There is nothing better than a good solid action title, for the most part the XBox has had more than it’s fair share of them but until now none have kicked this much ass. Set in a mythological world Otogi Myth Of Demons is one of the finest displays of Japanese game design to be released this year. Combining fast paced combat with slick visuals truly gives this game a style and appeal that will enthrall all who partake in it’s glory. The XBox certainly isn’t known for it’s Japanese titles but if they are anything like this then send them all over here pronto because this could be just what XBox owners have been clamoring for. With so much going for it could there possibly be a reason not to own it? Well read on my friends as I dissect From Software’s latest game..Otogi.
Myth Or Not To Myth
In Otogi you take on the role of Raikoh, a frail, emotionless figure of a man trapped in the land of the living by an enigmatic princess. She has granted you almost eternal life and immense strength to help her rid the land of demons. There is certainly no subtlety in your attacks as Raikoh can bring down massive trees and even houses in his wake of destruction. The combat system is pretty straightforward one light attack and one heavy combined with a double jump and some ninja style teleporting just add fever to the flavor. Make sure you memorize the B,B,B,Y combo as it will quickly become your best friend throughout the game. While this may sound simplisitic it truly is deeper than meets the eye not to mention that this is one of those games that compels you to come back for more and more. Each level has several sub goals and one main goal, you are only required to achieve the main goal but you will find yourself revisiting old levels just to see if you can destroy every structure possible.
Lighting To Die For
You may have heard a few XBox fanboys or even some respected journalists (can those words exist in the same sentence?) talk about how gorgeous Otogi is. Well my friends this is one rumor you can bet your bottom dollar on, this game is gorgeous. The folks at From Software decided to use the XBox’s brilliant light and particle effects to full potential, the levels seem alive and very vibrant. Flames emit a sense of heat, water moves in a realistic fashion, and destruction causes believable debris to pile up on the ground to say this game is pretty would be doing it an injustice. What surprises me the most though is that the game contains none of the XBox’s other key graphical elements such as bump mapping. This is amazing simply because the game still looks fantastic which goes to show you that developers can make a great game when they try. The level design is outstanding and the enemies are sort of a mix of rejected McFarlane creations and Japanese demons, absolutely great stuff.
Creating Beautiful Music
The sights are not the only thing beautiful about Otogi, the soundtrack packs enough punch to lay you flat on your ass. The mix of traditional Japanese strings and distant themes really immerse you into the experience. The voiceovers are also top grade, from the echo induced wisdom of the princess to the persistent enemy chatter this game delivers on all accounts and with style to spare. For the purists out there the original Japanese track is an option but the English voices are so well done it’s doesn’t matter because listening is so much better than reading. All of this is carried out with XBox tradition, Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds incredible on a true setup.
Style And Substance
There is no doubting that Otogi has finesse but does it have the game play to back it up? The answer is a resounding yes, with simplistic yet intricate controls and sharp response time beginners and veterans alike will find lots to love about Otogi’s game play. Spanning a massive 29 levels with lots of extra sub goals and an upgradeable magic and weapon system this game will have you chipping away at it for months. The levels can consist of anything from having to simply defeat a boss to not touching the ground or even keeping a boat from sinking, the diversity keeps the game fresh from level to level. What does throw you for a loop however is the ramping difficulty, for those of us who can remember playing levels over and over this will bring back some memories of anger. Some of Otogi’s levels are so frustrating you will spout out phrases that are only coherent to your frustrated mind and without so much as a checkpoint starting over a level is commonplace. The good news is that the game never ceases to be fun or entertaining so going through levels more than once never feels like a chore.
Purge The Retailers
What this all boils down to is that you need to own this game. XBox owners are always on the lookout for that one game they can wave in front of their PS2 touting friends and say na-na-na-na we have this and you don’t, and this is one of those games. Edging out the best action games the PS2 has to offer in every category Otogi could easily become the sleeper hit of the year and end up selling a boat load if the word spreads about how damn good it really is. If you are an XBox owner I strongly suggest picking this one, especially if you are fan of hack and slash action with some style to boot. Add this to the fact that the game only weighs in at $39.99 and you have yourself the best deal of the year. One of the finest games available on XBox and certainly worth your time, highly recommended.