Honoring the undead. Review

Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny Info


  • Action/Adventure


  • 1


  • Capcom


  • Capcom

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PS2


Honoring the undead.

You can shoot it, you can chop it up and you can even set it on fire, but there’s

no real way to keep a good zombie down. Sure, some of the lesser undead can be

stopped. In fact, the last time we met, the lone samurai Samanosuke had defeated

the evil Demon King and saved Japan from a new era of darkness. Fortinbras was

a wuss, anyway.


with the Throne of Darkness vacant, what zombie would be powerful enough to

assume control of the legions of undead warriors bent on world destruction?

Well, Zombie Duke

was too busy sitting on the Throne

of Game Revolution
, so it looks like we’ll have to settle on an undead Oda

Nobunaga instead.

Yep, that’s right. Nobunaga has taken the reigns of the undead armies and

is picking up where his predecessor left off. You know, death, destruction…all

that jazz. Ten years later, Samanosuke is nowhere to be found, but a new hero

has risen up to take his place. His name? Yagyu Jubei. His game? Onimusha

2: Samurai’s Destiny.

Those of you familiar with Onimusha won’t have

any problems diving right into Samurai’s Destiny. Control is identical

and gameplay is essentially still the same hack n’ slash/puzzle solving/find-the-green-herb

with a few new improvements thrown in for good measure. Even if you somehow

missed the first game, it won’t take you long to become a worthy swordsman –

just think Resident Evil with a sword and you’ve got the basic idea.

But while this sequel upholds the honor of the series, there are still a few

flaws in the quality blade.

Like the original, Onimusha 2 starts off with an impressive visual

display worthy of any Hollywood production. Jubei’s village is getting trashed

and naturally our hero isn’t around to defend it. You can’t have an epic tale

of revenge without a little trouble, right? These visual effects stay in top

form throughout the game with the photo-realistic backgrounds and well-modeled

characters we’ve come to expect from the Onimusha series.

Unfortunately, the audio isn’t as satisfying as the last go round. Though

the original game supported Japanese dialogue with English subtitles, Onimusha

is jammed in strictly English mode. The dub quality is actually better

than most, but if you’re a purist like me, it’s hard to go back to hamburger

after having filet mignon for so long.

One of the most noteworthy additions in Samurai’s Destiny is the cast

of four supporting characters that Jubei will interact with during his adventures.

There’s Ekei, the spearman, Oyu, the Japanese version of Soul

‘s Sophitia, Magoichi, the man with a gun, and Kotaro, the obligatory

ninja. In addition to conversing with these characters to gain information,

Jubei has a unique way of interacting with the crew – gift giving. Jubei can

hand out items he’s picked up along his journeys like a samurai

Santa Claus.
Give characters things they’ve always wanted and they’ll reward

you not only with more useful items, but help in combat. Just who comes to the

rescue will be determined by your degree of friendship with them. You’ll even

take control of them during certain portions of the game.


doesn’t end there though, as interaction with these characters plays an integral

role in story development. Onimusha 2 has a somewhat branching storyline

that is dependent upon who your friends are. This adds another dimension to

the replay value of the game, as you’ll need to play more than once to uncover

the entire story.

And speaking of replay value, completing the game will unlock a few more goodies

to bring you back for more. Several mini games can be found, including (but

not limited to, *wink, wink*) “The Man in Black” and “Team Oni.” “The Man in

Black” puts Jubei into a stylish new suit and arms him with a big stick. His

mission this time is to collect 20 film reels and reach the exit within the

time limit. It won’t take you long to pass this one, but you’ll be rewarded

with some in-game cutscenes. “Team Oni” lets you run through a few of the game’s

levels with a tag team of several characters. It’s much more challenging than

“The Man in Black,” but it really isn’t anything to write home about.

It’s a good thing that there are more distractions, because the main game is

still on the short side. While longer than the original, Onimusha 2 again

feels a little too short. Factor in replay time for those pieces of the story

you missed, though, and things look a little better.

Another small problem that lingers from the original is the occasional bum

camera angle. Thanks to the dramatic fixed camera angles that Capcom is so fond

of, you’ll sometimes be stuck looking at the back of an enemy or fighting a

monster that isn’t even on screen. This problem isn’t too hard to work around,

but it sure is annoying.

But when the last demon has dropped, you’ll still find a certain sense of

satisfaction that can only be found in a game with zombies and samurai. Solid

gameplay with plenty of new improvements make Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny

another fine blade.


Still fun
The more the merrier
Branching paths
Some replay value
Still a little short
Bum camera angles