I’ll be honest and admit that I wasn’t sure what to think when I found out that Tokyo RPG Factory’s upcoming RPG, Oninaki, would not have a turn-based combat system. After falling in love with how this classic combat system was changed up a bit in the developer’s previous titles, Lost Sphear and I Am Setsuna, I was hoping that their next game would continue on with this JRPG tradition of sorts.
Well, after going hands-on with Oninaki’s battle system, I’ve instantly noticed two things about it: One, it’s awesome, and two, it’s the best system change that Tokyo RPG Factory has made so far.
Oninaki is a step in a whole other direction for its combat when compared to what the developer has delivered in the past. I quite liked the approach of I Am Setsuna where enemy encounters initiated a turn-based battle system that rivaled classic RPGs like Chrono Trigger. Sure, it probably wasn’t the most inviting to new players, but it told me that Square Enix was listening to those of us who begged the developer to create games resembling the ones we grew up with.
It’s clear that some gamers are clearly afraid of change. I will be the first to admit that I am one of them. Which is why I was worried when I saw Oninaki‘s gameplay for the first time and how the game will be more action-focused. At the time, I asked myself, “Why Tokyo RPG Factory? Why not just stick to the solid format that you’ve been known for?” After coming to terms that maybe developers have a better idea of how to make games than I do, I opened up a little and decided to give them a chance.
You see, Oninaki has fast-paced, real-time combat where weapons need to be switched in an instant. Known as the Daemons Battle System, Oninaki full-on encourages and pretty much forces you to be on a complete full-frontal assault in every encounter you take on, in which every move made needs to be made on the fly. The game focuses on swift movements through the battlefield and quick thinking when an enemy appears before you.
It only took a few minutes to understand why the developer decided to create a game this way — and that’s because they pull it off so damn well. Each attack felt satisfying and smooth which made switching weapons to take down enemies feel so natural. In the game, Daemons give Kagachi the abilities and skills he’ll need to take down enemies and choosing the right Daemon for each situation adds a nice layer of strategy to the action-focused battle system.
Playing Oninaki put a lot of my fears to rest. I still consider myself an advocate for turn-based battle systems and classic RPGs, but the action-focused battle system was clearly used in this game because the story required it. Trying new things is difficult, especially when you develop RPGs under the shadow of the Final Fantasy series, but Oninaki has a lot to offer and the battle system is just one piece of what makes this game so charming and captivating.
Please read our full preview of Oninaki.
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