E3 2002: Onimusha 2 impressions
Making my way over to the Capcom booth, I made a halt at a kiosk displaying Onimusha 2. Having played the Japanese version half-way through, I was able to get a better grip of the US version. For one, the combat is now slightly quicker than it was before, as attacking enemies around you is given a better reflex. The game plays similarly to the first, but in no way feels new or "fresh". That said, the game is still great. It retains the classic element of puzzle solving, while at the same time putting a little more emphasis on combat. The emphasis comes from a superb new counter system. If you are about to be struck by an enemy, you can counter the attack by delivering a powerful strike of your own that will take the enemy out. Of course that will require precise timing, but it's not too hard to pull off. Those expecting reworked controls...well disappoint awaits you. Capcom has revived the dreaded digital and two-dimensional feeling control scheme.
Visually, the game looks great. Onimusha 2 features superb character detail and excellent special effects (rain, flashes, mist and etc). The backgrounds, though still pre-rendered, are superb in detail. The overall image is sharp and features few, if any noticeable flaws. Not to mention, the opening CG is arguably one of the finest produced in a game to date. Look for a more in-depth hands-on preview of Onimusha 2 in the upcoming weeks and look for Onimusha 2 later in July.
5/21/2002 Arnold Katayev