Oni

aka: Aoni
Moby ID: 3242
Windows Specs
Buy on PlayStation 2
$19.99 used, $119.99 new on eBay
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 2/24 6:20 AM )
Included in

Description official descriptions

It's 2032. The planet is now ruled by the World Coalition Government which annexed 80% of the countries, with the remaining quickly dragged into the WCG. While their official goal was to solve humankind's problems, it was about money. Massive spending bankrupted poorer countries, and soon all traces of individual government disappeared. For those who were poor, the situation didn't improved one bit, and for the richer, maintaining the status was done at the expense of their privacy and personal freedoms. To make things worse, life outside the major cities, far from the atmosphere processors is nearly impossible, as the so-called "Wilderness Preserves" are poisoned, and those who venture into them risk a painful death.

Konoko, fresh out from TCTF (Technology Crimes Task Force, a secret police to take cyber drugs and weapons from the streets, as well as explore the induced technophobia to operate and investigate on a blank check permission) academy is placed under the command of Terrance Griffin and Dr. Kerr and linked to a SLD - an android - called Shinatama, who is neurally linked to her. However, Konoko knows next to nothing about her past, other that she was orphaned at the age of three and felt "different" to other people while was being brought up under the wing of TCTF. After many years in training, she has finally the chance to prove herself to Griffin and the TCTF, and so, heads for a warehouse rumoured to be under the control of the Syndicate, a criminal organization which grew exponentially after a young man called "Boss Muro" climbed to the top of the organization.

Inspired by the classic Anime series Ghost in the Shell by Shirow Masamune, gameplay is a mix between generic third-person shooter and a classic beat'em up. While Konoko has at her disposal several hand-to-hand acrobatic moves (with more unlocked as the player advances), she can also find weapons in the levels, and the decision to go armed or bare-fisted is only up to the player. Each weapon either draws from ballistic or energy cell clips, the number of rounds in each clip depending on the weapon: a Black Adder (a short, one-hand machine gun like an Uzi) can get 30 rounds from a ballistic clip, while a Mercury Bow (a sniper railgun sans scope) only two. Combined with the limited availability of clips, this adds a strategic element to the game, as the player can only carry a weapon at a time, so if a powerful weapons runs out of ammo, the player must choose between keeping the weapon and fight hand to hand with the enemies until Konoko finds fresh ammo clips, or discard it for a lesser gun that uses different ammo. However, if the player runs out of ammo completely when facing a tough challenge, Konoko can "overdose" on hypo sprays (used to heal damage) by using them over her natural health bar, which provides her with faster movement and tougher blows.

Spellings

  • Они - Russian spelling
  • 奥妮 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (Windows version)

171 People (122 developers, 49 thanks) · View all

Project Lead
Producer
Design Lead
Art Lead
Sound & Music Lead
Testing Lead
Engineering Lead
Executive Producer
Artists
Original Concept Art
Additional Concept Art
Particle System Art
Character Animation
Cutscene Animation
Character Modeling/Texturing
Object Modeling/Texturing
Level Modeling
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 59 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 82 ratings with 8 reviews)

Interacting with terminals: the game!

The Good
It's a creative idea.

I found myself taking a liking to the hand-to-hand combat.

Dialogue is reliably entertaining.

The Bad
Graphics are very "meh".

There is not a whole lot of anime to be found in this game.

Guns are absolute ass.

As are the rest of the controls.

Story is not very engaging.

Quality and the style of the drawings is very inconsistent.

The Bottom Line
Oni is one of the first games ever created by Bungie, back before they grew popular with the Halo series. It has been on my radar for a while, not just because it is a Bungie game, which as a studio usually produces pretty good shooters, but also because it was advertised as an "anime action game". I like to pretend that I am immune to hype, but when those three words are named in one sentence, even my jaded hearth suddenly jumps back to life.

It sounded to good to be true and sadly it was. Oni is a game, I can confirm that. It also has a decent amount of action in it, though I'd argue that the majority of the gameplay consists of pressing X in front of computer screens. However, the anime influences are somewhat difficult to trace down. Aside from a pretty nice animated opening, the game relies mostly on in-game graphics, which aren't very stylized or colorful at all. In fact, most of the levels seemed to have been made in the Doom Builder, considering all the gray walls and perfectly square rooms. The only real anime influences I can detect are related to the design of the characters (which all have unnaturally colored hair) and the fact that enemies tend to scream the name of their attack. Apparently the brainstorming sessions consisted of a Digimon marathon and a collection of Tenchi Muyo fanart.

Of course visual design isn't the only element that makes an anime; the story is also important. The story of this game is heavily inspired by Ghost in the Shell, since both works are about a special task-force operating in a cyberpunk city. Players take on the role of Konoko, a female agent, who is fresh from the academy. She is tasked with taking out an evil syndicate that specialize in cyber-crime and contraband. That is the extent of the plot that I could decipher, since the game is written in medias res and I couldn't be bothered playing it for more than three hours.

Konoko and the rest of the cast I was introduced too were actually pretty entertaining and some of the dialogue had me smiling. Voice-acting is also pretty good and I would have continued playing the game if I could.

The real problem with the game is the gameplay. It boasts that the player is free to choose between fighting enemies with hand-to-hand combat or guns. This is true, but I dare you to run up to an enemy and punch him in the face when that enemy wields a freaking rocket launcher. Ammo is also very scarce, so you are encouraged to save it up for when you really need it, so there is not really a choice at all. Deus Ex did this way better, allowing the player to sneak up on enemies and knock them unconscious very easily. You can sneak in Oni, but you lack the means to take out a guard stealthily, so once you're behind him, all you can do is start punching him anyway, which will instantly attract all other nearby guards as well.

The worst part, however, are the legendarily poor controls. I am not lying when I say that this is the most uncontrollable game I've ever played, it far surpasses the likes of Conker's Bad Fur Day. Let me give you an example, a very basic one: In most games you run as fast as you can by pressing the analog stick all the way forward, but in Oni you press it all the way forward two times. Yes, it has three states of movement speed; walking, running and dashing.

The controls also tend to fail you at the worst possible times. Stuff like grabs, sliding or even just moving forward glitch out at the worst possible times. Pulling off grabs is especially random and I lost count of how often I desperately needed one to happen, but couldn't trigger it no matter how hard I tried.

Gunplay is equally useless, praise the lord for the auto-target, because it would be impossible to hit anything otherwise. There are two types of guns, pistols and rifles, whose only real differences are that one uses red ammo and the other green ammo. There is no point in devising a strategy of any sorts, since you'll always be using whatever weapon you happen to find ammo for, which itself is a rare occurrence. The scarcity of the ammunition saps all satisfaction out of the shooting mechanics, because you will always find yourself running out and having to make do without for long periods of time. Also lovely are the many times when the game gives you green ammo while you are wielding a red gun or vice versa. Especially when you then finally find a damn green gun, but can't pick it up, because the "Press R3 to pick up" prompt doesn't show up.

Oni is a game that had so much potential to be mind-blowing, but it's ultimately crippled by some very amateur design. From controls that assign important functions to unreliable buttons like R3 to boxy and colorless level-design, Oni reeks of incompetence. In a world where anime games are almost exclusively dominated by overly long RPGs and fighting games, Oni had a chance to introduce a new sub-genre, perfect for people like me who have too little time for RPGs and are terrible at tournament fighters. A failure of this magnitude must have set off a lot of alarms, because no similar games have been released since, or at least that I know if. If I am wrong, then by all means, please send me a pm.

PlayStation 2 · by Asinine (957) · 2013

A very engaging game that blends hand to hand combat with gunfighting.

The Good
The best part of the game is the plot line of a futuristic science fiction bordering on cyberpunk. The plot is carefully crafted and all the elements like consoles, news etc. supplement the plot line perfectly. The game also features a great sound track and imaginative weapons for gun fights.It has a great hand to hand game-play and the levels give a sense of a large real size of buildings. It gives every bit a sense of being part of a good Japanese anime. The entire game is played in third person camera.

If the cheats are enabled in the game and one can switch characters and also switch fighting styles correspondingly. One can experiment with ninjas, henchmen or the antagonist himself.

The Bad
The ending was abrupt. It left me wanting a cut scene at least. After an engaging adventure the game story ends without any closure.

I also found two combat moves with similar key mappings. This created some problems during game-play.

One cannot save games at will. The game auto saves at predetermined checkpoints.

Once a game is started, the options menu disappears form the main menu.

The Bottom Line
The game has a very nice story to it with the protagonist discovering more about her dark past as the game proceeds. The first thing one realizes is the sense of space in the levels. The levels are huge and adds to the realism of the adventures. There is a interesting blend of hand to hand combat and futuristic weapons. The sound effects and game music blend well with the levels and situation.

Windows · by DS___ (7) · 2014

An excellent game w/ a couple of faults

The Good
Awesome gameplay. The Martial Arts action is to die for. The game is pretty much a beatem up, and while there are weapons you won't want to use them that much. It never gets boring beating the living mess out of thugs. The moves are excellent and the controls are great. You won't have much trouble learning the controls after going through the training mission. The game has a very cool anime feel. The story is also one of the best around.

The Bad
The biggest fault is the lack of a save at will feature. While I only got frustrated twice because of it, it still should be a feature in the game. This is the biggest and most deadly turnoff of the game. Secondly, the graphics are blah and very bland, there is pretty much no detail at all in the worlds. But the architecture of the buildings can be pretty cool sometimes. Lastly the game begs and pleads for a multiplayer mode. Hopefully all these things will be addressed in a sequel, which I hope they are making.

The Bottom Line
A very good combat game with great moves and controls, served with a great story. Lackluster graphics and an awful save game system do detract from the game, but do not keep it from being a great game. Highly recommended as one of my favorite games and it is now my guilty pleasure. I bought it for $9.99 and I know I got a steal. Overall Just plain FUN!!!!

Windows · by JMoore (6) · 2002

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Comics

A three-part comic miniseries based on Oni was published by Dark Horse Comics in early 2001. A special #0 preview issue was included with the March issues of GamePro and Gamer's Republic magazines.

Development

Oni was originally intended to be multiplayer, but the designers dropped this when they couldn't get the game engine to perform fast enough over a net connection. There are remnants of the lost multiplayer option in the finished version. The manual still describes the other characters' various strengths and special moves, and once the player has beaten the game (or hacked a certain file), they can play as characters other than Konoko.

Gathering of Goodness

In the American edition of Oni, mailing back the registration card entitled the player to receive a Gathering of Goodness CD that contained patches, demos and movies of upcoming Gathering of Developers games plus a bunch of special god games content.

Title

"Oni" is Japanese for ghost or demon.

Information also contributed by Roger Wilco, Terok Nor and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe.

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Ao Oni
Released 2007 on Windows, 2017 on iPhone, Android
Hungry Oni
Released 2013 on iPhone, iPad, Android
The Game of Annie
Released 2023 on Windows
Nightmare of Melanie
Released 2018 on Windows
Eternal Senia
Released 2015 on Windows
Bayonetta
Released 2009 on Xbox 360, 2009 on PlayStation 3, 2017 on Windows...
Oni: Road to be the Mightiest Oni
Released 2023 on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5
Oni: Road to be the Mightiest Oni
Released 2023 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
The Oni Sellsword
Released 2018 on Windows

Related Sites +

  • Official Webpage (Mac)
    The official product page for the Mac version of Oni on the publisher's website, which provides a trailer, a profile of the game, a demo, and purchasing information, among other such such particulars.
  • Oni
    Official game website
  • Oni Central
    The bungie.org Oni site.
  • Oni Online
    Comprehensive site about Oni.
  • Wikipedia: Oni
    Information about Oni at Wikipedia
  • ZDNet GameSpot
    Game review.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3242
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

PlayStation 2 added by Jonathon Howard. Macintosh added by Ace of Sevens.

Additional contributors: Tomer Gabel, nullnullnull, Terok Nor, Kic'N, Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, Antti Salminen, Zeppin, Klaster_1, DreinIX, Cantillon.

Game added January 31, 2001. Last modified January 19, 2024.