Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, as the newest game in the Onimusha series (previously thought to end as a trilogy), sports classic Onimusha components like multiple characters, historical Japan, amazing fighting and super moves, along with new innovations to the series. Innovations include camera control for portions of game play, improved graphics, and switching primary control from one character to another. While the game mechanics have evolved and the story has changed, the game also adds on to the earlier game stories. This is due to the fact that Dawn of Dreams is set fifteen years after the original trilogy and one of the five playable characters is Jubei's grand-daughter Yagyu and Soki, a new male fighter. As with all of the Onimusha games, Dawn of Dreams draws on mythology and history to weave the plot for an exciting action adventure game.
Dawn of Dreams also continues the previous Onimusha story because players are again fighting the Genma. This time Hideyoshi Toyotomi is the villain, replacing Nobunaga Oda from the previous games. Though the story has progressed fifteen years in the future, the game graphics retain their earlier color and their original use of imagery from a historical, yet mythologized, version of Japan.
From the demos, the Onimusha series--as action games with engaging stories--evolves in this newest version without major or detrimental changes. The overall changes appear to be mild, with several changes to make gaming more convenient and interesting. With the quality of the previous games and the demos, Onimusha 4 promises to be a major success and promises to interest and entertain players. As Onimusha 4 gets closer to its release date, more information should aid in player anticipation. For instance, in the playable demos, it wasn't clear whether or not the two characters could be played at any time or if the game would utilize a Resident Evil-like system of trading off. However, the demo showed that Dawn of Dreams will still retain the puzzle boxes and other conventions from the earlier games. Also, while Onimusha 3 utilized real actors for the character models, Onimusha 4 does not. Game additions also include timed fighting segments within the game. Other information on Onimusha 4 should emerge soon and for now, the only major drawback is that Dawn of Dreams isn't set for release until late 2006, but it looks like it will be worth the wait.
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