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Alternative Names

Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke 2


Alfa System



Release Dates

03/03/15 Sony Computer Entertainment
07/17/14 Sony Computer Entertainment
03/04/15 Sony Computer Entertainment

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Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines (PSV)

By Karl Koebke 06th May 2015 | 5,822 views 

I'm truly saddened that an RPG with such an interesting core concept, and which started off so fantastically, was not able to hold my attention for longer.

Oreshika has a superb introduction. A clan of samurai has been sentenced to an early death due to apparent incompetence, their skulls sitting in a row while they bleach in the sun. A god comes and asks the clan if it would like to take revenge on those who prematurely ended their lives, and the skulls chatter in agreement. A goddess then passes on a piece of her strength to each of the departed, presumably so as to bring them back to the mortal realm.

The skulls then proceed to devour the young goddess in thanks.

If the entire game had managed to maintain this same tone I think I would have fallen in love with Oreshika, but as it stands the game is merely a fun diversion occasionally dotted with unique ideas.

Unfortunately an early grave isn't your clan's only problem - each clan member has also been cursed to a short natural lifespan and cannot have children without the help of the gods. Time management is the name of the game, and the stakes are high; each member of your family only has around two years to live, with the months passing quickly, and transferring their strengths to the next generation takes some time of its own. Devotion earned in battle can be used to pair one of your clan members with a god whose attributes will combine with that of your clan member. This creates a new, instantly grown-up clan member, but the 'baby' will come a month after the pairing, which itself will take a month, so you can see how this all might take some forethought.

If you aren't careful it's easy to lose a clan member before he/she is able to go through the act of divine procreation, and thus lose the chance to pass on their attributes. Adding in heirloom weapons/armor and secret arts that can only be passed down from parent to child makes continuing each lineage even more important. Players who end up strapped for devotion and time can always pair their clan members with other players' clan members from lands that they've visited, which is a decent alternative but should not be used as your main form of baby-makin' because the results are much less inspired than mating with the gods.

Speaking of the gods, the giant list of possible suitors is certainly welcome, and each is given a unique design, but I wish there were more lore for each one. You can learn about some of the gods if you get the chance to do battle with them on Earth, but I would have loved a Persona-like description for each one in the menu where you choose a mate. This same criticism also applies to the bestiary, which includes some interesting enemy designs but no literary description beyond their names.

Other aspects of the presentation fare much better. While there aren't any English voice options, the Japanese voices that are provided serve well. I particularly liked the little quotes given at the passing of each clan member, which are accompanied by a sad little bow from the weasel/maid who serves as your guide. It's an unfortunate oversight, however, that if you wish to listen to these quotes again you'll find that the subtitles won't show up. There is also one particularly beautiful song, and the paper cut-out design of the enemies you fight is striking. It's just a shame that those fights become incredibly repetitive.

Trying to slowly build up your clan throughout the generations can be a lot of fun. It's like being the coach of a sports team where you have to constantly think about not just your current situation but how you can craft a team that will prove successful several years down the road. I particularly enjoyed looking at graphs of my clan's military might over time and seeing the fruits of these labors.

Unfortunately there just isn't enough to do with your 'team'. You can visit other clans' lands to check out their towns and shop for prospective husbands/wives, but the dungeons lack variety and quickly get repetitive. I also disliked that when you want to continue the story you have to include a particular character named Nueko in your group whom you have very little agency over as she is not technically a part of your clan. It's frustrating when, after taking the time to build up your clan members and potentially even giving them all unique names, you find you're forced to include Nueko as one of the four available slots for boss battles.

Uniquely, difficulty choices in Oreshika are based on the length of your campaign, rather than the standard 'hard, normal, easy' system. Choices vary from 30 hours all the way up to 100 hour. I chose the 30 hour difficulty and, considering that I played for 27 hours before getting to the final boss and called it quits, I'd say it's a pretty damn accurate difficulty system. Oreshika doesn't offer amazing value for money - the gameplay can become arduous and repetitive, which somewhat undermines the lengthy potential runtime - but I have to commend the developers on accurately estimating the game's pacing if nothing else.

Oreshika would be a fantastic little RPG if the dungeons and enemies were more varied, but unfortunately it really does become repetitive, even when played on the lowest playtime/difficulty setting. I'm truly saddened that an RPG with such an interesting core concept, and which started off so fantastically, was not able to hold my attention for longer; hopefully the developers get the chance to revisit Oreshika's game world in the future and produce a more rounded experience next time around.

This review is based on a digital copy of Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines for the PSV

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Sales History

Total Sales
1 92,713 n/a n/a 92,713
2 17,487 n/a n/a 17,487
3 7,530 n/a n/a 7,530
4 4,219 n/a n/a 4,219
5 3,333 n/a n/a 3,333
6 1,877 n/a n/a 1,877
7 1,181 n/a n/a 1,181
8 937 n/a n/a 937
9 834 n/a n/a 834
10 726 n/a n/a 726

Opinion (1)

Meret posted 15/10/2014, 04:10
what a shitty sales
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