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In 2004, Capcom completed the trilogy of the Onimusha series when they released Onimusha 3: Demon Seige for the PlayStation 2. The third entry saw the return of Samanosuke, the protagonist from the first game in an effort to kill the evil Nobunaga once and for all. Would Samanosuke defeat the demon warlord that sent Samanosuke out in grand fashion or would Onimusha 3 see the demise of the series? We head to war across time in this Onimusha 3 review!
Onimusha 3 Plot:
Our hero Samanosuke has returned after disappearing without a trace for over ten years since he first fought the Demon Lord Fortinbras. Jubei, the hero from the second game is not included in this game along with any of his friends. While it’s not a big deal, it would have been cool to see Samanosuke and Jubei team up to defeat Nobunaga for my Onimusha 3 review.
Anyway, Samanosuke is hot on the trail of Nobunaga and has hunted him down to his guarded temple. After fighting through his army of undead demons, Samanosuke confronts Nobunaga. As they begin to battle, a mysterious black circle engulfs Samanosuke and he is transported 500 years into the future to Paris, France in the year 2004. Demons begin to transport themselves through time and start attacking citizens of France. A brave police officer named Jacques fends off some of the demons before being caught in a time trap and sent back 500 years into the past to Japan ten days before Samanosuke’s raid on Nobunaga’s temple.
The marketing team for Onimusha hyped up the actor that played Jacques. I recognized him but I don’t know who is he and didn’t care that he was featured. His voice acting was fine, but I wasn’t blown away during my Onimusha 3 review. Anyway, Samanosuke and Jacques must find their way back to their own times with help from some friends including Jacques’ girlfriend and his son, Henri. I find kids in video games really annoying, but Henri was okay.
With help from the demon scientist Guildenstern (remember him from the first game?), the demons have built time-traveling devices and sent demons to attack the time period that they felt would most benefit them. I’m not sure why 2004 was the year to strike, but that’s what they chose. Yes, you do get to kill Guildenstern and yes, it feels great. I thought he was a great villain and I’m happy that he’s a fightable boss, unlike in the first game.
In the end, Samanosuke defeats Nobunaga with help from Jacques, and Jacques goes back to his time period. After the credits, a new Japanese warlord is riding on his horse and declares that it’s now his turn to start his reign. I know there’s a fourth Onimusha game so perhaps that is the start of the story for that game. I don’t know, I haven’t played it.
Onimusha 3 Gameplay:
Like the other Onimusha games, Onimusha 3 opens up with a fantastic video although nothing will beat the first video, and it’s not as good as the second, but the opening is still fun to watch. This game feels much darker than the previous two games. The first game was gory, but Onimusha 3 turns it up a notch with the descriptions of deaths and violence shown. When Paris is under attack from demons you watch people get sliced in half and brutally murdered. Once the chaos was over, I investigated some of the bodies and the descriptions…well they didn’t hide anything!
“His face twisted in pain from his windpipe being cut”.
It was cool being able to change times and explore both Paris in 2004 and Japan in the 1500s. The two vastly different settings made gameplay fresh and kept things interesting during my Onimusha 3 review. When I played as Samanosuke in the city, I got vibes of Resident Evil with the crashed vehicles on fire and demons walking around. Switching eras was a smart move by Capcom and it was even better that you played as a police officer in 1500s Japan and a samurai in 2000s France. Each environment was fun to explore but I feel like the graphics were worse than Onimusha 1 and 2. Some prerendered environments looked more pixelated than previous games.
Throughout your journey, you will level up your weapons by collecting the souls of the enemies you defeat. I like that every game had different weapons to try out and even Jacques had to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat except for his finishing move which was a pistol. For the first time in the series, I favored the heavy weapons during my Onimusha 3 review instead of the faster-paced swords.
To help on your quest was a cute little Tengu fairy named Ako who is super helpful in a few different ways. The first thing that she can do is transport items between Samanosuke and Jacques. Much of the puzzles require Samanosuke and Jacques to work together 500 years apart. It’s a neat idea that for the most part worked out well. There may be an important item that is lost in one time period or broken, but able in the other time period. You’ll be able to send Ako through time with the item to deliver it to the party that needs it.
Ako also wears vests. Sounds boring, right? But these vests are magical! Depending on the color of the vest you’ll have different perks. Some include being able to suck up souls faster, turning all souls red, having souls come out of an enemy every time you strike them, healing powers, and less magic consumed when you use it. These perks came in extremely helpful during my Onimusha 3 review, especially the white vest that healed you if you didn’t move. Every time I battled, if I was damaged I equipped the white vest and had Ako heal me. It was slow but it was better than wasting a healing item on me. I saved all of those for serious boss fights. In the end, I had stockpiled like 20 healing items for the final fight and was well-prepared.
In some missions, you’ll have a partner tag along which is fine because they help out when you fight but afterward is when I have an issue with them. No matter who it is they often stand in your way. In the sewers when I was Samanosuke, Michelle would constantly be in my way and I’d have to continuously run into her to push her out of the way. It was annoying and I wish they addressed that because it wasn’t the only time it happened in my Onimusha 3 review.
Another point of frustration was attacking enemies on stairs. I didn’t have any issues in the first two games but in Onimusha 3 I often found myself missing my strikes when demons were above or below me on stairs. It didn’t matter that I was facing them directly, I couldn’t hit them until I was on their level. You didn’t fight a ton of enemies on stairs but I did find it frustrating when I had to.
The dark realm is back and so is that weird upside man who is creepy. I remember desperately making my way down the dark realm in the first Onimusha but with the ability to heal after battles with the white vest, it was a breeze fighting through the dark realm this time. You can go to it at different times and get unique treasures but the realm is much more elaborate with multiple paths. It has a map after you beat a floor to see where you are in the realm and to plan where you want to go. Once again, I unlocked the legendary sword but I was only able to use it briefly which was a bummer.
Near the end of the game, you have to transverse the Eifel Tower to stop the demons. This was the most frustrating part of my Onimusha 3 review as the time lapses continue to erupt throughout your path with “spinners” as I call them (Demons who spin their way toward you and knock you backward) continue to approach you. I was knocked into those stupid time-lapse zones a dozen times before I was able to reach the top of the tower. If you get knocked into one, they transport you to the bottom of the Eifel Tower where you have to start all over again. Even if you block the spinning attack, it still knocks you backward.
The final fight was against Nobunaga and there wasn’t much strategy that went into it. I slashed him to pieces before he transported me to a demon realm where I defeated him. In the end, Samanosuke sucks his soul up into his gauntlet. I thought it was cool, I liked it, and it was a fitting end to a great trilogy.
I loved the humor and characters from Onimusha 2, I never thought it’d be the crown jewel in the series without Samanosuke, but I missed that humor in the third game. Onimusha 3 was much darker and lacked any comic relief that made the second game so great. Ako is the closest thing to comic relief but she is just more cute than funny.
My memories of the Onimusha series fade with each entry in the series. I vividly remember playing the first game in sixth grade and thinking it was the coolest thing ever while showing my friends the opening video. The second Onimusha still has memories but I didn’t beat it and I didn’t get to the end but I do remember playing it with two of my friends multiple times and acting like the characters in the game. By the time the third game came out, I don’t remember playing it much. I played it by myself but I was entering the phase where I didn’t play video games much. The first part of the game I remember well, but after that, I don’t think I got very far.
It was nice to play the series over one month and complete the story. I loved the setting and thought the overall story was great. Where else can you find demon zombies and samurai?
Onimusha 3 Review Score:
Onimusha 3 fittingly completes the series in two separate eras. I missed the humor from the second game and had a few minor gameplay complaints with combat. There are some bumps in the game, but overall the third Onimusha sits at the table with the first and second. The first game is great but it’s too short. The second game is where the series peaks and the third is the longest but it also has some flaws that the others don’t.
Onimusha 3 scores an 8.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Onimusha 3 review? Do you remember when Onimusha 3 first came out? What is your favorite game in the series? Did you like the ending? What was your favorite weapon to use? Do you want to see a series revival? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!