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Oninaki Review - Journey to Protect Life after Death

Oninaki Review - Journey to Protect Life after Death

Not all developers dare to try new things. Because risking herbs and formulas that tasted sweet in the past do not determine their work today has the same sweet taste. Maybe that's what is now at stake by the Tokyo RPG Factory. Success with the formula of sadness at I Am Setsuna with difficult choices and despair, they again made success at Lost Sphear sadly forgotten. This time, sadness is also their weapon in the third game, Oninaki who raised his sadness left dead.

Oninaki Review - Journey to Protect Life after Death

Taking the theme of death seems to be a shortcut to be swept away in the sad story of Oninaki. For those of us who are currently wasting life to want to appreciate it more. Teach us not to sulk and be sincere when left dear to another world. Which, they will be processed until finally reborn or towards a better world. However, has the Tokyo RPG Factory succeeded in conveying the sad and moral story of death in Oninaki this time?

Watcher, Forces Who are Skilled Fighters

Oninaki tells about a boy named Kagachi who was left by his parents when he was a child. He then joins the Watchers, a group of individuals trained in special forces who help curious spirits who have not yet finished their business to be reincarnated by going to the world of the dead. This army is led by Kushi, father of Kagachi's childhood friend Mayura who continues to maintain the reincarnation circle so that it runs well. They can see things that humans cannot, or cool language, Indigo.

Not only lead the spirit to reincarnation, but the Watchers are also experts in fighting against monsters that flood the world of the dead. Therefore they are equipped with fighting abilities and weapons to carry out their mission. In other words, they are a combination of the people we call indigo and truth-defense forces who are trained to kill monsters.

In each of his missions, Kagachi will meet various curious spirits, solve their cases, and uncover the mystery behind the people who approach him. Including a child's spirit who met him when Kagachi's parents died.

Explore Two Very Dangerous Worlds

As a watcher, Kagachi can move between the world of the dead and the world of the living. In the world of the dead Kagachi will be able to mingle with curious spirits and ask the problem to help them reincarnate. Meanwhile, if he is in the world of the living, then Kagachi will be able to detect several spirits that are still not reincarnated with white silhouettes. You can help them by going to the world of the dead and communicating with them. Sometimes, these spirits do not realize that they are dead just like the spirits of children who can be found at the beginning of the game. Some spirits who are not immediately reincarnated because they are not aware that they are dead or may still have wishes that have not been fulfilled will make them turn into a monster named Fallen.

The world of the dead and the living can be said to be parallel or interconnected. This is reinforced by similar types of monsters, even a mini-boss named Sight Stealer who will open your way further in the world of the dead will be the same as you encounter in the world of the living. What makes it different is that in the world of the dead, you will be able to feel different effects. For example, critical attacks continuously, so if you attack first, if you will get a bonus HP.

Cut Down All Your Enemies!

Unlike the previous Tokyo RPG Factory game that tried to adapt the mechanics like Chrono Trigger, Oninaki adapted the action as themechanism. For you to be able to attack and avoid enemy attacks like Dark Souls or Ys series. Whether your attack is fast or not depends on the weapon you are using.
You can also strengthen yourself with a Manifest that can be applied by pressing L1 or LT. Manifest can be done if the affinity point listed in the lower-left corner of the screen has reached 100%. He will remain in a certain amount even though you have changed weapons and as long as they are not used. Being in Manifest mode will speed up and strengthen your attack as well as your critical.

I am very happy when I can enjoy the new mechanics from turn-based to action. This means that the pace of the game will be faster to move on to the next story. On the other hand, action gameplay will test my dexterity and expertise if I can avoid enemy attacks and memorize the pattern. Give certain satisfaction when successfully defeating enemies who are quite challenging. Although sometimes, the boss is indeed quite difficult to beat. Just like other action games, the speed and accuracy of decision making is the most important key in the battle. This is because enemies do not only attack one by one, but together.

Oninaki Review - Cut Down All Your Enemies

A New Way to Present a Save Point

The very dangerous concept of two worlds has also changed some JRPG elements that we have known so far. Savepoint for example, which will be replaced by a monument named waystone. Approaching it will restore your HP and drive away the enemies who are chasing you.

Uniquely, you can only change parties, difficulty levels, fast travel, and watch the Daemon story. A very different menu compared to your equipment menu. Where you will be able to check character status, change equipment, settings, and improve Daemon skills.

In the middle of the story, you will be introduced to Alchemy. The only feature that will completely replace the features of your weapon equipment. Yes, you won't be able to buy weapons at all and have to look for them in the dungeon. Each weapon can be upgraded via Alchemy NPC to the maximum level.

You can also make weapons through the Transmute menu by combining other weapons according to the required points. So, you can never make weapons from iron ore or other mineral stones. Make it unique and complex because you need to work hard to kill lots of monsters and grinding for a drop. The Transmute recipe will also change per 100 kills. I advise you to change the difficulty level to Maniac to continue to get a drop. But you need to know, the enemy will be more brutal than usual, including the boss.

In a very rare situation, you will find a white shadow which they call is quite simple namely Shadow. Shadow appears when you are in the world of the living. Riding it and immediately moving to the world of the dead will bring you together with a fallen special. Defeating him will give you rare gifts starting from weapons or other things. But you must immediately defeat him, because he can run away and it will be very difficult to meet him again. From my personal experience, I only met once to finish the game.

Daemon, Your Special Spirit and Your Protector

Speaking of weapons, it's incomplete if you don't talk about Daemon. Simply put, Daemon is an embodiment of a class that you can use. According to the game's story, he is a special spirit that cannot be reincarnated at all. These Daemons also don't have memories of their past.

Daemons can be found with a green mark on the map in the world of the dead. So, for example you are still in the world of the living and finding the green mark on the map, then you need to go to the world of the dead to get it.

There are a total of 11 Daemons that you can get until the game is over. But only 10 that you can get one way. While the 11th Daemon can only be obtained after you finish the game and reload your last save.

Oninaki Review - Daemon, Your Special Spirit and Your Protector

As explained earlier that Daemon is an embodiment of class. Some skills can also be improved. The method is to use the stone weapon or null stone that you get. Rock weapons such as Sword Stone, Spear Stone, etc. can be obtained by continuously using your Daemon. While you can get a null stone from the treasure box or drop a monster. So, for example you want to improve your first Daemon's ability, Aisha who uses the sword, then you have to use it often to get the Sword Stone. But you can also increase it by using null stones if you don't have a Sword Stone.

Increasing the Daemon skill will also add levels. There are 10 levels that you must improve. The higher the level thanks to the passive skills that you increase, the stronger and faster your attacks. Some skills that you use often will also be able to give certain effects called "Awakening". There are four effect slots that you can add to your skills. For example, Stun, or HP recovery. All can be opened only by using it as often as possible.

Memory loss does not mean you cannot see and restore Daemons' memories. There are at least four Daemon Stories that you can open in each Daemon. Each story will be opened through the skill tree. Watching it will open new skills that are not yet open in the skill tree. The average story is very sad, ranging from the love story of a lifelong semant, to the arrogance that makes them have to die and become your Daemon. Inspire your compassion for the fate of those who cannot be reincarnated and must be your "servants". On the other hand, they are also human beings who still have reason.

Sadness that Often Comes to You

Not only Daemon who has a sad story, everything related to Oninaki has a lot of sad stories that surround it. This formula is the weapon of the Tokyo RPG Factory to attract fans to play the game. The many sad stories also indirectly remind you to continue to love your loved ones and not sulking and sincere when left. But on the other hand, it also gives compassion to others. There are so many causes of death, from murder, death due to illness, dying, and cannot die, to political interference.

Kagachi's journey as a watcher, or his police reincarnation, makes him the most absolute legal determinant in the world. You will meet various cases where those left behind are not willing. Makes spirits unable to reincarnate. Until the soul story that still has the last wish can only be reincarnated when your wish is granted. Some spirits who still do not accept that he is dead will turn into a creature called Fallen, an evil monster who is ready to finish you. Not only Fallen, some humans who cause trouble will also be your enemy. Simply, you will be charged as a detective and exterminator monster, yeah something like Geralt in The Witcher.

Kagachi's duty is the most important, but Tokyo RPG Factory does not leave his personal story to uncover who your main enemy is, Night Devil. Kagachi who was left by his parents was raised by Kushi and his son, Mayura. As the story progresses, you will be led to some controversy. The mysteries surrounding the game will also be more clearly revealed, one of which is how reincarnation works in the Oninaki world.

The story is arguably slow-burn for those of you who like stories to the point. You will be invited to tour to fully understand the duties of a Watcher. Not infrequently, you will also be shown Kagachi professionalism carrying out their duties. Until finally you will focus on your personal story.
There are three endings in the game, starting from Good, Normal, and Bad. You don't need to complete certain challenges to achieve it. Because all choices are at the end of the story. So, you don't need to kill 300 monsters or get something to see and just need to choose at the end of the story.

Where's The Music?

Oninaki's focus on the complexity of the gameplay seems to make them rarely present music. Not that the world is empty without music, but its appearance is quite rare to make it different. Some music will only appear when fighting boss, sight stealer, or when you do Manifest. Make the world feel lonely and empty. Expressing the quality of music that is very good when sung.

Fresh and Very Potential, but

Of the many JRPGs I played, maybe Oninaki became one of the many games that made me feel flawed. Especially with the relatively high price on Steam, it makes me question why it can be like this. Overall, the quality is quite okay and potential. But specifically, in reality not so.

From the technical problems I experienced in the PC version for example (because I use the PC version to review it). Where it appears that either the Tokyo RPG Factory or the Square-Enix ported to the PC does not synchronize the controller properly. That this can only be solved by downloading a custom override button script for DualShock 4 users made by fans. Besides you have to turn off the PlayStation 4 / Xbox support controller in the Steam settings, then connect the controller so that the LT / RT or L2 / R2 buttons function properly.

Then, what if the controller is disconnected or suddenly the connection is lost from the PC? Then inevitably you have to exit the game, pull out your controller and connect it again while Steam is still running then open the game again. If not? Then the controller button will be chaotic, even though you pressed it correctly.

Oninaki Review - Fresh and Very Potential

The loss of ability to buy items will also give you problems when your potions run out. You need to find a save point to return your cellphone to normal. Moreover, potions can only be obtained from monster drops or treasure chests. Forcing you to change difficulty to maniac for the sake of a drop potion. This can be overcome by increasing the drop rate of only potions from monsters, so you don't need any trouble when suddenly having to fight the boss.

A fairly broad level design with lots of monsters is indeed very satisfying for those who love grinding. But so vast and numerous, as if you could not help but have to finish them all before reaching the goal of your story. Moreover, the design of the two worlds is more or less the same. What makes it different is just the effect and color. Some level angles are also lacking in giving certain items or things to make it more interesting to explore. Tokyo RPG Factory should be able to think more mature about this by providing rare items, different enemy designs, or maybe the secret behind its world more than having to copy-paste and change the color alone plus give effect.

With such a level design, Tokyo RPG Factory indirectly forces players to do grinding with super long drop rates. Shadow's very limited presence also inhibits the grinding process. How not, he is only available in the world of living people with a very rare presence. The developer should consider that he can also appear in the world of the dead, or at least increase the average attendance.

Increasing the skills of each Daemon is indeed quite exciting, because it can arouse curiosity about what skills are suitable for you to use later. But at the same time, it's also annoying. Because the animation unlocks skills can not be discs at all. Especially when Daemon's level rises, you have to wait a fraction of a second to be able to continue unlocking other skills. Imagine if for example you have the potential for example 10 skills that you can open in 10 Daemons and have to wait for the music and animation, until the 10th Eid is also not finished yet. I can not say anything other than suggesting them to provide skip features.

The story of the world is indeed very interesting and has the potential to be explored again. But Tokyo RPG Factory seems reluctant to do it. The introduction of Watcher, which is felt to be sufficiently continued to the story of why they gave the title Oninaki or which in Japanese has the title Oni no naku Kuni which, if translated literally into a country/world where Oni does not exist. They did not explore further heresies, but only pointed out, "This is Watcher's job, there are various cases that can make reincarnation fail, so let's go on to Kagachi's story".

The side quests are various, but not as detailed and interesting as some of the main story fillers that are continuous. The death of certain characters also does not have a sad effect on players because the bonds they build are not shown very strongly. It makes me ask, "why should I be sad to see one of these important characters die?" The initial scene when Kagachi rescues a little boy's soul and the last moment of an old woman who is just an ordinary NPC when she dies, leaves her husband, even more, touching than the scene. Making the sad effect produced by I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear cannot be beaten by Oninaki. Meanwhile, Kagachi's own story that was predictable from the start made my curiosity disappear. Until finally covered thanks to a twist that I could not have guessed.

Daemon's story is a very interesting addition. He told a sad story during his life and eventually died. But unfortunately, it becomes less comfortable to enjoy because the rest of the story is in the chapter after the fourth chapter meets you. The lack of purpose, the relationship with Watcher, or even Kagachi himself makes it only limited as an attractive spice. It would be better if he has the end after you finish the game. What's more there are 10, plus 1 to 11 if you have finished. Which means there are a total of 44 Daemon Stories that have no use at all. Imagine wasted time wasted just to arouse your curiosity.

The content after completing the game is also quite useless. The developer added an extra dungeon and a new Daemon named Jex that you can only get after completing the game. Jex is quite special because it can use all of Daemon's abilities. The dungeon contains all the monsters that you have met to challenge you to test your abilities. Makes me re-question the function of both content. "So, why do you add a new Daemon if you can only use it after the game is finished?"

Conclusion

Oninaki tries to bring something new to the JRPG world. Although the mechanics of the action are too general, Daemon's theme and model as a fairly new class makes it one of its potentials. Unfortunately, the story of Daemon only becomes a mere seasoning without continuation.
The rush of the Tokyo RPG Factory is working on the game also seems very clear. It was proven that they did not explore it deeper, making the world of life and death feel the same without meaningful side quests. This affects the world lore becomes less dense. For him only focus on the story of Kagachi that has been worked out neatly enough. Meanwhile, the side story feels normal and doesn't seem to support it.

The developer effort to follow the sad story they presented in their two previous games deserves a thumbs up. But unfortunately, the bonds between the characters are less so in making the NPC story even more touching than the main character.

Some technical problems for the PC version for them seemed to have no intention of working on the game ported. Impressed to be a game that was done in a hurry. The endgame content is also less interesting. As if felt forced and not rewarding at all.

Indeed, the game itself isn't a big game like Final Fantasy, but this Tokyo-based studio should be able to backup other big Square-Enix games when they're focused on their main franchise.
For the time being, I don't recommend you to enjoy it, considering that the price is almost equivalent to AAA games. However, if you want to taste the classic JRPG game with a fairly fresh and unique idea that is different from the others, then Oninaki can be your choice.


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