Fri, May 02, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Computer game reviews

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Onimusha CT

International Distributor: Capcom

Local Distributor: Electronic Arts Taiwan

Platforms: Chinese for PC and PS2

Taiwan release: This month

Onimusha, set in 16th century feudal Japan, has long been a favorite of PS2 gamers, with its action appeal strengthened by a hero based on the pop and cinema idol Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武), who plays the character Samanosuke.

The game, available in Japanese and English in PS2 versions, has now been released as Onimusha CT for the Chinese market. The Chinese edition is being released both on the established PS2 platform and the PC platform. While the second game in the series is currently available in Japanese and English, with a third scheduled for release later this year, the Chinese edition is a localized version of the first Onimusha game.

The survival/slasher game puts you in control of Samanosuke, a samurai warrior with many hits to his credit, not least taking out the evil warlord Nobu Nobunaga (1534 to 1582) in a daring assassination. As Onimusha CT opens, it is payback time, with Nobunaga back from the dead and ready to get even. The game scenario starts off with Nobunaga kidnapping Samanosuke's childhood sweetheart, and what follows is, naturally enough, the rescue of said sweetheart by brave hero.

In its mixture of horror (the ghost of Nobunaga and his demonic forces) and sci-fi fantasy genres, Onimusha CT bears some similarities to Resident Evil.

Splendid atmospheric graphics help give artistry to the slasher genre, and for those who care about such things, Takeshi Kaneshiro also took a part in creating the sounds and backing music for the game.

Cultures 2: Gates of Asgard

International distributor: JoWooD

Local distributor: T-Times

Platform: Chinese for PC

Taiwan release: this month

Cultures 2 by JoWooD continues a strong line of Sim City-type games. In moving to the second generation, the designers have extended the scope of the game to encompass the whole world, allowing players to experience cultural development in a whole range of cultures.

One of the biggest differences from previous games has been the incorporation of role-play elements into what is basically a city-building game structure, so that personality is added to the factors of production and construction.

Each character in Cultures 2 has their unique life experience. This can be sketched out by the player as the character grows and develops, marries, has children and dies -- all in response to the economic conditions that the player is able to create.

At the same time, the character is able to take jobs, study and generally seek to learn and adapt to the world around him or her. The combination of role-play in a Civilization-like game means that the various wars affect not just faceless military units, but the characters who inhabit your world.

The cartoon-like computer graphics have a fresh simplicity to them, with the costumes and architecture of individual cultures reflected in the appearance of the game characters.

According to Antonio Lu (呂維振), the senior editor of Gamebase Website, each character becomes an integral character in the game, a link in the passing of information and experience from one generation to the next.

"You need to establish schools and provide job opportunities so that your society can go on developing," he said. "By putting these different gaming formats together, it is hoped that Cultures 2 will appeal to both fans of role-play and of building/production games, Lu said.

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