“Onigiri” is more commonly known as that fluffy little ball of delicious rice you can chow down quickly and easily. Written in a different kanji, however, Onigiri the game has the meaning of chopping off demon heads.
Originally a Taiwanese massively multiplayer online game, it’s being released in Japan and is a free-to-play launch title for the PlayStation 4 there, come February 22nd.
It’s also available on PC already. The characters all seem to have their own stereotypical twist on classic Japanese fair too. The story behind it tells the tale of you being a descendent of the Oni and alongside your 8 companions must set forth against the Kamigui and their hidden masters the Goikkou.
The game’s a third-person action online game, and there are several classes to play. There’s plenty of Japanese voice overs already, and even some interesting to watch YouTube anime-related vids showing a pretty decent degree of polish for the game. The developers talk about how porting Onigiri over felt like a good fit, with the PlayStation 4’s ability to load things as fast as high-end PC’s would.
Surprisingly, it only took them about a month to port the engine over from PC to PlayStation 4! Things weren’t always so smooth though, as they had to consider new problems such as how to re-map all the keys to a game pad. The PC version makes frequent use of multi-press combinations including the Tab, Shift and various number keys alongside left and right-clicks. Further, text in all sorts of locales such as quests and menus had to be re-considered and tweaked so it wouldn’t look odd, stretched or simply drizzle off the side of the screen.
Those companions you have alongside you also grow in powers and other means when you deepen your ties with them. Miroku the merchant, for instance, will begin giving you discounts.
Onigiri will go into open beta at the launch of the PlayStation 4 in Japan February 22nd to the 25th and then be released on the 27th of February, and is also already available for the PC. Cyberstep also has an English version, apparently.