Game Reviews

Sumioni: Demon Arts

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| Sumioni: Demon Arts
Sumioni: Demon Arts
| Sumioni: Demon Arts

Sometimes, the only way to fell a demon is to set another demon on it, literally fighting fire with fire.

Sumioni: Demon Arts doesn't just provide you with a beefed up demon to plough your way through feudal Japan with, but it throws in a couple of gods for good measure.

The platforming action in Sumioni may leave a little to be desired at times, but there's a definite spark of magic here in the degree of variety and experimentation the game affords you.

A, B, C, D, Mon

Sumioni gives you a huge number of tools to dispose of your enemies with, and then is just sort of lets you get on with it.

You've got your standard samurai sword slice attack, and a pretty sturdy rushing blade attack, but these will only get you so far, as certain enemies are a bit too strong for your blade alone.

What you really need is some touchscreen action. Drawing on the screen will cause ink to appear, and your demon samurai can walk on any platforms that you create, allowing you to walk over obstacles and attack enemies from above.

But hit the L button, and the fun really begins. Drawing and tapping the screen gives you fire and lightning powers, while triggers in the bottom corners of the screen summon angel beasts to help out with the fight.

This variety of attacks works well with the different level types you'll discover, the boss battles, and the branching storylines, all of which are based on how well you're coping. Exploring the different paths that the game has to offer while frantically using a huge number of different attacks makes for some really fun platforming action.

Sum are good, Sum not so

Sumioni is the kind of game that you'll want to pull out for each morning and evening commute, thanks to the aforementioned story branches, and the fact that a play-through can only take around half an hour to complete.

This means that it's perfect for pulling out, bashing your way through to discover another ending, and then putting away until the next day - although certain faults threaten to cut the fun short.

The actual platforming action itself isn't so wonderful. The drawing is great, but jumping around and dodging enemies and projectiles simply isn't tight enough at times, leading to some frustrating sections.

There are also issues with exploring the various story paths. When you complete a level, the game doesn't give you a choice about which path you want to go down, or whether you want to restart a level, for those times when you just don't manage to fulfil the requirements for the higher story arc.

This means that the only way to get to the exact story ending that you want involves exiting back to the main menu and manually reloading the previous save. It's a messy business, and could have been so much better presented - see StarFox for an example of this done well.

Sumioni: Demon Arts contains great ideas and variety, but it doesn't follow this up in its presentation and controls. Even so, it's worth a pop if you're looking for some quality PS Vita platforming.

Sumioni: Demon Arts

With a bit of sprucing up here and there, Sumioni: Demon Arts could be a keeper. In its current form, there's still plenty to enjoy