There always exists a handful of titles that we wish had come to fruition, but were lost due to copyright battles, creative differences, or marketing troubles. The latest series that seems to be missing the next-gen ship is Onimusha, the action-adventure hack and slash whose shurikens will apparently fly no more.
After a seven year hiatus, Capcom made the series’ presence known again with the 2019 remaster of Onimusha: Warlords. In fact, the publisher appeared to be teasing its continued development, with whispers of a new addition on the horizon. However, according to Yai Gameworks developer and industry insider Dusk Golem, Onimusha will not make a triumphant return due to lack of interest. Golem revealed that the recent remaster was somewhat of a “test” by Capcom, designed to see if there was still a demand for the game influenced by Japanese history. Sadly, considering the remaster sold leagues below Capcom’s hopes, it appears that the remaster was Onimusha’s swan song.
The HD remaster of Warlords – a breath of fresh air injected into Onimusha’s first title from 2001 – was an attempt to resonate with with fans who were silently waiting for the PS2 classic to rise again. The original’s promising success in 2001 slowly faded in the years to come, as Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny (2002) and Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (2004) failed to deliver the same impact. Capcom’s final original title for the series, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, released in 2006 and stood as the series’ longest title, despite past reviews criticizing each game’s length.
Dusk Golem also noted the remaster’s healthy budget in the post, emphasizing Capcom’s eagerness to bring Onimusha into the upcoming generation. The remaster received ports for modern consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, but players criticized its inability to evolve. Many responding to Golem’s tweet pointed out that the second and third titles in the Onimusha series might’ve been better port options to help the series stand apart from current titles with similar themes.
At least Capcom knew the risk involved with reviving the forgotten swordsmen of the Sengoku period of Japan, and put some sensors into the field before charging in with another new title. With a slew of games steeped in Japanese history and mythology, all jostling for a place in the market, it appears as though Onimusha will finally be laid to rest.
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