PS2 Classics: Capcom, we need an Onimusha remake, especially its sequel
Most of us want an Onimusha remake, but an Onimusha 2 remake would be more than welcome. It’s time a special series is brought back in our eyes, Jason Rocha explores this as part of our PS2 Classics Series, part of PauseResumeQ4.
Jubei Yagyu is a name that strikes terror into the hearts of demons.
Ask yourself, what is cool? What is badass? If you didn’t picture this handsome young chief of the Yagyu clan then you’ve sorely missed out. Set in feudal Japan, his tale of revenge against Nobunaga Oda holds up to this day with beautiful CG cutscenes and a unique blend of sword action with survival horror elements. As the years go by the series sadly falls more and more into obscurity in Capcom’s backlog of forgotten IPs. With what is arguably the best entry in Onimusha to date the franchise can surely rise again with a modern remaster or remake.
Onimusha started life as the recovered remnants of a Resident Evil spin-off. Tank controls, puzzles, and fixed camera angles showcase the origins of the game, while simultaneously offering diverse and engaging gameplay. It gives an added challenge to the traditional hack and slash without being detrimental to the overall experience. A retro horror style pervades the atmosphere as you collect souls as a half man, half demon samurai slashing your way through the demonic horde towards your destined battle with the King of Demons.
“arguably the best entry in Onimusha to date …”
The gameplay sees you master a vast arsenal of weapons that range from hammers to spears. But where Onimusha combat truly shines is in the parry/critical technique. A risk-reward mechanic that has you wait until the last milliseconds of an enemy attack to guard, triggering a parry, then immediately followed by a one hit kill attack. Or drop your guard entirely and wait for the perfect moment to strike a one-hit critical. Mastery over this technique makes you feel like a true samurai master worthy of the Yagyu name.
Aside from select difficulties and unlockables, unique replayability is offered in the gift-giving/ally system. You’ve got your choice of 4 buddies with Kotaro the ninja, Magoichi the rifleman, Oyu the mysterious lady fencer, and Ekei the drunken spearman. Trading with these characters increases your friendship with them and allows you access to unique items. Who you raise your stat with the most alters the events of the game, unlocking new scenarios, battles, and allows you to explore that character more in-depth alongside Jubei.
The CG cutscenes are amongst the most memorable I have ever seen, therefore, I feel that their grandeur for the PS2 generation cannot be overstated. The opening movie in its entire tragic splendour sends shivers down my spine to this day, perhaps the best intro of all time. The ending movie with a truly epic and otherworldly showdown would blow the minds of any contemporary audience. If you want to see how a perfect opening and ending movie looks like check out Onimusha 2.
An Onimusha remake would mean refined combat for the modern day and make the gorgeous demon and environmental designs even more interesting and unsettling. Jubei Yagyu, one of the most romanticized samurais in Japan’s history, epitomizes what the child in you imagines a samurai ought to be. The game deserves a resurrection, it tells us that with “Faith, Charity, Respect, Honesty, Strength” we can strike down hordes of any demonic abomination.
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