Onigiri’s English Xbox One version was launched last October 6, 2015. The game has different servers for its PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 versions but the gameplay is the same for all three. This Onigiri review is of the Xbox One version.

Onigiri Review (Xbox One)

Onigiri
Onigiri is a free MMORPG set in fantasy Japan.

Onigiri is a very unique MMORPG; one that I have never seen anything quite like. Everything from the style of the presentation, down to the classless character system, screams originality but does not always hit the mark. It’s an excellent game, especially if you’re looking for something a little bit wacky.

Onigiri establishes itself as very Japanese game. The lore and look of the game is based off of the manga of the same name. In fact, if there is one thing that Onigiri really does well, it’s the anime-style graphics. The overall style of the game is really something to behold, as most Western developed MMO’s are usually gritty and dark. Onigiri on the other hand, is superbly bright, bursting with personality, and downright endearing.

Combat and Classless Characters

When you first create your character, the customization options at your disposal are limited. While there’s more than enough selections in clothing and accessories, there’s little else to personalize your character. Most of the characters I created ended up looking like second-rate anime, and that’s not a good thing. Besides the lackluster customization, you’ll notice that you don’t select a class. This is where Onigiri starts to shine.

In the world of Onigiri, there is no class system. Your play style and role is defined by your weapon. This makes the real-time combat very inventive. Your character can switch between different weapons quickly during battles, which essentially makes you a jack of all trades. Being able to attack with stuns, deal high damage, or be tanky on the fly makes the combat diverse. Each weapon is equipped with several different abilities, most of which drain a mana pool and go on cool-down. These abilities vary greatly between each weapon, which adds a tactical element to the game. Determining when and where to switch gear is half of the fun in high level play.

This intuitive combat system does take some time to get used to, as the controls are a bit confusing at first. Unfortunately, the game lacks quite a bit in the settings department. Not being able to map your buttons is disappointing, but the default setup works fine after a while. The weapon-centric system really adds excitement to loot drops, too. I felt more compelled to continue playing and get another weapon than many other RPG’s. It’s a great synergy of looting and combat systems that create a satisfying experience.

The party system is also interesting, as they often support you while you tackle various dungeons and quest lines. As you meet other characters in the main story, you’ll befriend them, and they will join you on your adventure. These computer controlled companions are often smart and responsive. Relying on an AI partner to help you out in a clutch situation is rare, and I found myself doing it in Onigiri. More notably, I found success in it. AI companions are intelligent, display tactical and combat sensibilities, and always feel like an advantage rather than a burden.

Audio

On the audio side, Onigiri fares decently. The scores aren’t incredible, but they do well to set the mood when necessary. Weapon attacks have a crisp sound to them, and it make swordplay very satisfying. All NPC voices are in the original Japanese language, with English subtitles. Due to the text heavy aspect of MMO’s, this is something to take into account. While they did not bother me, the bright colored font might bother some.

Graphics

Graphically, the game could use some improvements, but it’s all functional. As previously mentioned, the best component of this game is its style. Because of Onigiri’s affliction to the strange, I can forgive the less than savory graphics. Some of the NPCs border on nightmarishly weird, but it somehow adds to the charm. Upon completion of quests and certain accomplishments, the screen bursts with color and congratulation. It’s these seemingly random bursts of personality that make Onigiri’s world interesting to explore.

Interfaces and Menus

The quest system is a bit flawed, as I often found myself being lost due to vague instruction. An early quest forces you to collect an item before entering a portal. The quest log and guidance systems do not give you any advice or pushes in the right direction. Although most of the quests are pretty straight forward, it’s at times like this that I felt the game could use some touching up.

The game feels a bit unpolished in certain areas. Game menus and interfaces can often feel convoluted. The lack of guidance is once again an issue here. The inventory system is a bit cluttered, and not being able to identify random loot drops in the inventory system is frustrating. However, once you understand what certain symbols and indicators mean, the inventory is functional.

Conclusion

Overall, Onigiri is a game that has some technical stumbles, but has so much personality that it’s hard to be negative about the game. Although some of the interfaces and quest instructions are confusing, they work well once you learn them. Playing this MMO is a refreshing experience, not only because of its craziness, but also due to its interesting combat and design. Even when you might not understand what’s going on, you’ll still have fun while you play. I definitely recommend giving Onigiri a try.

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MMO games are my passion. I love to play MMORPGs and meet new people from all over the world. This blog combines my two favorite hobbies - writing and playing video games. I hope to have fun writing reviews. If you enjoyed reading my posts, please share or tweet them. Thank you.