Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. It's a welcome change and breathes new life into the Onimusha franchise. [JPN Import]
  2. It's fun, lengthy, beautiful, and really, really satisfying.
  3. The franchise’s grandest adventure yet, hands down. A few minor quibbles are the only flaws in what is an absolutely masterful action-RPG/adventure epic.
  4. A triumphant return to top form for the series and a very successful reinvention, making it arguably the best Onimusha yet.
  5. By stepping from an action packed exploration and puzzle game into a full blown action title, Dawn of Dreams has managed to breathe new life into this series. I heartily recommend it.
  6. As a whole, Dawn of Dreams is a truly skillful entry in the series. It's a great fresh start with new characters, gameplay, and ideas. [Mar 2006, p.102]
  7. Better than the games that came before it, and I don't make that statement blindly. The move towards an action RPG with more characters, a more twisty storyline with more threads and action that helps refresh the stuff that was starting to feel just a little stale in the past games (though slicing demons never really gets old) all add up to an adventure that I'm grateful actually happened.
  8. 90
    The story itself is pretty good and is even more fantasy based than before (the first three Onimusha games actually had more historical basis to them), though it does suffer a little bit from lack of clarity every now and then. [JPN Import]
  9. A great samurai action-adventure. It is fast, stylish, entertaining and has a good story to boot. What more could you ask? The camera is far from perfect, though. [Feb 2006]
  10. 90
    The combination of great visuals and a sweet combat system is hard to top and this combines the two oh-so well. [Apr 2006, p.82]
  11. 90
    Even with these few select caveats, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams is a stellar addition to the series and a new beginning for Capcom's fourth largest franchise. One has to wonder with all the multiplayer RPG aspects, will there be an online Onimusha title on the horizon.
  12. With plenty of action, great visuals, lots of replay value and overall refinement, this is a winner both for newcomers and fans of the series. And while the game wraps up pretty cleanly, there's plenty of material for another adventure.
  13. 90
    With a lengthy quest (about 20 hours), a fun multiplayer mode, and scores of unlockable goodies (including some of the coolest alternate costumes ever), there is a lot to enjoy here. And don't let any talk about rejuvenating the franchise scare you away. This game more than lives up to the Onimusha name.
  14. Quite possibly the best game in the series, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams delivers an enjoyably deep and epic action-adventure game fans new and old will relish.
  15. 88
    Action hounds, for instance, should go crazy over its combat, cool combos, and boss battles, while proper Onimusha fans should dig it because of improvements to the puzzle and camera systems.
  16. Great, fast gameplay, good story, nice cinematics, a wide variety of characters, and much more. The game is good at every level. [JPN Import]
  17. Onimusha was one derivative sequel away from entering the "Tomb Raider" spiral of franchise death. Instead a timely revamp has sent the series in a promising direction and given it more momentum than it's had in years. [Apr 2006, p.55]
  18. Boasting two discs worth of content, this is the longest offering yet from the Onimusha team, and there’s a lot to like about it. The only caveat would be that gamers tired of the series won’t find much to rekindle their interest here. It’s bigger and a bit more complex than before, but it’s still Onimusha.
  19. Though the formula for destruction is basically the same, there's enough new material here to please fans of the series and newcomers alike. Who knew this old samurai could cut so deep?
  20. If you’re after a fair few hours of well-presented violence combined with a surprisingly interesting history lesson, then look no further than Dawn Of Dreams. [Apr 2006, p.118]
  21. The progression of nearly every story element is handled with almost mathematical precision. The results are gaming-by-numbers, but the whole is a hell of a lot of fun.
  22. Ultimately this is a game that knows what its fans want and delivers it to them in spades with plenty of style and confidence. It isn't as difficult as the prequels, but makes up for this with a surprisingly deep and flexible character upgrade system.
  23. Series heritage aside, this is a pleasingly lengthy adventure spread across two DVDs that's most definitely worth a look.
  24. Offers a lengthy new quest, five different playable characters, and a good amount of replay value, not to mention that distinct anime-meets-soap opera style.
  25. It may not be the most original or inspired product I've seen, but there's something to be said for nailing the content and pulling it off beautifully.
  26. All told this is a quality game, offering very real value in terms of detail, variety and length.
  27. 80
    One for the fans. Despite some issues, it's damn good action game as well.
  28. 80
    A good jumping-off point for a whole new story line in the vein of the original series, and offers just enough new mechanics to make it worth a play for both fans of the series and Onimusha virgins alike.
  29. All that killing feels perfect; combat is tight and satisfying, especially once you begin to master your MP-consuming special moves. [Apr 2006, p.86]
  30. It could've used some touching up with the AI and a couple of tedious puzzles, but no matter. These samurai are back on track to deliver a thrill ride.
  31. The hellish enemies may be fearsome, but the one true villain here is the stubborn game camera that tends to pan away from whatever it is you want to look at. Apart from that one flaw, this is an absorbing tale.
  32. It's longer, it's deeper, and it's got plenty of variety thanks to 5 playable characters, so series fanatics should be happy, long as they're still into the Onimusha formula and can mind the slower pace.
  33. Fundamentally decent, but it's still the poorest full-size Onimusha game yet. It's hard, but it's also unyielding and sometimes a bit dull. So be wary. [Apr 2006, p.48]
  34. Dawn of Dreams is a superior title from a graphic standpoint, but lacks its own identity, and recycles more bosses from earlier games than most fans might like.
  35. Dawn of Dreams mostly succeeds in further extending the series before moving on to the next generation. [Apr 2006, p.68]
  36. The animations are excellent, smooth and great to look at. Combined with a combat system that's just as smooth, Dawn of Dreams is nicely polished fun.
  37. Will appeal to first timers, butthe changes made will alienate many of Onimusha's staunchest fans. A grower, but vintage 'Musha it ain't. [Apr 2006, p.97]
  38. 70
    Dawn of Dreams is a solid action game with a lot more play in it than its predecessors. More importantly, it's a title that shows that Capcom isn't afraid to mess with the formula.
  39. Onimusha definitely has what it takes to be a fun game, but I think the developers dropped the ball in a couple of areas - especially with the absence of any kind of multiplayer, and the lack of graphical enhancements.
  40. Dawn's unlockable goodies will give "Street Fighter" fans a surefire boost, but anyone simply looking for an evolution in Onimusha will leave feeling shortchanged. [Apr 2006, p.103]
  41. For a reinvention, it has an almost parodical lack of surprises: You’ve seen every abandoned village, sacked castle and anachronistic laboratory before, with the more striking imagery suggested by the game’s plague of tainted cherry blossoms all but ignored until the final stage. [Apr 2006, p.80]
  42. The combat's fluid, relatively deep and involving once it gets going, but it's also a wholly repetitive game that's been surpassed in so many meaningful ways that you can't simply be content with 'more of the same' anymore.
  43. It’s horribly unbalanced (you can walk out of one boss fight straight into another with no save ability in-between). It’s still a goof game on a purely destructive level – where the hacking and slashing is as good as the series has to offer.
  44. While it is playable – Onimusha enthusiasts will still probably enjoy it – there isn’t a huge amount here that you won’t find in previous instalments. And that’s it; ultimately there just isn’t anything here that hasn’t been done better by another game.
  45. There comes a point in playing Onimusha: Dawn Of Dreams when you realise that it's been somewhat lengthened via regrettably cheap tactics -- things like recycled game bosses, repetitive game sections and even some backtracking for the sake of making each of the game's chapters longer.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. ChrisP
    Oct 26, 2009
    10
    This is one of the best games in game history. I love how the missions can start of as easy then moderate and very difficult. I hope capcom make some more games of the onimusha series. Full Review »
  2. VAIOSONY
    Mar 18, 2006
    10
    THIS IS ONE OF MY FAV GAMES YOU KNOW WHAT MY FAV GAME I LOVE THIS GAME TO A POINT WHERE I WILL PAY UP TO A $100.00 IF THATS THE ONLY PRICE IT WILL STAY AT THIS GAME IS GREAT GUYS WHO EVER DID NOT PLAY THIS GAME NEED TO GET YOUR HANDS ON IT AND PLAY IT BUT YOU WANT MY WORD TRY TO PLAY 1 2 AND 3 BY THEN THE NEW ONE WILL BE CHEAP IF YOU PLAY 1 AND 2 THEY ARE THE BEST I REALLY LIKE THEM 3 WAS GOOD TOO BUT I CANT WAIT TILL I GET THE 4 I THINK 4 IS GOING TO BE NICE BUT TO BAD THE REAL HERO IS NOT ON BUT THATS WHY ITS CALLED DAWN OF DREAMS BUT SOMEHOW ONIMOUSHA 3 IS INVOLVED IN THIS ONE TOO ANYWAY GUYS GO GET 1 2 AND 3 AND PLAY THEM TRUST ME YOU WILL NOT BE SICK OF THIS AND YOU WILL JUST KEEP ON PLAYING =) Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2014
    6
    Capcom clearly went for mass market appeal here; characters straight out of a Final Fantasy game, complete with sub-par, "annoying anime" voice-overs. The survival horror tone from the previous games has given way to hack & slash and hack & slash action. Puzzles remain, but they're pathetically easy; in their place we have irritating time trials (ie: perform 5X finisher moves in 4 minutes). Enemies feel cheap and sh!tty, especially later on, and have nasty habits like ganging up on you and spamming knockdown attacks. Dawn of Dreams also has a really crappy habit of giving you a big boss monster to fight RIGHT AFTER you've just fought a (smaller) boss, and used up all your health, potions, etc. For the most part, these are time consuming, annoying, frustrating and require little skill, much like the rest of the game, it's Mash X to win (square, if you're being picky)... An OK game, but not recommended. Full Review »