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Otogi: Myth of Demons

Developer: From Software | Publisher: Sega
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 08/27/03 | Genre: Action

For years and years, since gaming became gaming, ninjas have danced their sword-wielding dance across our screens to save the girl or the world from the evil baddy. This tradition is continued and improved in From Software's Otogi: Myth of Demons.

Players take the role of Raikoh, who is trapped between the spiritual and human world, blessed by the powers that be with magical aids and supernatural abilities. His magic meter slowly and almost constantly drains (you can acquire temporary power-ups that prevent your magic from draining). To keep it stocked and to stay in good shape you have to kill enemies and get more magic from them. Alternatively, magic orbs can be found that replenish amounts of magic at a time. You can use up magic more quickly by using enchanted spells that have various effects on your foes, ranging from large dragons to a cloud of killer butterflies. However, the bigger portion of the games combat is accomplished with an array of weaponry you won't find in the local Wal-Mart.

This warrior stud of a character Raikoh takes grasp of a number of different weapons, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, which allow him to take the upper hand in his quest. His assortment of goodies includes everything from giant blades to axes to a bladed fan. Each of these beauties packs a punch, but you'll need more than just a pretty weapon to take out the huge and plentiful enemies you'll find in the games many levels.

Each enemy poses a threat to your one-man army in Otogi. They almost always come in numbers, and by numbers I mean anywhere from three or four to 140 or more. Sound tough? It is. Don't expect this toughness immediately. You are gradually progressed from simple grunts of sorts to giant building sized flying centipedes with a hankering for ninja blood. The levels you duke it out in are all incredible sights to see, and the atmospheric qualities From Software crammed into the game are breathtaking.

As you traverse different environments, you will run across huts and pillars, ancient Chinese buildings, and lots of shiny stuff. The cool part about these surroundings is that you can destroy nearly all of it, either by swinging your weapon at it or slamming enemies through it. They even encourage destructive behavior by rewarding you with 짲adesor how much stuff you've blown to pieces. You may have difficulty destroying your environments, however, when you see how amazing they look.

Otogi features some of the absolute most gorgeous graphics of this time, and that's no joke. Everything from the shiny crystals to the spell effects to the enemies and buildings themselves is a sight to behold. With all this beauty and the large numbers of enemies, you would expect to have lots and lots of framerate issues. Well, there are some, but not an overwhelming load of them. In moments where the action gets hot and there are huge numbers of baddies getting slashed through exploding buildings and into distant walls, yes, the game will get a bit choppy for a few seconds. Small details like that can be overlooked by most, such as me, when you look at the game overall and realize that's one of few minor gripes. The audio definitely not a source of complaint in this title.

Sound is an incredibly important piece of every game, and in Otogi it was definitely not overlooked. When pumped through surround sound the game produces sound bliss when you're busting your way through levels of mayhem. The ambient effects and oriental music provide great atmosphere for the adventures of the game. Speaking of sound, this is about time to sound off on this review.

Anyone seeking out a fun adventure, a good ninja game, or a fun hack'n slash with sweet looks and sounds should definitely check out Otogi. It appeals to large numbers of gamers in large numbers of ways.

By Matthew Sheahan - 02/16/04
ESRB Details: Fantasy Violence
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Screenshots for Otogi: Myth of Demons

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