Otogi: Myth of Demons
puts you in the control of Raikoh, the last remnant of a clan once charged with dealing the deathblow to end a person's life. Strangely enough, you find yourself stuck between life and death. To cleanse the impurity of your clan's past, you must complete the quests given to you by the mysterious princess. Your goal is to clean each level of the hordes of demons that infest them.
If you haven't heard of Otogi yet, it's no wonder. Otogi hit the streets with little fanfare. Does it deserve the absence of hype or has the XBOX got a sleeper hit on their hands?
While Otogi can be rightfully labeled as a hack and slash game, it does mix in some RPG elements that should broaden the appeal of the game somewhat. While the RPG additions don't succeed perfectly, there is enough here to make you feel like your character is growing and advancing. For defeating enemies you also earn gold, which you can spend on improving your weapons. Overall, the game play is somewhat reminiscent of Devil May Cry without the puzzles to solve. This is especially obvious in the gymnastic-like attacks and double boost jumps, which make good use of all the vertical space in this game and also allows you to level an assortment of attacks as you fall towards the ground. In general the controls are straightforward and easy to pick up on. In combat, you can dish out heavy and light attacks and even cast spells.
As you progress through each of the vast, graphically rich worlds, you fight your way through wave after wave of demons, destroying everything around you. The worlds are stock with large numbers of destroyable items and you are encouraged to take out as much as possible, just like the Devil May Cry series. Upon completion of a level, you will be graded on several achievements from number of demons slain, objects destroyed, spirits released, combinations executed and how quickly you completed the level. Depending upon how you score, you will begin to unlock new items.
While the game is challenging, it can become a bit repetitive at times, and some of the aspects of certain levels begin to look familiar to you as you progress deeper into the game. Still there is much to like about this game and even thought it does lack some of the refinement of the DMC series and doesn't feel as deep as other RPGs, there is still much to like about this game. The graphics, for one, are a veritable showcase of what the Xbox is capable of handling and the contrast between the foreboding sinister worlds and the brilliant colors, which explode on the screen during combat, is well worth checking out.
While this game could have benefited from additional development time, all in all, its release is a pleasant surprise for those of us who yearn for the day to see what long time PS2 series like DMC could look like running on the improved horsepower of an XBOX. Otogi is well worth checking out.