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Oninaki is the latest game from Tokyo RPG Factory, a Square Enix-owned studio. It is the latest game from the developer, following 2017’s Lost Sphear and 2016’s I Am Setsuna. Square Enix has it slated for a summer 2019 release date.
Announced during today’s Nintendo Direct, Oninaki puts players in the shoes of Kagachi, a Watcher. Watchers work to save and protect the souls of the Lost, as they shift between the living world and the Beyond, the realm of the dead. Kagachi battles using the souls of Daemons, which take the place of classes in traditional role-playing games. According to Square Enix, the player’s role as Kagachi is to “sever the bonds that tie the Lost to this world.”
Unlike its Tokyo RPG Factory predecessors, Oninaki combat is action-based, and in real-time. Previous games from the developer used a modified version of Square Enix’s Active Time Battle (ATB) system from Chrono Trigger. Players will be able to switch between Daemon’s at will, and in real time. This is useful as each Daemon has its own weapons and skills, and provide different roles in battle.
The game’s official website suggests life, death, and the idea of reincarnation are at the heart of Oninaki. Death’s weight upon the living is described as “shackles” that can cause the dead to drift. Oninaki is set to explore these themes throughout its story.
Square Enix has been pushing a number of retro-style RPGs over the past few years. Bravely Default and its sequel Bravely Second have been favorably compared to Final Fantasy games of yore. Last year’s Octopath Traveler with its “HD-2D” graphics, and the Tokyo RPG Factory titles like I Am Setsuna and now Oninaki. As the latest in Square Enix’s smaller-scale RPGs, Oninaki sheds the turn-based battle system in favor of top-down real-time action.
Oninaki will also be coming to PS4 and Steam when it releases this summer.