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Game Review #149: Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Frankie W.

Developer: Joymasher

Publisher: Digirati

Category: Action, Arcade, Platformer

Release Date: 02.08.2019

Price (at time of review): $9.99 (digital) | $29.99 (physical, regular) | $39.99 (physical, LE)



Buy Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (digital) from the Nintendo eShop here.

Buy Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (physical, regular) from Playasia here.

Buy Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (physical, LE) from Playasia here.


Take a little bit of Ninja Gaiden, a little bit of Strider, put that all together in a future apocalypse ruled by a cyberized mega corporation and you get yourself a beautiful little 8-bit gem called Oniken: Unstoppable Edition! Hitting that retro itch I know you all have is the goal of Oniken, and for me it certainly hit it just right! Featuring beautiful 8-bit graphics with all of the little visual necessities of gaming back in the day, and the cutscenes! Oh the cutscenes! This game pays tribute to some of the greats of the old days in more ways than one, while also forging out its own path and identity as an awesome adventure. Let's dive into Oniken: Unstoppable Edition!



Retro Goodness

This game absolutely hits you with some of the signature NES hardness right away. This is a game where you aren’t going to want to pull your punches or take extra hits! You play as Ninja Mercenary Zaku, employed by the resistance forces trying to take the world back from a giant corporation that is dead set on taking over this post-apocalyptic world. This dude is one killer mercenary and it shows. Your sword slashes dismember enemy soldiers, and wreck even the largest of mechanical monsters the enemy can employ! That is your main attack in the game, but you can also jump and collect grenades that allow you to toss a strong grenade forward in an arc. It’s perfect for hitting things at a strange angle, or that are out of range of your sword.


If you get the right power-up, your sword can also launch a wave ahead for some extra range on your attacks. This lasts until you get hit a few times thankfully, so a single mistake won't take it from you! Zaku can also hang on rails while maintaining his agility, which will be put to the test in many of the challenge rooms this game throws at you. Even beyond just playing as Zaku on foot, you can also hop into a hoverbike of sorts to take to the road, sea or snow! In these segments, the levels are auto-scrolling as enemies come from many angles. It's a nice little change up, and thematically being on a hoverbike is a good excuse for an auto-scrolling level, rather than just sticking it in there.



Look at those cutscenes

The in-game graphics aside, this game also features gorgeously detailed in-game cutscenes in the style of Ninja Gaiden. It was an extra step a lot of these games that are tributes to some of the games of the old days don’t always take, and it really worked out. The sprite work is great and all the colors are vibrant without any obnoxious color bleed or anything, just nice clean pixels. The soundtrack and sound effects are also on point for this game of course, I was not expecting less at this point! There was really only one track I ran into that I felt like I could take it or leave it so that is good. The sound effects are all satisfying and distinct, without being overbearing or taking attention away from the soundtrack or the action. The story isn’t going to win any awards or anything but it’s a reason for some of the awesome set pieces you visit, or the awesome detailed bosses you fight! There are actually somewhere around 18 bosses total which is absolutely awesome. They were all memorable and made me learn their pattern rather than brute force them from full health which is a definite plus!


Blast from the Past

All in all I really enjoyed Oniken: Unstoppable Edition, it was a fun little romp that paid tribute to some of the great games of the past and did it well! Between the fun gameplay being difficult yet gratifying, to the attention to detail in the sprite work and set pieces, Oniken was a blast and a welcome addition to any switch owners library! I give Oniken: Unstoppable Edition a 7/10!


Score: 7/10


Buy Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (digital) from the Nintendo eShop here.

Buy Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (physical, regular) from Playasia here.

Buy Oniken: Unstoppable Edition (physical, LE) from Playasia here.


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*Review Code Provided by Digerati

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