Oni is the Japanese word for Ghost or Demon.
The game is set in 2032 and the world is run by one government known as The World Coalition Government. It is a world where rich people live in big cities and poor people live on the outskirts barely surviving.
Konoko and her partner Shinatama are law enforcers for the Technology Crimes Task Force (TCTF). Their main task is to keep cyber drugs and illegal weapons off the streets. Shinatama is a SLD android with the body of a small child, she is neurally linked to Konoko and knows her every thought, they can communicate using this mind link and Shinatama often gives Konoko advice.
Your first mission, after training, is to break into the building of an organisation called The Syndicate and investigate. As you progress through the game you begin to uncover clues as to what is going on and you realise that you have been lied to and the TCTF isn't telling you everything. You also find out you have a lot more in common with your enemy than you first thought.
It's mostly an action game but contains a good story too including sad parts. Here's a picture from the game, just before Konoko gets double crossed. I won't say what happens but it is very sad. After this sequence Konoko speaks to another character and you can hear anger in her voice which I think is a good effect. Unlike in a lot of other games the main character has emotions.
The main drawback in this game is the graphics, every stage is similar to the last. The camera angle is always behind Konoko so the only time you see her face is during FMV sequences and her lips don't move when she speaks, she never blinks her eyes and her hair is always in the same position. But apart from that it's a great game. It's a mixture of a shoot-em-up and a beat-em-up and there are also special moves to unlock just like in other beat-em-ups. There is also a fantastic dream sequence that you get to play within the game!
The PC version has a strange control system. Instead of using a joypad the keyboard is used for direction controls and the mouse for fighting. This may seem strange for a third person perspective game but it's a lot better than using a joypad. A joypad option would have been good though for people not used to playing games with a mouse. The PC version also requires a high end graphics card for the game to work, which at the time of its initial release wasn't common spec on most computers, but for a modern computer nowadays this will be not be a problem even for a small laptop.
The main thing I love about this game is the Japanese anime style it has even though it's an American game.
Even though Oni is a popular game Bungie software have no plans to make a sequel. This is what Bungie had to say about it: "Although Oni was designed and created by Bungie, it was actually sold as a trademarked property to Take 2 Games - who once owned a share in Bungie, before we were acquired by Microsoft."
If you're feeling anxiety about there not being a sequel you could try playing Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex on the PlayStation 2 or PSP, it's a very similar game to Oni and it even has the same energy bar. I think the game's designers must have been influenced by Oni.
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