Are you ready, young oni, to rise? The world has all but fallen into the hands of the demonic realm and the time for the Oni to demonstrate their power has come.
EXP Rate: Low
Pros: +Anime Style. +Distinctly Japanese Universe. +Action Combat. +Unique Partner System. +Movement feels crisp and responsive. +Skill system encourages high risk, high reward combat.
Cons: -Lag Issues Hurt Combat. -Learning curve scales too fast for target audience. -Graphics are quite dated.
Onigiri Online combines the 3D anime style that has recently fallen off in popularity among F2P MMORPGs with the rising popularity of action combat MMORPGs. Utilizing a unique partner system that allows you to build relations and strengthen 8 varied AI partners, Onigiri adds a Pokemon-esque element to make the leveling curve less painful as you can watch so many characters grow without playing multiple alts to do so. Each partner offers different benefits to improve relations with beyond just combat. Some will act as your rare item merchant while others can supply you with potent potions and food items to buff you power.
In addition players can build their character with a free-form state addition system to allow you to specialize in various weapons. This is important because you aren’t restricted to any particular weapon. You can even master multiple weapons and switch between them on the fly in combat as the combat situation changes over time!
Onigiri Launch Review
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
Recently I took the chance to try out a new MMORPG that’s been taking over the site skins of just about every anime site for the past month, Onigiri. This game with a double meaning for a name takes you into a world distinctly set in the realm of Japanese fantasy and folklore. The seal has broken that initially brought peace and safety to ancient Japan, and it is up to you and a ragtag group of anime tropes you meet on your way to rid the land of evil monsters and spirits, and ultimately force out Kamigui to restore peace once again. The game went into full launch just after I tested it out, and now has an ever growing population in its public launch state.
Considering how long Onigiri was in beta, the fact that some key features were still missing at the time of launch was a bit concerning. And no I’m not talking about content but rather the ability to change the graphical settings. The only options you can adjust at all are the resolution and sound. On the plus side, controller support is offered in the options. Though it doesn’t take much game time to understand why the controller support is needed.
Onigiri immediately reminded me of another major hit from Japan. It’s resemblance to Dynasty Warrior in both setting and style are unmistakable. Following in its footsteps, Onigiri even has found its way into the console market in Japan (Playstation 4), and hopefully the English version will make it stateside soon as well.
I must admit that the last time I played Dynasty Warriors it must’ve been on the Playstation 2 and there have been plenty of new releases since, but as a result it took no less than 10 minutes to get a solid feel for the controls of Onigiri. The movement, fighting pace, and especially the graphics remind me a lot of this successful fighting game. But Onigiri is a little different, wearing its hat backwards so to speak. In Onigiri you will face monsters and other evil spirits instead of hordes of men. The challenge is more about dodging attacks of enemies that can stand and take a beating rather than wiping out dozens of opponents with a single sweep of your sword. And another key difference is that you won’t be fighting alone, but rather with companions at your back!
Onigiri tries to be a MMORPG that heavily focuses itself on its story; straight away you will meet a companion that you befriend. She helps you out with finding your way around, and teaching you what to do with the weapons and pieces of weapons you find. You see, when you make a character you aren’t necessarily bound to one weapon. Throughout your journey you will find weapons and fragments that can be identified to become a useable weapon. When making your character however you do choose a defining fighting style to use. And seeing as there are plenty of weapons for dealing damage up close or at range, there’s some serious fun to be had with experimenting on how each weapon type best utilizes your skills and style.
Moving your character around is done fairly easily. You run around with WASD and aim your attacks via a mouse controlled crosshair. Left click is for basic attacks, and right click is for the currently selected skill. The way skills are set up is quite nice. Each weapon features a different set of skills, as well as varying reaches even amongst the melee weapons. Choosing a weapon doesn’t bind you to one style for the duration of a mission either, as you can equip four weapons total at a time. With the F key you can easily rotate between your weapons on the fly to adjust to ever changing challenges. Just visualize a girl’s handbag with bottomless storage space hanging on your belt, and you’ve got the jist of the situation.
Despite the seemingly casual friendly art style and outward appearance of Onigiri, the learning curve is brutal. The first few monsters you face will either teach you the importance of utilizing all of your skills through the school of hard knocks, or outright kill you before you can figure it out. Rather than just dealing damage, they offer the utility needed to dodge power attacks in this action oriented MMO. Most of the time I played I spent glaring at my energy bar hoping I could hold out long enough for one more strike. When using basic attacks, you will regain the energy required to cast these skills and spells, but remember to aim your skills well because if you miss, you might just cost you the fight, and send you back to one of the many respawning options. Most places you will visit are instanced gauntlet zones. The further you progress, the more challenging enemies become, culminating in an inevitable and predictable boss battle like an old school arcade fighter. As I said, the learning curve is intense in this game, so expect to lose a few times to even the earliest of bosses. Onigiri is not a game for those looking to play something with an easy win button.
Onigiri is a challenging and refreshing action MMO set in a style that will bring a hefty dose of nostalgia to any Dynasty Warriors fans. While many of its features are borrowed from console titles, experiencing them in a free to play MMORPG experience that you can share with players from other regions makes for an enjoyable romp. That said, the gameplay visuals are quite lacking, almost being comparable to a high end Playstation 1 title. Still if graphics aren’t a key part of your game valuation, the remainder of the package is solid enough to keep you entranced. The arcade feeling fighting style and brutal difficulty will keep you hooked for quite some time.
Previous Alpha Look:
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)
From the land of the rising sun comes a brand new F2P title that’s all about the land of the rising sun. Onigiri is an ancient Japanese themed MMORPG where players can battle against creatures based on Japanese myth and folklore, all while pulling in a diverse cast of characters to partner up with.
Recently, CyberStep hosted an alpha test that was solely focused on testing out the game’s party mode and latency issues. With only a few days to give the game a try, I jumped in on it from day one.
As I booted up the game for the first time, I instantly dealt with a huge problem: The current alpha client did not support full-screen mode, and the window was limited to a resolution of 1280 by 800. Certainly not a good deal for anyone that’s playing with a large monitor, so I had to narrow my eyes every now and then.
However, the music that was playing from the log-in menu was soothing and relaxing enough to make me forget all about the resolution problems that I was about to deal with. The music had this nostalgic feel to it, as it that reminded me of an old N64 game I used to play called “Legend of the Mystical Ninja,” which certainly fits the game’s theme a whole lot.
Upon logging in, there was a fair amount of options to choose from with initial character creation. Players have a choice between different body types, faces, hair and clothing sets. For starters, I decided to go with an energetic young boy who had a smirk on face and fire in his heart, just ready to take on the world…
And upon stepping into that world for the first time, I was almost immediately turned off by the visuals. There’s no other way of putting this, but Onigiri is a game that seems to be incredibly dated in every sense of the word: The environments were simplistic, the textures were weak, and the polygon count was overall low.
Still, I decided to disregard the poor visual quality, as I knew that Cyberstep was a company that liked to focus on gameplay over graphics. You know what they say: It doesn’t matter if you have the looks, as long as you got the moves, right?
Well the game certainly had some decent moves to pull off. Upon trying out the combat for the first time, it seemed to play out like a mix between Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, as players will have to aim their attacks with a crosshair and attack using the left mouse button. The right mouse button activates one of three different skills that are tied to your current weapon, which range from special combo attacks, dodging attacking, support abilities and more. Players can move using the WSAD keys and also dodge attacks by double tapping any movement key. Dodging and performing skills are all tied to your character’s MP gauge, so you’ll have to use both with care, or you’ll find yourself deader than a doornail, since dodges have zero invincibility frames.
While I would usually like the idea that dodging attacks have no invincibility frames, it ends up reinforcing one of the game’s biggest problems during the alpha, which was the game’s overall challenge.
Have you ever heard of the term: “Artificial Difficulty”? Well that term applies to Onigiri in a big way. All the monsters in the game, including trash mobs that players will encounter in the very first dungeon, can all do unreasonable amounts of damage that can take players out in four hits or less. With the ridiculous amount of damage that monsters can do, I was suspecting it was a way to force players to group up. Sadly, I was dead wrong, as enemy HP and spawns actually INCREASE depending on the number of members in your party.
This is a poor way to make your game challenging, because it’s not really a challenge, it’s just straight up tedious. It forces the player to be overly cautious with every move they make, dragging out battles much longer than they should. It also doesn’t help that the game suffers from horrendous lag issues, which affect the game’s already shoddy hit and dodge detection. Even if you dodge perfectly or attack swiftly, there’s at least a one second delay between having those commands registered, also making battles against enemies more frustrating than they should be.
Moving past the game’s problems, however, there is a nice amount of customization for players to partake in, including the game’s stat system where players are free to disturb their stats in any way they want, which not a lot of MMORPGs seem to allow these days. The ability to use any weapon type you want is another huge plus. However, there are different kinds of stat classes available such as Power, Cautious and Daring, which allow players to specialize themselves to work best with certain weapons. These stat classes determine the different kinds of stat bonuses you’ll get when leveling up, but it’s still fairly flexible for players to come up with their own hybrid builds.
The biggest feature that Onigiri has to offer is the game’s story and partner system. Along your adventures in Onigiri, you’ll be meeting up with a crazy cast of characters that specialize in a multitude of different skills and abilities.
The characters include the charming princess Shizuka who can identify and store weapons for you, the free spirited Miroku who can sell many different items to help you on your quest, and my personal favorite: The big breasted cat girl named Ibaraki who enjoys making and selling different drinks, along with having “other” functions…
Anyone want to take a guess what that “Other” ability is? I kind of have an idea of what it could be…
Besides from her perky personality and a love for revealing clothing, her brewing ability comes in handy when you need a quick buff or health restore in battle. They come in many different varieties and can be chugged up to 10 times in battle, but drinking too much may end up making the player drunk, so drink responsibly, folks.
The most unique feature with partners is that they can tag along with you in battle. Each player can bring their own partner which effectively doubles the size of a party, and they all specialize in different weapon types so it’s important to have the right partner summoned for whatever situation arises, such as using Momotarou and his dual blades to keep single enemies locked and stunned, or Miroku’s pole arm for crowd control.
It’s just too bad that partner AI can be very idiotic at times, with partners running into walls, running around aimlessly in circles or attacking invisible enemies at times, until you un-summon and re-summon them into battle.
Overall, my experience with Onigiri proved to be an enjoyable one, despite its issues and unavailable features, mainly because of the sense of nostalgia it brings, while retaining the throwback feel of several classic online RPGs. While I didn’t pay too much attention to the main story at hand, the partners that players will pick up are interesting and add some much needed charm to the world. It could end up having a cult following if they can just include better visual features, fix the latency issues and perhaps tone down the artificial difficulty, but I’m sure the game’s anime flair will be more than enough…
You know it’s a game from Japan when it has big swords and even bigger boobs.
Launch Trailer Part 1
Launch Trailer Part 2
Coming Soon. . .
Onigiri Online Articles
- Onigiri Launch Review - Posted on August 12, 2014
Considering how long Onigiri was in beta, the fact that some key features were still missing at the time of launch was a bit concerning.
- Onigiri: Official Launch on July 1st - Posted on June 16, 2014
Onigiri is an exciting and action-packed MMORPG where the player takes on the role of one of the legendary Oni, roused from a peaceful and isolated life.