Some games are so over the top that you wonder if the programmers even knew there was a top to begin with. Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors takes the concept of subtle, grabs it by its shirtfront, and menacingly whispers: "We don't like your kind around here". If you're looking for a button mashing demon slam-fest, then Otogi 2's your type of game.
Otogi 2 aims to assault the senses at every level. Visually, aurally and in playability the game is always on full throttle, hitting you from every angle with stunning design, crunching sound and waves of on-screen enemies.
While there are some role playing aspects and strategy involved, the game is a button mashing action title at heart. You play as one of six selectable characters, with your main goal for practically every level being to destroy everything and anything you come across.
Set in medieval Japan, the game's plot revolves around a hoard of demons planning to overrun the nation. The game's main character, the undead warrior Raikoh, is resurrected by the wizard Seimei to take on the demons, but he won't be doing it alone. Seimei's four generals - Kintoki, Tsuna, Sadamitsu and Suetake - are also called on to defend Japan.
Each of the different immortal warriors have different strengths and weaknesses, making some more suitable than others in clearing out certain demon infested levels. Raikoh is the most balanced character, while Kintoki for example has poor jump but excellent power, and Sadamitsu has poor power but is extremely agile.
Levels are essentially large spaces where your main goal for the most part is to attack anything in sight. And that's not only beasties - trees, rocks, bridges, lamps and buildings can all be crushed. If you can see it in Otogi 2, you can reduce it to rubble.
Attacks are fairly straightforward and shouldn't confuse anyone familiar with these type of games. B initiates a light attack, Y a strong attack, X is for throwing magic spells and A is for jump. While there are simple combos available, flailing away at B and Y with the occasional X tap should be more than enough to get you through.
The RPG elements of the game are pretty light on, but you do need to manage each characters' levels, spells and special equipment to get through the game. The characters all have typical RPG stats like stamina, intelligence, strength and so on, which increase with every fight but can also be boosted through the purchase of special upgrades in a shop. Special new spells, accessories and weapons can also be purchased, each of which have varying effects on the different types of demons you'll come across.
All this subtlety is left behind once you hit the battlefields, however. Otogi 2's gameplay, with the ability to destroy anything in a level, leads to insane battles where demons big and small, debris and dust are flying absolutely everywhere in a near chaotic fashion. One stage early in the game sees you trapped in a large well surrounded by floating face-like demons. Continuously attacking scored me a 900-hit combo - not the only time in the game that you'll be able to cause that much carnage.
The game actually encourages wanton destruction, as each level has a number of spirits hidden within the level's architecture. Free them all by destroying everything and you're given a tidy reward at the end. There's even a separate game mode called Havoc, in which you're destruction is timed. Beat the clock and once again you're given nice rewards.
The game's visual effects are top notch, with each blow you make sending a blur effect throughout the screen. There's also plenty of style present in all of the creature and character design throughout Otogi 2. Sound is first rate, and while the music is non intrusive, all the blows you deliver and buildings collapsing sound crisp and weighty.
With so much happening on the screen at any time, perhaps the biggest flaw of Otogi 2 is the camera. It does a decent job of keeping the action centered on your character at all times, but it doesn't change with the angle you're facing. This means you'll easily get disoriented when enemies rush you from all sides. You can quickly set the camera behind you by pressing down on the left joystick, but that often leads to more confusion.
In fact, the game can get too overwhelming at times. With all the enemies plus the other blurring and particle effects happening on screen at the same time, it's sometime difficult to follow what's happening, or even which way you're being attacked from.
The game's menu system is also rather clunky and convoluted. You have to go down into several layers of the menu just to save your progress, and buying equipment for characters can become a chore because you're never quite sure which one you're buying for.
Negatives aside, Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors delivers quality over the top chaotic action that's easy to get into.
Keep up to date with the latest games news, reviews and features by signing up to CNET.com.au's free Games Spotlight weekly newsletter. Sign up now!