The story of Onimusha began with a kidnapped princess, a lone swordsman named Samanosuke, and Nobunaga's demon army that stood between the young warrior and his mission to save the princess. Ten years past the first game, in Onimusha 2, a young warrior by the name of Jubei sets off on a journey to destroy said demon army in order to avenge his lost homeland. Now comes a change of pace in the form of a mult-battle action fighting game, Onimusha: Blade Warriors.
In Blade Warrriors, the heroes from the first two games take center stage as the main characters in this game. Of course, as many should know, two famed Japanese actors portray the two heroes: Takeshi Kaneshiro as Samanosuke and the late Yasaku Matsuda (known for his role in the 1989 film, Black Rain) as Jubei. Players can play up to 3 other human-controlled warriors or play in a single player game against A.I.-controlled opponents. This game changes pace from the first titles with a new style of fighting your opponents which is said to push the action element of the series to a whole new level. The game features lighting fast sword actions to smite your opponents one after the other. There is a wide variety of characters in Blade Warriors; not only can you play as Onimusha's two heroes, but you can also choose to play as one of the sub characters including the various creatures from the series.
The game has some flashy effects. In pursuit of the essence of a true multi-player game, the action will be fast-paced, and the effects will focus the big hits and exhibit them in outstanding visuals. The various stages are quite dynamic and beautifully rendered to help create the intense atmosphere of Blade Warriors. Players will find that the backgrounds will be a wonderful interaction within the game. They will also discover that the background moves as an affect by environmental elements such as wind.
With Onimusha: Blade Warriors featuring the cast of both Onimushas (both good and bad), expect it to be one hell of a party game. We were hoping it would at least make a December release; that way Capcom would hook us up with a great multiplayer game just in time for Christmas. But we'll be patient and wait a few more months. Though it must be said, even if you're not a fan, or remotely interested in playing Onimusha 1 and 2, you should still give Blade Warriors a definite whirl when it hits stores -- if only for the multi-player factor.
12/11/2003 Alexandria Long