 years after it’s initial release.
Of course, Onimusha Warlords is good dummy – the game’s a classic – but for those who don’t know and are looking to get into the series from here, have no fear ’cause Samonosuke is here. The game is a hack’n’slash samurai Resident Evil – That’s the best way it’s been described to me, and I think it’s a fairly accurate description. You have fixed camera angles, item-based puzzle solving, (Now optional) tank controls and my favourite, save points.
The story is pretty simple and pretty wacky as well – It’s about a Ronin named Samonosuke who’s the cousin of the regal Princess Yuki; demons and so forth have begun invading, and they have kidnapped her so they can sacrifice her to a now resurrected Nobunaga so he may become even more powerful, to be used by the demons to take over the world. As a result, to combat the demon threat, Samonosuke has been blessed with the Ogre Gauntlet by a group of cool spirit people called the Ogres so he can defeat the demons – Hilarity ensues.
Now the gameplay is nothing too complicated – You get a simple combo string, you use the right trigger to lock on, which opens up a couple of other attacks for you that carry different properties, and then you have your other weapons and a parry – Simple and really satisfying. Then you have puzzles, exploration and that’s pretty much it in terms of gameplay. The game is not long in the slightest – as a blind playthrough was just about 4 hours’ length – so I can only imagine how long a speedrun would last… Which is another thing I want to address. Because the game is so satisfying and ends so soon, it’s replay value is amazing. I booted up another save right after I beat my initial playthrough just to get stuck in again… But one issue that really gets on my nerves is the fact that on the console version you cannot skip cutscenes. Even after you’ve died and start from a previous save, you’re going to have to watch the cutscenes again. They aren’t long but it’ll certainly get on your nerves if you just wanna play the game, especially a second time.
The English voice acting in the game is hilariously bad but it shows you how charming the game is – The Japanese dub is pretty good, but because I am one for the schlock, I opt for the English dub. The last thing I want to highlight is the music of the game – Onimusha and the entire series are very well known for having some of the best tracks in any game ever (At least in my opinion). It’s so goddamn good. I would honestly buy this just for the music alone, and I don’t think I’m alone on this. Just Google, “Samonosuke’s Theme” and get ready to have your balls blown off. That is all.
Amazing port, amazing game I hope they remaster the other entries in the series now. I give Onimusha: Warlords an:
8.0 / 10