Onimusha: Warlords Remastered on PlayStation 4
Onimusha: Warlords is the latest title in Capcom’s roster of classics to receive the remaster treatment, and for better or worse, it’s exactly what fans fell in love with nearly two decades ago.
The game places players in the role of Samanosuke Akechi, a samurai of great renown. He has returned home from his travels to answer a summons by his cousin, Princess Yuki of the Saito Clan, who fears monsters may be lurking within Inabayama Castle.
Once there, Samanosuke finds the castle overrun by demons and is nearly killed by one before he is granted a magical gauntlet. With it, he must defeat the demons and uncover the reason they were drawn to the castle before it’s too late.
The story is standard video game fare and rarely has any surprises to offer, but it gets the job done and moves the player through the game’s 4-6 hour runtime at a decent pace. It’s almost always clear what needs to be done or where to go next to progress.
This in turn frees up players’ attention to focus on the gameplay. While there are some puzzles to be found scattered throughout the castle –and a select few that will bend your brain at that– most of the game is centered around a hack and slash framework.
As they progress, players unlock weapons they can use against the game’s demonic hoards. There are three melee weapons in total with two ranged weapons for good measure, each with their own combos and enemies they are more or less effective against.
These weapons can be upgraded with souls absorbed by the magic gauntlet, which in turn will allow players to access new areas once they’re upgraded enough.
Like the story, it’s all clearly laid out and easy to grasp, though it does belie a sharp difficulty curve that can come back to haunt players if they aren’t paying attention to the game’s combat mechanics.
A difficult boss may become nearly impossible if you don’t know how to strafe and block correctly, and late-game enemies will make quick work of most anyone who hasn’t learned the different combos and ranges of all their weapons.
Regardless, the game is still as entertaining to play as it was so many years ago. Even if a seemingly unbeatable portion is reached, it’s short runtime makes it easy to grind or, if all else fails, go through the game again.
That said, the title isn’t without its blemishes. For all the remaster does to update the title’s graphics and frame rate, the rest of the game has been untouched and still boasts some design decisions that have become outdated.
Cutscenes can’t be skipped, save points can be in inconvenient locations and the title’s pre-rendered backgrounds can make it difficult to tell where an interact-able object or new area passageway may be.
The voice acting is also right up there with the best of the worst. Character deliveries can range from stiff to comically bad, and some lines come off like they were pulled from an online translation tool.
None of these are deal breakers or ruin the experience, and for the most part, they’re actually somewhat amusing to look back on. Still, though, it’s a shame more couldn’t be done to update the title even as an optional addition.
As for what the remaster does improve upon, the list is slim but acceptable. In addition to the stock standard improved graphics, the title now has trophy and achievement support.
Most are easy to obtain and are given for progressing through the main game normally, though there are a few that take more time and understanding of the title to obtain.
There’s really little else that can be said about Onimusha: Warlords Remastered. Even with its age and an admittedly minimal remaster, the game still offers just as much fun as it did generations ago.
New players will get the full, unabridged experience at a decent price, while old fans should find this treasured classic is still just as fun to dive into as they remember.
Score: 4/5 – Great
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