Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams

I’ve just been sent a review copy of the new Onimusha, due out for the PS2 next week (my review will be on Pro-G at some point), and thought I’d come out with some impressions to go with all the big review sites who reviewed it last night. I thought what I saw of Onimusha was quite cool when it came out and got a kick out of Jean Reno and modern France in Onimusha 3, but this is the first time that I’ve played one at any length.

Overall it’s pretty good. It’s fast-paced and the hack and slash action is good fun and reasonably deep, and the presentation is decent (no 480p, though – boo!) – graphically it’s very colourful and even in its 4:3 480i nastiness looks great.

There are a lot of story scenes which all look good, both when they’re in-game and CGI (nothing as impressive as the intro for Onimusha 3 so far, unfortunately), but what lets them down is some pretty bad voice acting. Not original Resident Evil bad, but more like Resident Evil 4 mildly grating. The reviews of the US version all say that that version includes the option to switch to the original Japanese voices, but inexplicably it’s nowhere to be found in the PAL one.

It’s too early for me to give this a score but if I had to do it right now I’d give it 8/10. It’s one of the better pure action games that I’ve played in a while.

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