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Platform: Game Boy Advance
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Strategy RPG
Format: Cartridge
Release: US 11/11/03 - Japan N/A

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Mark P. Tjan
Preview First Look
Mark P. Tjan

Famous for Street Fighter, and known in the RPG community for Breath of Fire, developer-publisher Capcom is about to take its first steps into the SRPG genre. Onimusha Tactics for the Game Boy Advance draws heavily upon the action series of its namesake, with the promise of being an entertaining if shallow ride.

In the vein of Square-Enix's Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Onimusha Tactics is played from an isometric three-quarters perspective. Players take turns using units to slay the enemy with their unique arsenal of abilities. In return, the enemy's virtual hordes will use everything at their disposal to assail and conquer the miniature army of heroes. Players can use up to eight units in a battle, each of which has its own unique battery of talents. The game also takes into account geographical data such as height and terrain to adjust how well units can move and fight.

Although Onimusha Tactics doesn't feature a job system like most SRPGs, each character acquired is unique in some way. Players are provided with many ways to enhance their characters; using both the spiritual energy of their opponents, and the mysterious Genma stones. When an enemy is slain, players can have their units absorb the spiritual energy of the fallen to enhance their attacks; then to further reinforce their units, players can use the Genma stones to create new weapons and armor for battle.

The game will rely heavily on its story to keep players interested. The apparent antagonist is Genma, a demon lord of the underworld, who is planning an all-out invasion of Japan. He has chosen the war-torn nation as the grounds upon which to build his demonic empire. By using the warlord Oda Nobunaga as his pawn on Earth, he tears apart the countryside in an attempt to obliterate all humans from the land.

The protagonist is Onimaru, a young warrior with a penchant for swordsmanship. While training, he receives a message asking him to return home; from there, players then take control of Onimaru and his followers in the fight to liberate Japan from the demonic legions. The warriors from whom Onimaru may choose his forces are numerous; and although players may only use eight in any given battle, the sheer number promises that the cast will be quite varied and unique.

Graphically, Onimusha Tactics follows the tradition of most SRPGs; Bright and sprite-based. There is however, a constant presence of earth-tones and subdued color amongst the menus and character portraits; this serves to enhance the atmosphere of Onimusha as an essentially feudal fantasy. The sprite animation is standard for GBA SRPGs, although the spell effects seem understated and lacking polish.

Released earlier this year in Japan, Onimusha Tactics will hit North America on November 11th 2003 and retail for approximately $45.00 USD.


© CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2003
All Rights Reserved.

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