Otogi: Myth of Demons

September 9, 2003

Otogi is about a skilled warrior named Raikoh who is trapped between the world of the living and the dead. He is tasked with purging the world of demons to cleanse his soul from his past misdeeds. To understand the storyline any further might require the study of classic Japanese mythology. Lets be real here, I don’t have time to do that and most people probably don’t really care that much. The important part that you do need to know is that Raikoh is a bad to the bone warrior and he is out for blood. This is where you come in.

The first thing you will notice about Otogi is the very Japanese feel the game has. Everything from the menus to the loading screen and the music just screams traditional Japanese setting. This is obviously due to the origins of the game’s story.

As you begin your journey, you will want to become familiar with the game menu as you have the ability to purchase new weapons, magic, and accessories that affect your levels of magic, attack, and defense. You also have the ability to repair weapons you already own. This repair will restore the vitality of the weapon, which allows you to do better combos.

The entire buy/sell/repair aspect of the game adds a nice RPG feel, not to mention that you level up as you go along. I am a big sucker for games that have mild amounts of RPG in them as I enjoy the leveling up aspect as you feel like you are growing with your character as you play. I do not, however, enjoy full on turn based RPGs. So Otogi is a nice mix of RPG and hack and slash much like Dynasty Warriors 3 and 4 only in a much different setting.

The actual combat system allows you to lock on to enemies or just freely attack. You have a heavy and light attack as well as magic that can be used to build some devastating combos. Another interesting thing is that all weapons have a weight. This weight directly affects the power of your attacks. Light weapons boost your light attack and allow you to jump higher. Heavy weapons give a boost to your heavy attacks but put a slight damper on your jumping ability.

The entire concept of Otogi is that you are trapped in this sort of netherworld between life and death and the developers did an absolutely fantastic job of making you feel that way while playing the game. The soft lighting that is present in the game makes it feel as though you are battling demons in a dreamworld. I can safely say that I have not played a game that made extensive use of this kind of lighting and I was highly impressed.

The music in the game just seemed to add to the dreamworld effect. A nice feature to boot is the in game Dolby Digital sound (which I am still unable to utilize at this point).

One more thing I must emphasize about Otogi is the difficulty. I have played the game for a good couple of hours already and I am only on the 7th level. This game is not a walk
the park. There is a good reason you are allowed to replay levels in their current state, because you will not get 100% on them the first time around. The game actually borders on frustrating during some levels.

Let me sum it up for you… Otogi is a 3rd person hack and slash game with nice RPG elements in the form of a level and weapon system. It has beautiful graphics and sound that accompanies the game perfectly. It can get very frustrating, but it is not unbearably hard. While the story line is a tad bit hard to follow in my eyes, I think it’s a superb game that took a lot of people by surprise. If you are reading this then you probably don’t have a copy of the game and you might want to start hunting one down as most of the game stores that I know of only got 2-3 copies of the game. Even EBGames.com has Otogi on backorder. All in all, I have been extremely happy with Otogi and the $39.99 retail price is a nice change from the $50 we are used to paying.

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.