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Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Sega

 

Developer

From Software

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

October 2004

 

 

- Gorgeous
- Being able to select characters
- Great action with easy-to-grasp controls
- Other modes besides Story

 

 

- For some it will be too stylish
- Camera can be obscured sometimes

 

 

Review: Otogi - Myth of Demons (XB)

Review: BloodRayne 2 (XB)

Review: Catwoman (XB)

Review: Red Faction: Guerrilla (360)

 

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Otogi 2: Immortal Souls

Score: 8.7 / 10

 

otogi 2 review          otogi 2 review

 

After playing Otogi 2: Immortal Souls and then re-reading my review of the original I find that I have pretty much the same opinion of Otogiís sequel, only more so.

Everything about Otogiís sequel has been cranked up a notch or two Ė six playable characters, bigger and more spectacular enemies, destruction on a wide scale, more game modes Ė but the story and presentation often made me feel like a I wandered into a foreign art house film, somewhere in the middle of the reel and find that there are no subtitles. What Otogi 2 fails to make clear to my poor Western mind, it more than makes up for by sheer action and pyrotechnics.

The hero from the first game, Raikoh, returns from the dead at the self-sacrifice of a small group of warriors and sets out to banish demons and purify each game environment (as far as I can figure). To face this challenge, Raikoh has the

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ďassistanceĒ of six other warriors that run the usual gamut of gaming character stereotypes: the tank-like Kintoki that can throw enemies to the agile but weak Sadamitsu to the wizard-esque Suetake who has access to the most powerful spells, and so on. Predictably, Raikoh is the balanced character and probably the one that will get the most use.

As in the first game, before each mission you

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have the chance to equip your characters with an array of weaponry, visit the shop for spells and accessories (keeping that light role-playing game flavor), and pick a character for the next mission. From Software did something extremely smart with the character roster: Itís unlocked right from the beginning. (Though sometimes you canít pick a character for a mission.)

The characters donít control much differently from one another. Though their attributes and abilities are different, the control scheme stays consistent. This eliminates any frustration that might have been present if a new setup was required learning for each character. And just because itís simple that way, that doesnít make the combat any less engrossing or fun. Unleashing a wicked combo mid-air for almost a minute at a time never gets tired Ė a problem that the original suffered from to some extent.

 

otogi 2 review          otogi 2 review


Part of the reason the combat never gets tired is the great visual package From Software has put together. Most everything has a mystical/magical/dream-like quality with plenty of eye candy, particularly with some of the spells. Otogi 2 seems to feature more destructible elements in the environment Ė you just canít help by slash things just for the sake of seeing how they explode and shatter. For the most part, the action moves at a solid rate without any stuttering but in some of the more packed environments things do slow down when thereís a lot happening on-screen. Part of me thinks this was intended to heighten the drama but the game reviewer part of my brain (that part shaped like a turnip just to the left of the hypothalamus) wants to say the engine just canít keep up. Considering that Otogi 2 is mostly wall-to-wall action these areas of slowdown donít occur that often. There are instances of the camera being completely blocked by scenery or other obstructions but because the camera is pretty easy to maneuver (with the right stick) these instances donít become a crippling problem.

Besides the story/campaign mode, Otogi 2 offers some additional modes and bonus missions that essentially let you practice with each character.

Amazingly enough a title that comes to mind when playing Otogi 2 is BloodRayne 2. Although they differ in many respects (a couple I can think of right off the bat) stylish action comes through in both Ė but from Japanese and American backgrounds Ė and both games stand on their own merit.

Action fans owe it to themselves to play Otogi 2: Immortal Souls. Donít be fooled by its art house sensibility Ė this is non-stop action and it has everything you want, plus a little extra.

- Omni
(December 3, 2004)

 

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