I managed to put a bit of time into Otogi today, well I managed to play the first 8 levels over twice. Your probably wondering why, well it's one of those I wasn't paying too much attention things. It all started when I got to level 8 in Otogi and had to fight some goddamn boss, that I couldn't beat. I ended up getting the arse with the game and turning off my Xbox thinking that the game had autosave, like most games do these days, you complete a level, it saves, simple! Well Otogi displays a message saying "Saving Map Data", which I simply took that it was also saving the game, it wasn't of course. So later I go to load my game, and the save says "Lv.1", great! Anyway I already knew what to do so I played through the first 8 levels again, and then beat the goddamn boss I was having problems with anyway.
The reason I go so pissed with the game in the first place is because I was quite enjoying Otogi, until that boss. It's such a lame boss as well, one of those where you nearly beat it, then you die, and that keeps happening until you perfect a formula. This game is frustrating at times, and also seems like it can get fairly repetitive.
Anyway onto Otogi itself. The main problem I have with the game is the whole magic/health meters. It's bad enough that you have to monitor you health most of the time, but with Otogi you also have to monitor a magic gauge with depletes over time. It's a real hassle, destroying enemies is supposed to refill the magic gauge, and while for the most part it does, you can still find yourself running out of magic near the end of a level. Also the way the heal gauge works could have been better implemented, it is also quite frustrating. You have so many green orbs of health which are supposed to refill overtime if you are injured, problem is that if an orb is depleted totally then it doesn't refill, so the whole life recharge thing just seems like a total waste.
The destructible environments are great, and it's a nice effect when you smash an enemy through a stone wall or house. The graphics are solid and smooth, with some really nice effects the usual for the Xbox. Though the levels are destructible and quite nice, the can be quite simple and void of life at times. The sound is also quite good, with music that fits the game perfectly and also decent sound effects.
The gameplay elements are interesting. The game has semi RPG elements to it, like character stats and the ability to acquire and purchase new weapons, accessories and magic. It's nice to have these sorts of elements in an 3rd person action game, simply because it adds a little something extra. The game also give you the ability to go back to a stage an complete certain aspects of it, things like destroying everything in the stage. You can also choose to revisit the level in it's "Current State" which is how it was when you were last there, or "Original State" which is the level as it was the first time you played it.
The control in the game is probably best put as ok, it can be clumsy at times. You notice it especially when navigating, or attacking an enemy. The camera can also be quite wild and at times just seems to go where ever it feels like. The main problems arise with aerial moment, as this game allows you to float, but at times with the camera moving around it just becomes a hassle.
I'm more interested in Otogi 2, mainly because sequels of this nature usually improve on aspects of the original game. I don't know if Otogi 2 does, but it does have something like 4 playable characters, that alone makes it seem interesting. From what I've played so far Otogi it a decent action game, but I would say you could probably just pick up Otogi 2 and be just as satisfied.