The action is repetitive, but fun. The story draws you in, and the dialog is funny. Enjoyable game overall.
Reviewed By: Colonel Link - Staff Reviewer
Content at a glance:

The violence is quite mild for a shooting/fighting game. Enemies let out a colored "dust" when hit, but this is really just a health meter telling you how much damage you are doing. Could have easily been rated E10+.

Oni is a third-person action game developed by West, a division of Studios, and released in 2001. It was West’s first and only game. It broke new ground by blending third-person shooting with hand-to-hand combat, resulting in a unique, yet familiar game for enthusiasts.

The game’s universe is heavily influenced by Masamune Shirow’s manga series Ghost in the Shell.

Story: At first you might think that Oni is your typical “I’m a game, stories aren’t important” kind of game. Well, for the most part, you’d be wrong. The story gets deeper and deeper as you go along, and while it’s no award winner, it does the job of drawing you in from start to finish.


You play as Konoko, a special agent for the TCTF(The Technological Crimes Task Force). You’re a new agent who, on your first mission, discovers a conspiracy to distribute weapons of extraordinary power. Or so you think.

The game is divided into “days”, each on containing from 1 to 4 missions. Each “day” tries to explain a bit more of the story, and the levels come together seamlessly, with no gaps in time.

Gameplay: The point of the game is to traverse through a given area while defeating many, many enemies. To accomplish this, you are given 2 options: Beat the heck out of them with punches, kicks and throws; or shoot them with a variety of firearms. But since you can only carry one weapon at a time, and ammo is scarce. hand-to-hand is your best choice. On the PC, the fight controls work pretty well: Left click to punch, and right click to kick. If you have a gun, you can pull it out and put it away with E, shoot with left click, and still kick.


Grabs and throws are a bit too hard to perform, and you’ll often find yourself swinging around and enemies neck as you crack it instead of disarming them with a kick to the face.

Violence: You may be looking at the above mentioned “neck crack” and saying that there is no way you kid is going to play this. Well hold your horses. The violence is actually very mild for a /shooter game. When enemies get shot, a little puff of either green, yellow, or red pops up depending on how much damage you’re doing; but, there is not a single drop of blood in the game. Sure, you can send enemies flying through windows and over building, but it’s very cartoony and not any worse than what you see on cartoons nowadays. The reason the violence got brought down to “mild” was due to the grabs and throws. Mos of these are pretty harmless, and just involve throwing an enemy a couple of feet, or disarming him with a nice are twist. However, if you manage to sneak up on an enemy, you can perform the game’s only on hit kill: The Back Breaker. Basically, you pull the enemy’s arms behind him and push on his back and……well you get the idea. Also, the neck breaker, although a lot milder and not a one-hit-kill, can also be a tad bit disturbing. This is really the only true “violence” in the game, as the rest of the time you sort of get the impression that you just knocked you enemies out. Not to mention these grabs are extremely hard to get, as I only managed to do them 4 or 5 times during the whole game.


Language: Hell and d**n are used 2 to 3 times each.

Spiritual Content: One of the characters in named Barabas.

Sexual Content: Konoko’s outfit is a tad bit form fitting, but nothing to really be worried about.

Conclusion: Oni is a pretty good, if a bit repetitive, action game that you’ll probably end up playing through a couple of times since you can unlock characters and cheats. Hardcore gamers won’t be that impressed, but seeing as it’s a pretty kid friendly, fun game, I can honestly recommend it to anyone.

Discuss this review in the Guide 2 Games Message Boards

Year of Release — 2001

tag, , , , , , ,

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

About this game