Review By: Jared Black
After a long
development time and tons of hype, Bungie’s Oni has finally
arrived. Oni’s development cycle actually began as just a PC
and Mac title, but later was also added to the PS2’s lineup.
This is important, because this title’s PC roots are apparent
in all facets of Oni, and end up being the game’s only real
For those of
you not sucked up by the hype, Oni is a third-person action game
with heavy anime influences. The year is 2032, and the world is
a much different place than it is today. One government, the
World Coalition Government, now controls over 80% of the world.
Every major country of the world had accumulated massive debt,
and the only way out was to unite as one. Naturally, this
situation causes the gap between the rich and the poor to widen
every day, so the WCG isn’t very well liked.
Konoko, orphaned at the age of 3 and subsequently raised by the
World Coalition Government. You were brought up by a legion of
scientists and TCTF (basically the WCG’s police) personnel,
and thus you’ve been raised to kick major butt as part of the
TCTF. Your primary enemy is the Syndicate, an organization of
thieves who provide the growing poor masses with drugs to ease
their pain and weapons to kill each other off with. Your job
will be to fight the Syndicate. This follows the general pattern
a lot of anime follows – that is, neither side is really a
"good" side. Helping you is Shinatama, a Simulated
Life Doll (SLD) that assists you greatly during each mission by
providing directions and advice. As Konoko, you and Shinatama
are neural-linked together so she can communicate with you while
you’re on each mission.
At its core,
Oni is all about kicking butt. In your arsenal are a number of
different combat moves and combos, including everything from
simple kicks and punches to complicated kick-punch combos.
Complimenting that is a very nice selection of weapons at your
disposal, including pistols, cannons, stun guns and much more.
Oni’s selection of weapons fire in a variety of ways, and
really add a lot to the gameplay as it’s important to choose
the right weapon for the right situation. This is made even more
important by the fact that you can only carry one weapon at a
time. As you fight against the syndicate, you’ll come across a
variety of different types of their troops…each with their own
weapons and fighting styles. What really adds to the combat
scenes is the fact that any person can pick up any weapon and
use it. If you drop a weapon with an enemy near, that enemy will
likely pick it up and use it against you. Alternatively, you can
pick up and use any weapon that the enemy drops and use it
against them. In fact, one strategy I’ve used is to drop an
empty weapon on the ground. Often the enemy will pick it up, and
you can then move in and attack while they’re occupied.
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