ONINAKI (Switch) First Impressions

Oninaki is a wonderfully crafted action-RPG game from the developers of I am Setsuna, Tokyo RPG Factory. This game follows the story of Kagachi, a Watcher who protects Life after death and guides lost souls back to the path to reincarnation with the ability to travel between the world of the living and the world of the dead.

Oninaki delivers breathtaking artwork from characters and maps to even speech bubbles. This game is truly pleasing to the eyes. Vibrant colors fill your screen matched with the right sound effects. Exploring areas lets you feel the environment and nature of the game. Through Oninaki’s sound design the chirping of the birds, the flow of the water in the river, and the rustling of the leaves makes this game feel so alive. With all this vibrance in this game it also presents darkness efficiently. The deepness of the story emanates from the brightness of the Living World to the darkness of the The Beyond.

But enough talk about how this game looks, let us delve deeper on how this game plays. First off, this game’s combat style is hack-and-slack which makes for the Action part of its genre. Fight difficulties can be freely adjusted through the Waystone menu which is also a means of saving your game and fast-traveling throughout the map. Normal battles with enemies roaming around the areas can be a little bit lacking but boss fights are really engaging. I found myself running Kagachi around while watching the boss enemy’s movements and planning my attacks effectively. Skills are easy enough to perform as they are assigned to four specific buttons. With that said, you can only assign four skills at a time to your Daemons.

Now let us move on to terms and specifics of this game, since there is a lot to mention.

1. The two worlds: Living World and The Beyond – as you play the game you will be constantly switching between these two worlds (ZL button) to accomplish your goals.

2. Daemons – are souls who lost their way and their memories and were not able to be reincarnated. You can form bonds with them and fight alongside them. You can assign four Daemons in your party and they can be equipped with weapons and skills. You can switch between your four Daemons with the use of the right analog stick and every Daemon has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of enemies that you are fighting.

3. Skill Tree – is like a map of your Daemon’s soul and as you unlock one piece at a time, you will also be unlocking their memories which you can access through the Demon Lore tab and will help you form a deeper bond with them. As you unlock parts in the Skill Tree, it will also Rank up your Daemon and make them stronger in battle. To unlock skills and abilities you will nee Soulstones which you will acquire through battling.

4. Skills – are unlocked in the Skill Tree and equipped to four dedicated buttons (ZR, R, X and A).

5. Affinity and Manifest – are features that make the Daemon stronger during battle. Affinity is acquired as you are battling and rises as you defeat your enemies. When your Affinity reaches to 100, you can Manifest your Daemon with the use of the L shoulder button which is like your Daemon going into a trance making their stats higher for a limited time. Be careful, though, because when your Affinity reaches above 150 it will certainly increase your Attack but lower your Defense.

Oninaki is truly an engaging game with a lot of quirks to it beyond what we have discussed. It is now your turn as a player to delve deeper into this game and discover more to it than what you have read here. Oninaki seems to be a promising game with its artworks’ beauty, the deep story, and engaging gameplay. This game will surely make you lose your self but be sure to come back to the Living World before the Watchers find your soul lost in The Beyond.


Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
Publisher: Square Enix
More Info Available on Nintendo eShop