Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams
When you think of innovative game designers, Capcom doesn't seem to stand out. They definitely make good games, but producing the show stopping new ideas seems to be left up to other designers. Feathering their hats with the popular franchises of Resident Evil, and among others, Capcom has a reputation for establishing a great title and then improving it bit by bit as they go. The Onimusha storyline was formerly ended in Onimusha 3, but I'm happy to say that it has been brought back, in a much better form, for Dawn of Dreams.,
First, DoD features a new combat system that offers all manner of violent potential. Although you start off with the ability to unleash a four hit combo, you'll quickly get to upgrade that, giving you more strikes, more powerful magic attacks, plus even more. In addition, this time around you get to control the camera, so you'll no longer be stuck to the static camera. Basically, this is just like Onimusha, only totally awesome. When you throw in the ability to control other characters, which you can control directly or set to behaving according to a specific AI, you really begin to see the potential for this new combat system.
Visually, this game isn't stunning, but you can trust that it'll have some nicely polished graphics thanks to Capcom's attentions. There's a good amount of detail, and as always, the cut scenes are just gorgeous, as attractive as they are outrageous. The audio effects don't play much of a part to the game, but a sweeping symphonic score and some great voice acting make the game a good listening experience.
Onimusha is one of those truly satisfying franchises, capable of producing quality titles with each new iteration. I'd also take that one step further. Onimusha 3 can be taken as the end of the Samanosuke storyline, so it is still the end of the Onimusha story. However, much like some of the television programs I enjoy, the title has been reborn with a fresh new start in this form, passing the torch down to Dawn of Dreams.
Although it still looks much like the old Onimusha games, there's just enough innovation here to make this a really worthwhile game. By stepping from an action packed exploration and puzzle game into a full blown action title, Dawn of Dreams has managed to breathe new life into this series. I heartily recommend it.