Oniken: Unstoppable Edition released simultaneously with Odallus: The Dark Calling from JoyMasher and Digerati that is a modern take on retro style NES era style games. While Odallus went for a Castlevania-esque style game that incorporated a bunch of elements from other games from Metroid to Ghost ‘n’ Goblins and more, Oniken is inspired by games such as Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi, and ShatterHand with a focus on pattern memorization and white-knuckle edge of your seat nonstop action that brings you back to the 80s and early 90s but without the infamous “NES Hard” pull your hair out difficulty yet don’t let the get you to thinking that the game is easy because it is by no means easy at all.
Oniken stars a mysterious Ninja called Zaku who is pretty much a mixture of Ryu Hayabusa, Strider, and Kenshiro all in one (visually looking most like Kenshiro) who was hired by the military to stop a evil organization that he may have ties to. The game has a lot of aspects from the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy with the cutscenes, cutaways, and artstyle while the gameplay is heavily inspired by Shatterhand with its Run ‘n’ Gun (or Run ‘n’ Slash) gameplay that keeps you going full throttle none stop.
You have 2 buttons that you use to jump and to attack and if you press up and attack you can throw your grenades while there is a powerup that allows you to add an extension to your sword slash ala Ninja Gaiden 3: Ancient Ship of Doom’s power up yet if you get hit more than 2 times while possessing this powerup will cause you to lose this ability.
Zaku has a standard and responsive jump and his movements are responsive to a tee in whatever direction you press. One thing that’s a definite call back to Ninja Gaiden 3: Ancient Ship of Doom is the hand over head dangling from lines and branches that allow you to move forward or backward and also be able to jump above.
The levels vary from your standard side scrolling levels to some Battletoads-esque hyperbike style gaming (although no where near as hard as that damn level) and more so there’s never a dull moment or a time where you’re allowed to rest unless you’re watching one of the numerous cutscenes that the game has and those cutscenes are excellent that bring me back to the Astynaxe and Ninja Gaiden style that just works.
So with everything said about Oniken what would I say are some negatives about the game? Well the same thing as I said about Odallus, the controls or rather the lack of being able to customize your control layouts and the default layout. Other than that the game is stellar and is a good call back to the old days of the NES and Sega Master System. While I enjoyed Odallus much more than Oniken I must say that this game is still a stellar title that is a must play if you’re looking to get your old school fix then you can’t go wrong with Oniken: Unstoppable Edition as it is KASANOVA APPROVED!!!