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Otogi 2

The first Otogi released last year was a visual spectacle beyond anything else on Xbox. Its sequel gushes graphical exuberance like water from a busted New York fire hydrant - get too close and you'll be soaked in splendour!

Famed For Being Fabulous
Within Xbox circles, From Software's Otogi is almost as legendary as the ancient Japanese characters it portrays. It is renowned for pushing Xbox to the limits of graphical performance, with its glorious rendition of heroes and beasts battling so hard they destroy everything around them in showers of sparks and debris.

It came close to deserving a space in any collection, but in the end was treated with caution because of its simplistic (yet fun) gameplay. You might have seen or even played it, but you probably couldn't find a reason to own it.

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With the sequel, From Software has expanded Otogi's horizons in every respect. Instead of one character to choose from, you eventually have six. Each one can be nurtured to develop increasingly more spectacular abilities through experience in battle. Furthermore, instead of just one path through the game there are several. The final blessing is a Havoc mode, unlocked after the completion of a stage, which invites you to go back and cause as much noisy destruction as possible within a time limit - see if you really can't burst your Xbox open at the seams under the strain of such a demanding technical performance!

Even Immortals Have Limits
We're glad Otogi wasn't abandoned after the original's luke-warm reception. Its appeal is hypnotic, with its methodical destruction of scenes - many of them so wondrous it almost feels criminal.

The sequel's gameplay remains focused on melee attacks and magic to orchestrate something resembling a fire outbreak in a munitions factory. But your efforts must now be more tactical, because each character is different. Likewise, enemies are more inventive in their attacks and require guile to defeat. If you want to see the best each legendary hero has to offer - and you know it's gonna be worth it - you must push them to the best of their ability to eradicate all demons, and uncover every secret locked away in the environments.

The verdict

More than just special effects and gorgeous graphics. We're into games that let you boost up characters - and this pulls you in and keeps you hooked.

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