[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/otogi2/cover.jpg[/floatleft]Artistic is not a word often used to describe a video game experience. Most people see games as simply entertainment and not art, but [i]Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors[/i] refutes that point. [i]Otogi 2[/i] is visually stunning, audibly incredible, and as entertaining as any other game currently on the market. The first [i]Otogi[/i] is best described as a sleeper hit. It was unexpectedly excellent and was met with exceptional reviews and a great deal of praise. Otogi 2 is no different from its predecessor.
The story presented in the original game is continued in [i]Otogi 2[/i]-simply put, demons are trying to take over the world. Raikoh (the hero of [i]Otogi[/i]) has again been asked to help vanquish them, and he is now met with the help of five other warriors. Each of the six characters in [i]Otogi 2[/i] has different strengths and weaknesses, adding a certain depth of strategy that was not available in the first game. There are 29 stages, grouped into sets of three or four “phases.” The player can only choose each character once per phase, so it becomes important to select characters who are the most suited to tackle the tasks of each stage. Each of the 29 stages also has the added benefit of being nearly completely destructible. At the end of each stage, you are given a rating for how much havoc you can inflict in each stage. Destroying everything in site is an amazingly satisfying gaming experience.
The weapons and upgrade system has also been updated. Each character now has a specific set of weapons at their disposal instead of the great plethora of different weapons that were available to Raikoh in the first [i]Otogi[/i]. Different spells are available to each character, upgrade orbs can be found scattered around the stages, and gold (which is earned in the stages) can be used to purchase weapons and other upgrades to increase strength, agility, and other character attributes. All of the different weapons, spells, and attribute upgrades really provide an expansive RPG feeling, which strongly complements a very fast action game.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/otogi2/ss05_thumb.jpg[/floatright]The gameplay in [i]Otogi 2[/i] is frantic and fast with minimal amounts of frame rate slowdown even with huge numbers of enemies on the screen. The particle effects are amazing. Petals falling from trees look incredibly real, ice and water are cool and smooth-looking, and the ripple effects on the surface of water are incredibly well done. The lighting and destructive effects are perfect, and the spell effects are mesmerizing. The game supports HDTV 480p, and on top of that Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is fully supported. The surround sound is amazing, and the soundtrack is rich and mythical. All of the effects are clean and interesting. It is amazing how well both the visuals and the soundtrack complement the spirit and the bravado of an amazing game play experience.
After all is said and done, [i]Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors[/i] is an incredible game that should not be overlooked. [i]Otogi 2[/i] is the epitome of art with amazing visuals and an engrossing soundtrack. If you like hack-and-slash games, enjoy a fast-paced experience, or simply like art, drop the $40 dollars on this game-and do it quickly. Due to disappointing sales, it has become hard to find and is no longer being stocked by EBGames or Gamestop*. If you can find [i]Otogi 2[/i], you need to snatch it up and bask in its beauty.
*[i]As of publishing this I know Huebner Oaks and a few other stores still have new and used copies of this game. You can check availability on the EBGames.com website.[/i]