So the game was hyping in my country quite a bit as I heard the character designs of the game were pretty as hell, and guess what, I tried it and and promptly slipped down the hell called Onmyouji. Onmyouji is a “fantasy turn-based rpg”, which tells the story of Abe no Seimei, in the fictional world of probably, feudal Japan. He meets quite a few interesting characters along the way, and that’s so much of the story I can get into. The game is made by NetEase games, a company which actually manages operations of quite a few popular western games like Overwatch, in China. The game is currently available in Chinese and Japanese, but I’m playing the Chinese version. Further details will be under the cut.
As said in my starter, the story follows the adventures of Abe no Seimei (安倍晴明), who apparently has lost his memory and doesn’t remember anything. Fortunately he has his Shikigami Kohaku to guide him along the way. He also picked up a young
loli girl who doesn’t remember jack shit too other than the fact that she’s called Kagura (神楽). The story is pretty gradual and unlocks as your level rises, but most chapters goes along the lines of someone appearing at Seimei’s house claiming that he did something, but Seimei doesn’t remember anyway and figures he’ll just help them to remember what he did in the past. He eventually meets Yaobikuni (八百比丘尼), a fortuneteller who is immortal and wants Seimei to kill her since since she’s been living so long and she’s pretty dead inside. He also meets Minamoto no Hiromasa (源博雅), a noble from the capital who’s looking for strong people to fight like Seimei, and somewhat recognises Kagura. The group continues helping people, and eventually finds out some weird shits has been happening in Kyoto when Seimei lost his memories.
I’ve played till Chapter 11 so far, haven’t been able to beat chapter 12 due to the fact the story boss is too hard for me ;w;, and the story is coming together pretty well so far! I really love the main character interactions and the direction the story is heading towards. The story is fully-voiced with a stella cast (it was the reason I got into this game anyway :’D) and still with mysteries right now, so I can’t really say much as I’m not all the way in yet. The story also tries it’s best to involve all the shikigamis appearing in the game, which also have a good cast as well so there is a lot of variety in terms of character appearances. The story is told in a visual novel style but is supplemented by the models actually moving and doing shit.
I’m pretty hooked onto the story as I keep wanting to know all the mysteries surrounding Seimei as there seems to be a Black/Evil Seimei (highlight the blank if you wanna see the spoiler) causing trouble for Seimei. I also want to find out the mystery behind Kagura as well, her past is mysterious too! And of course my precious dork Hiromasa! (slap me) The character interactions are really cute, and they really get me into the story.
The art was the other reason why I got into this game. The character designs are so pretty, whether it is for the main characters or the shikigamis, all the character designs are well done. Except for the Ns. They’re technically what everyone expects of demons/youkai so they don’t really look that nice. All the characters are really nice and the range of character is pretty colourful. The awakened Shikigamis are really pretty too, and there’s so many different characters with nice design you’d just want the collect them all.
Other than the art of course, the graphics are indeed really high quality for a mobile game. While it’s not Mobius Final Fantasy level, I think it’s pretty good quality with how the details of the characters are shown on the model. Of course, due the game being mostly 3D it does take up quite a bit of space on your phone, so I’m actually using an emulator to play the game, and it’s running the game pretty well and smoothly without having to downgrade the graphics and I’m getting the full quality which is darn nice.
The chibis and the art of the 2D map on the dungeons are really nice too, I can see so much effort put into the design of the overall game. Although due to how pretty it is and how new the game is, there aren’t that many characters to find yet and it can get repetitive with enemies as enemies can be shikigami you use as well. They’re slowly releasing more shikigami, but more variety in characters will take a while more.
The heart of the game Onmyouji lies in it’s system. Being an RPG, there’s definitely a lot of grinding of characters. If you dislike how grindy RPGs are, why are you even playing an RPG anyway? The game is definitely grindy with you having to head back to dungeons all the time to farm experience for yourself, and your Shikigami too. You head into a simple dungeon, and you just click on the symbols on top of them to fight shit.
You’re then brought into a screen where the real nice graphics all appear. It’s a turn-based RPG, so once its your turn just click your move and hit the enemy, nothing too special about it. The effects here are really gorgeous. Over time, you’ll need a grind a lot, and with a whole lot of different shikigamis to level all of them up. It will get pretty mundane as time passes, but thankfully there is an autoplay mode where you just leave your game there and they will play for you. However, your team must be strong enough to beat the enemies or you’ll just be kicked back to the start. Thankfully in this game, unlike Touken Ranbu, when your Shikigamis die, you don’t lose them forever so there’s no worry there. You can also choose from the 4 main characters to play, but as of current, Yaobikuni cannot be played as they’re probably still preparing her skillset. The rest are all playable with a different mix of skills, complimented with the different skills of the shikigamis you have on the field.
Of course, as you go further, enemies will become stronger and stronger, which means you gotta get good by either A: get better rarity shikigamis, or B: level your shit up. Let’s talk about solution A. Being a free game with characters of different rarity, it means: Time to wrestle with the RNG to get the best stats/hottest characters! What was I expecting! This technically means to get good in the game you’d probably need to have a shit ton of luck or you’re doomed. But don’t worry! The rates are so bad that most players are having trouble getting an SSR, the highest rarity in the game! But if you’re unlucky like me who keeps getting duplicates than new SRs, you’re doomed! (not exactly) Summoning Shikigamis in the game is pretty fun anyway, since you get to draw on the talisman. You can even do VR summoning, which I have yet to get to since I’m on an emulator, I’ll have to find a way.
For Solution B, grinding is the only option you have, but shikigamis all have a level cap! Whoops! The number of magatama they have below their model shows their rating, which means how high their level cap is. 2 magatamas mean max lvl 20, 3 means 25, 4 is 30, and so on and so forth. It’s hard to raise their rating, and getting a shikigami with a rating of higher than 2 hasn’t happened to be. To raise their rating, you’ll have to use 2 shikigamis with the same rating as fodder to increase their level cap. If you don’t have any shikigami with their default rating at 3, its gonna be a hard grind to get from 3 to 4 as you’ll have to grind another 2 rating shikigami to rating 3 to use as fodder, which is truly, brutal and irritating. So, if you’re not a fan of crunching levels and stuff, this is really hard to get into, honestly. Before you know it, grinding exp is much easier than raising the level cap of the shikigamis.
Overall, I think the system is pretty much a classic RPG. From the controls to the classic level crunching, it’s pretty much what you’d expect if you mention an RPG. The amount of strategies available to the game is quite flexible. Things can get interesting if you strategise how to defeat enemies with what you have on hand. Depending on the shikigamis you have in your possession, you can do a lot of combinations for skills. The game also promotes co-op by having some dungeons/mini events to be of working with other people to beat up something, and some other stuff. You should be able to get by going solo, only a few promote co-op. There’s way more stuff to cover, in terms of the system, as this is pretty much about 50% of the game or so? If I talked more about how you could get the spirit pieces to summon shikigami out, the extra spirits which help, skill level up, and more content we’d be here forever. There is a lot to explore in this RPG game, and you’ll have to take your time to understand everything.
So far, from what I’ve seen throughout the game, the events so far are the types where you just need to reach certain objectives or so to get prizes, or fight enemies to get skins of shikigamis, which is actually pretty hard cuz 1. the fights are difficult and 2. you probably don’t have the shikigami yet unless it’s a rare. The events are pretty doable as mostly it’s collecting items or achieving something to exchange for items like money or materials which can help you through the game. The limited time events are pretty simple, what’s not simple is the events that happen every day at certain times.
Tons of events happen on Onmyouji at different times of the day, which is kinda irritating cuz you’ll have to adhere to GMT +8 timing if you’re playing somehere else. The rewards are pretty good though with many giving you materials and talismans to summon more shikigamis. Materials are given too, and its actually really good with the rewards. The only irritating event is the coliseum events, and it’s not just your touken ranbu pvp, its a live pvp. You got that right, a live PvP. And who’s participating in it? All the pros who probably bombed shit tons of money into the game to get good. Honestly, this makes you feel like shit cuz you could be matched up with anyone, someone pro and you wouldn’t survive. It’s frustrating and most people wouldn’t bother with it, as if you lose your points would drop and there’s no point.
Other than the coliseum, most of them are party fights so it’s actually pretty easy to get past if you party members are all pretty high level. There’s also the appearance of materials at different timings every day so it’s easy to get upgrade materials fast.
While the rewards for events are good, some of them are pretty frustrating to do, especially if you’re not high level enough. Once you’re at a stable level, around level 25+ or so, it should be much easier to get materials to awaken and level up your cards. Overall the events system wants you to be pretty grindy, which I’m fine with but it can get pretty tedious, I would say. The events are of so-so difficulty, except for the coliseum which I hate with a burning passion. Everything will get easier as you grind, so you need a lot of patience for this game, definitely.
Tips that may or may not be Reliable
This section is a list of tips I have from playing the game so far, stuff I wish I had known when I first started. If you’re here just for the review and don’t plan of playing the game, although I recommend it, skip to the next section for the conclusion!
Keep your Ns to use as rating increase fodder – this is so important. Ns are usually useless so at the start I thought I’d use them as experience fodder, but it was pretty pointless as they didnt give much and just grinding away at the dungeons would be way faster to get experience. I recommend grinding the Ns to use them as fodder to raise 3* to 4*, and probably 4* to 5* but that will be extremely hard. Nevertheless, the Ns are still good as star raising fodder. Tickets for Ns are hard to come by as well, so it’s way better to save them and grind them to use as fodder.
Quickly join any party and start your own ‘kekkai’ – Just join a party who doesn’t mind you playing casually, and they’ll most likely help you through a shit ton of stuff like the daily events. Get started on grinding your shikigamis using the kekkais which feed them experience once they run out of time. The area you’re given also makes energy and experience, so it’s good if you’re offline, it will technically grind your characters for you. They also help with grinding new characters and fodder for you so it’s really good.
Extra buffs, bonus energy – Your paper shikigamis will give you extra energy, and drop omamoris to increase drop rates for awakening. Reaching level 15-20ish (i forgot what level) will give you access to shake the sakura tree, where shaking it will give you energy and a 2x exp buff. For now, the sakura tree function has disappeared, but I recommend it whenever it’s available. The omamoris the paper shikigami give you increase the drop rate for spirit collection and awakening material collection. Make use of the buffs! Awakening shikigamis in this game is really tough but fruitful, and will require a shit ton of grinding for the materials as the higher the rarity, the rarer material you will need for awakening. Awakening boosts a Shikigami’s stats by a lot, so it’s definitely recommended to do it!
Pray for a healer shikigami – Oh man, I can’t stress this enough, healer shikigamis are your gods for difficult story bosses, but if you have bad luck like me, it’s gonna be hard to get what you want, so a solution to this is to quickly awaken the stronger shikigamis in this game. The rates are pretty bad, so it’s a take what you can get situation if you’re a F2P. Train whatever shikigami you think is good when you get them, and if you get SRs fast, good for you! For people with shitty luck like me, hang onto your Yukionna so bad cuz they’ll give you a free awakening for her and you’ll definitely want to keep her.
Onmyouji is really a good RPG game. Complemented with the nice visuals and good art, the game is really good in terms of gameplay despite the grindy stuff. I definitely recommend this to RPG fans who want a mobile game! However, like any other free-to-play mobile game, it will take a lot of time to get yourself stabilised in the game and have a good pool of shikigamis to work with. Patience is always key in such games, unless you’re willing to bomb shit tons of money on it from the get-go. The game is pretty good to pass the time with the visuals and the story, but can get boring at times, especially when you’re just grinding. So for those who really hate the grinding section of RPGs, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The seiyuu cast in the game is rad. I think it has so many well-known seiyuus I’m thrown off during the story because I’ll hear a popular seiyuu and iI’ll be like （・□・；）”I know this voice!!” You might be able to find a seiyuu you like in the pool of seiyuus. They didn’t do a shabby job of it as well, as the voice-acting is pretty well done and all. The art is all the reason I’m here, and the characters ar so good I might possibly be cosplaying as a character from the series in the future. The game is really worth the grind for the art and meeting all the new shikigamis, with all sorts of different personalities.
The game somehow hones my chinese skills, but for those who can’t read chinese, the japanese version of the game is always available, just unfortunately I’m not sure how to get it for now as the version available on Qooapp is actually in Traditional Chinese. My main is currently on the Taiwan server, and I have no plans on moving to the japanese one because I’m content playing there. Overall, the game is one packed with a lot of things to do, it takes a while to get used to everything and trying to get used to the overall system, but it’s definitely really fun to play once you get used to things in there.
Despite how much you need to war with the RNG, it’s still pretty interesting to come up with strategies without having to cash in anything with the characters you currently have in your inventory. It’s a work-with-what-you-have situation, so it’s always fun to try out different combinations of shikigamis to work around with. I’ll recommend this to anyone who wants a fun RPG to play on their phone. It has been a fresh and interesting experience for me, one who has been binging on shit tons of idol rhythm games for a while and only mains one mobile RPG. However, the game takes up a lot of space as well, so do watch out for that if you do download it because these nice graphics really do take up a lot of space on your phone. If you’re interested to find out more, you can head to their official site.
Edit: A friend reminded me that NetEase is actually planning on releasing an English and Korean version for the game eventually, so those who can’t read Japanese and are interested, an English version is coming up, so it’s definitely something to look forward to!
That’s about it for now! I hope you enjoyed my review of a RPG mobile game, something I don’t really do that often. If you need any help for people playing the game, feel free to comment and I’ll try my best to help you! Not sure if I’m planning to do one more of these for one of the games I main a lot nowadays, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X, now renamed Union Cross, but I might do one someday since there’s a whole new system. I’m planning on trying to get something otome out soon, probably Dance with Devils, so do look forward to that!