Welcome to the 81st issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a revival of our once-weekly feature where we share our favorite games and applications with you. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention! Today, we're going to take a look at a game overlooked by many, on a platform you may not have touched before. From the publishers of the merciless, unforgiving franchise that is Dark Souls, comes a predecessor that focused on hack and slash, and a world built on fantasy. This is: Otogi: Myth of Demons Otogi is a fantasy Hack and Slash game that was exclusive to Microsoft's Original Xbox console. Boasting over 29 stages, destructible environments, lush landscapes, a wonderful overarching story, and tight entertaining gameplay, Otogi holds its head high as one of the great RPG's on the Xbox console. The gameplay has that From Software finesse to it, with multiple styles of attack, magic, hit combos, and movement. The fast-paced style of attacking your enemies helps to separate it from the reputation of the Souls series, however, and you won't be ripping your hair out at the difficulty either. Otogi has the gameplay to stand on its own, as well as the story and visuals to back it up. Otogi follows Raikoh Minahmoto, a son born to an ancestry of executioners. He is one day commanded to kill his own father, to which he refuses by stealing his clans' ancestral sword, and fleeing to the capital city of Kyoto. But stealing the blade came at a price, the price of breaking the separation between the Human world, and the Demon world. Now it is up to Raikoh to restore the world to order, all while battling the very clan that forced his hand in the first place. While I previewed the gameplay above, Otogi has a wonderful action feel to it. While the camera can play with you a bit, the overall combat is solid, fast, and fluid. Slashes are chained in combos against beasts both big and small, and the pacing never slows down. You also have access to an array of other weaponry, including 33 different weapons, 12 different spells, and over 29 different environments to explore and battle in. And remember that destructible environment I mentioned? It only adds to the possibilities of taking out your enemies with environmental hazards, or just looking like a badass when boulders crumble around you. And the best part about it is, it's all accessible to you. While the options for combat vary, it isn't complex, doesn't take long to get used too, and is much easier to jump right into and have fun slashing the mess out of your enemies. You have your 2 attack buttons, one for light attacks and one for heavy, a dash button, and a lock on button. Not to mention your jumps, which soar you and your enemy into the air for flowing air strikes. Did I mention the dash button can also keep you airborne? You can play an entire stage without touching the ground and still slice and dice through the enemies in style. But what is your overall goal? I keep talking up the hacking and slashing, but where's my motivation? Why won't I get bored and just take things easy? Well, that's where the interesting twist to Otogi comes in. You also have to play fast, as one of your other missions is to free souls within the stages, that are trapped both within the environment and within your enemies. The problem is, most souls are freed with your magic, which is actually limited and constantly depleting unless you continue to wreak havoc on the enemy and landscape around you. You'll find yourself balancing fast action with strategic thinking in attempting to piece out how to efficiently take down enemies while having enough power to free the souls. Or you can just obliterate everything that works too. It should also be mentioned that those weapons you want to get your hands on are also unlocked based on performance or requirements in levels. Some are obtained by how fast you beat a stage, others can be bought by finding loot, and there's always a chance you can find one just laying around somewhere. Depends on how you play really, but it makes for some interesting changes to your playstyle. Otogi isn't without its share of problems, though. Hack and Slash does inevitably see the amusement rate decline the further in you go, and Otogi may not be an exception for you either. Not to mention, while the environments are pretty and impressive, they are also reused and rehashed a number of times throughout the game. As a matter of fact, some levels are mirrored because they're, "the shadow version." Nice cop out there From Soft. There are also minor frame-rate dips as too many enemies arrive on screen, and as I mentioned before, the camera likes to mess with you from time to time and doesn't respond quickly enough to you getting hit from behind. Is it enough to make the game unplayable? No. A little annoying at times? Certainly. And are these problems enough to make you want to stay away from Otogi? I should hope not, you'd be missing out on a wonderful experience. Otogi was unique for its time, a wonderful edition to the hack and slash genre, and a noteworthy title in From Software's library. Now let's see a revival sometime From Soft, the Xbox needs more exclusives. This game is playable on a Xbox 360, as long as the system has a hard drive in it. However, you may face frame drops and sound issues, due to the game not being optimized for 360 backward compatibility. Genre: Hack n' Slash Release Year: 2003 Developer: From Software Published by: Sega Directed By: Rintaro Yamada Released For: Xbox Original If you enjoyed this week's edition of GBAtemp Recommends! Please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future. If you would like to see the original archive of our previous entries, you can look at our archived content here.