Underrated Games: Oni

Way before Bungie went on to develop what would become the billion dollar franchise known as Halo, they created a variety of other games, one of these games being the game Oni. It was on Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, but the version I'm pretty sure most of us played was the version on the PlayStation 2 which was published by Rockstar games (who we all know and love for making Grand Theft Auto). The game was heavily influenced by Ghost In The Shell and if you have seen that film then you will notice the influences pretty quickly. You play as a human girl, code-named Konoko (who looks a lot like Mokoto Kusanagi) who begins working for the police and fights against a crime organisation called The Syndicate who have so many troopers that you would think that they were an army.

This game was pretty cool as it brought anime style graphics to a wider audience (there was even a comic-book/manga version of Oni published by Dark Horse Comics). The character animations are really smooth and it mixed gunplay together with melee combat. But despite actually enjoying this game, it hasn't aged well over time. In my personal opinion, the controls really let this game down as they make the game more difficult than it really should be. Remember how the PS2 can play PS1 games as well, and that they require the D-Pad? Well this game kind of messed up its control scheme in the sense that the movement of the character was designed to be used on the D-Pad with the looking around done on the right analogue stick. This means that you can’t avoid guards too well when they attack you, and that you've just got to take your punishment like a man... or woman.

Also, I find that some of the levels suffer from lack of detail, you'll be in a street and there will be literally nothing there, not even a trash can. But really, you can't complain seeing as this game is about 11 years old. Oni is worth playing for sure, and I think it will be remembered fondly in years to come. It's probably one of the few anime related PlayStation 2 games you can still find quite frequently when browsing second-hand game shops.

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