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Another village has been brutalized by a host of ghastly creatures. Ten years after Samanosuke Akechi battled a resurrected demon lord in Onimusha, Nobunaga has returned to terrify and oppress innocents across the country. Fortunately a young samurai, Jubei Yagyu, has noticed the spread of evil and resolved to battle the demonic forces wherever he finds them.
The famous Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda, best known in the U.S. for the 1989 movie Black Rain, was the model for Jubei Yagyu. Matsuda died in 1989 of cancer, but returns for a starring role in Onimusha 2. Capcom also hired Keita Amamiya as character designer, director, and illustrator to insure a high-quality product. Onimusha 2 includes twice as many cut-scenes as the original, and the quality of these cut-scenes has been dramatically improved. Action stars were hired to add additional realism.
Jubei is noticeably more powerful than his predecessor, Samanosuke. Jubei has a new set of devastating moves called "Ohgi," or "esoteric fighting," and is the master of the Yagyu Shinkage style. Players have the option of choosing a partner from four available fighters (who gain experience and unique moves along with Jubei), or going solo. Fighting alone is much more difficult, but the option is included for those experienced players searching for a stiff challenge.
More emphasis has been placed on storytelling, which includes realistic historical snippets, and the gameplay allows multiple storylines depending on player decisions. Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny takes advantage of the PlayStation 2's impressive graphics capabilities. Gameplay still takes place against pre-rendered backgrounds, but the character animations have been updated to take full advantage of the PS2's abilities. New environments include the town of Imasho, the sacred shrine of the Oni Clan, foggy gorges, secluded forests, a gold-rush town, caves, and a remote gold mine. The soundtrack boasts music from the famous composer Taro Iwashiro. ~ Mark Hoogland, All Game Guide