Right now, there’s only one big Square Enix role-playing game that should be on peoples’ radars.
However, for those who aren’t keen on Final Fantasy VII Remake, or perhaps want something smaller than Square’s upcoming AAA tribute may want to give Oninaki a try.
Ahead of its August release date, Square Enix has launched a free demo for the upcoming JRPG.
This demo is available to download right now across all three platforms, including PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Steam).
You can find the demo by visiting the PlayStation Network Store, Nintendo eShop, or Steam and searching for Oninaki – pre orders for the game also went live earlier this week if you like the game enough to drop a pre-order down.
Oninaki is the latest game to come from Japanese developer, Tokyo RPG Factory. Formed as a subsidiary of Square Enix, this small studio has been busy making various traditional style JRPGs (the clue’s in the name, right?).
In 2016 it launched its first game, I Am Setsuna, for PlayStation 4, Vita, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Despite having familiar JRPG trappings such as turn-based combat and party management, it was served in a slightly smaller package – a relief for fans of the genre who don’t have 100+ hours to sink into another game.
This was then followed by spiritual successor, Lost Sphear, both games greeted by a somewhat positive reception with review scores drifting around the mid 70s.
Early impressions of Oninaki have been promising, it’s darker tone and emphasis on action marking a clear change of direction away from that JRPG nostalgia of the 90s.
Turn-based combat has been replaced with an active battle system, characters equipping various Daemons to augment their abilities.
Meanwhile, the story uses some surprisingly mature themes such as death and the grieving process as its main narrative backdrop.
We’ve not had a chance to take a look at the game for ourselves yet, but some of the previews we’ve seen have certainly given us a desire to seek it out (or at very least, the free demo).
Jade King, writing on Trusted Reviews for one praised the games exceptional narative following a hands on with the game, writing:
“From a pure mechanical perpective, Oninaki is arguably the strongest card yet to be dealt by Tokyo RPG Factory. It remains loyal to the traditional JRPG structure that its previous titles have abided by, while taking brave strides towards meaningful evolution.
“This is far more than a love letter to the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, boasting mechanical advancements and a narrative ambition that made me a bit of an emotional mess throughout the brief demo.
“I do have concerns about the combat becoming repetitive over time, and a few select elements need refining, but if the narrative remains as strong as it is right now, RPG fans are in for an absolute treat.”
Oninaki will release digitally on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC on August 22nd, but don’t forget that you can