Did you guys check out the demo for Onore no Shinzuru Michi wo Yuke (Oreike is the official shorthand name)? I just did and I must say it’s pretty impressive and one of the most creative game (to me at least, but it’s actually based on a ) since Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida or 2.
It’s pretty hard to describe the game in words, you really have to download the 3Mb demo to see how it works. But basically it’s an action puzzler that features a ninja (that will be you) who must clear all kinds of gimmicks and kill enemies who are in his way to meet the boss of the stage. However, certain gimmicks on stage require more than one person to solve. You won’t have any partner throughout the game to help you but fortunately you know some Bunshin Jutsu, which allows several versions of you to be everywhere at the same time.
The game achieves this by letting you perform your actions and when it comes to a tricky spot, you can pause the game to have another you loaded to the beginning of the stage. A replay of your previous actions will be loaded at the same time in the form of ghost and stop at the point where you switch to your current self. For example if there are two switches that are far away from each other and need to be pressed at the same time to open a secret staircase. You can first press one switch, load another you to press another switch, then load another you again to enter the staircase.
To make it even more frantic, you must complete each stage within one minute and this include beating the stage boss. So there’s plenty of thinking need to be done in order to make yourself more efficient and make sure you have plenty of time left to deal with the boss because they will be back to full health when you come back. Fortunately, you will often unlock a short cut to get to these bosses quickly.
The demo contains a tutorial and a demo exclusive stage with four floors so I’m not sure if this will gets too repetitive in the full game but the gimmicks I’ve seen so far are so well thought out that I always feel like there must be places where I can cut down my time some more. It’s also has the potential to be really addictive as I keep telling myself to try once more.
Besides solving gimmicks and trying to cut down your time, you’ll need to do some basic attack in the game too. Pressing the circle button lets you do melee attack while the square button are for special ninja skills like dropping a statue to help you keep a switch pressed or launch fire attack on the enemies (press the triangle button to switch to different ninja skill).
Another aspect of the game that makes it so unique is the art style, every screen looks like a beautiful traditional Japanese painting. The only real animation you will see most of the time is the ninja, which is well animated, the rest of the game is basically 2D with simple back and forth animation for the enemies but they looks natural in the world and given the number of ghosts you will eventually have on stage, it’s probably a good idea to keep things simple.
The demo is too short for good but the game looks promising (I can already imagine how hard it will be with the amount of things they can do with the gimmicks) and the art style really did it for me. The full game will has a Story Mode that requires you to save a daughter of a feudal lord, Mission Mode and also support for multiplayer via the Ad Hoc mode. From the demo, it doesn’t seems hard to play without knowing Japanese but I will wait a little to see if any publisher in the US will pick this one up (the Asia version of the game is only at , which is really tempting for me). The release date in Japan is June 11.