Finished OreShika – Thoughts, tips and spoilers

I finished OreShika last year, oh so long ago. Ancient history, practically. Or whatever it is we call December 31st 2017 these days. I would have written something earlier, but I wanted to get revenge on a boss named Tokasen first. Unfortunately, due to the way OreShika works, bosses get shuffled around the dungeons regularly without notice. The dungeons themselves get reshuffled too, so you might end up having to explore the same dungeon again with all your progress reset. So I know Tokasen in the Heptacolor Springs somewhere, but after a half-hearted attempt to find her again, I finally gave up and closed the books on OreShika.

The reason why I wanted to kill her so badly was because she beat me twice. Sent me packing with my tail between my legs. Normally this would be just one of those things, but in OreShika such failures will plague you till the day you die. They’ll even list “Fled from Tokasen” in your obituary when you finally kick the bucket. It’s just too embarrassing. I know I’m supposed to be madder at Abe no Seimei for cursing my family, but at least the game doesn’t go “Nyah nyah, Abe kicked your @$$!” for the rest of your life.

And anyway, unlike Tokasen, I did get revenge on Abe no Seimei in the end. First time I faced him with Asura, I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have the right strategy, which involves stacking Masking Mist (dodge up) and Backs to the Wall (def up) and wiping him out with Special Arts ASAP. After I ran off in disgrace from my first attempt, I gave birth to some great kids and took him down with ease.

Nueko didn’t help much but I had to take her along anyway.

But just because you can take down Asura doesn’t mean you’re ready for the final boss XXXX. Here “ready” means you have one or two lancers who can spam a move that blocks all attacks every turn. Yes, it’s as broken as it sounds.

The only reason why you can’t beat the final boss the minute you learn that move is because it doesn’t work on Asura, the gatekeeper boss. It doesn’t work on shikigami/festival bosses either. Everyone else is fair game. That’s why I was looking for Tokasen to take her down with my spiffy new moves. Even she wouldn’t be able to cope with that. Maybe I should go back and get her after all. Hmm.

Well anyway, I beat the final boss in like 30 seconds and got the ending. It was pretty meh. Seimei thought his father had been sealed under the Palace, but he wasn’t. He was actually hiding in Seimei’s sidekick Onigashira all along. He possessed Seimei and tried to use his body to take over the Heavens, Earth and Underworld because that’s what Nueko wanted. Except Nueko says she didn’t want that. I don’t even know what’s going on any more. So that’s how we got Onigashira a.k.a. XXXX as the final boss. I beat him up… and I don’t know what happened to him after that. Is he dead? Dormant? Why did he want to unify all three realms anyway?

Onigashira is the totally-not-suspicious red mask on the right.

In the ending sequence, Nueko goes down to the Underworld cradling the broken Onigashira. Abe no Seimei is taken up to heaven to become a god. Yes, instead of being punished for his stunts he’s rewarded instead. Just like the Big Bad of the last game, Kitsuto, who is now the highest-ranking god in the game.

In Abe’s case, though, it’s not really a reward. He says he caused all this trouble because he wanted to spend time with his mommy and daddy. Instead mommy beats daddy up, Abe is kicked up to heaven and then mommy goes for a vacation on the other side of the world, more or less. He basically achieved zero besides torturing my family for years. At least he enjoyed that part – I know because he told me so repeatedly. So you’ll forgive me if I don’t really feel sorry for him.

Btw, the game doesn’t address most of the questions I raised in the last post on OreShika. It seems the bad guy XXXX was disowned for using Onigashira to try to stage a coup d’état in the heavens. That much is clear. But why Nueko sealed him up, why Nueko was sealed in heaven, why Kitsuto got involved, etc. are all left for the gamer to imagine answers to.

It’s possible you might patch the whole story together by beating every Onigami in the game, but who has time for that? Especially since I’m just guessing when I say “it’s possible.” You might clear the whole thing and still be none the wiser. Enough about that, let me share a few tips I picked up along the way:

Miscellaneous tips

-Lancers and their “Soldier” arts make all the onigami and the final boss easy mode. Just FYI in case you’re stuck somewhere.

-I didn’t experiment at all with betrothals and adoptions, but I hear you can pick up super-powerful kids and heirlooms through QR codes scattered online. Can the PSTV even scan QR codes? I don’t think so. Anyway it’s worth a try if you have a regular PSVITA and want to break the games.

-You can choose anything you want as a starting class except Wreckers (too finicky, need really good stats). Getting gunners, halberdiers or dancers to hurt more enemies is not a bad idea, but IMO martial artists and archers are best for mincing enemy leaders in a flash.

-Breed with really good gods, but don’t always break the bank to do so. If you have 30,000 devotion, sometimes it might be better to have two 15,000 kids than one 30,000 kid. Depends on a lot of factors like your rate of devotion accumulation, the age of your current party members, how far you are in the game, etc.

-Changing difficulties on the fly can help with grinding. Need more money and glory? Switch to Keen. Need more time to explore a dungeon? Try Fanatical.

-Consider restarting the game until you get the Heptacolor Springs as one of your starting dungeons. It’s annoying to navigate (so you only want to do it once) and it has the tag that leads to the room that lets you unlock every gate in the game.

-Occasionally a land will pop up where the General Store sells Chimes of Victory. Buy them and use them every time before a boss.

-When you get to the crab boss you’re supposed to run away from, don’t run so quickly. Kill it as many times as possible to rope in a heap of devotion and glory. You can do the same infinite loop with most of the other shikigami bosses, as long as you face them without Nueko in your party. Don’t forget to use a Chime of Victory first!

-The Winter Tournament is by far the best place to get glory and devotion towards the end of the game. Once you have a few hit-all Secret Arts or some powerful magic spells, it’s time to give it a shot. You get 12,000 glory per round on the easiest difficulty, which is just insane.

Quick final thoughts

-The gameplay was fun, the story not so much. It was just aight. I didn’t hate Nueko exactly but I don’t feel she added anything to the game.

-Loved the soundtrack. The battle theme is playing through my head even now.

-Loved the parade of monsters you get when you kill the final boss. I liked all the monster designs. The koto-playing cats are my favorite. I like to think they’re the ones playing the koto throughout the game. I need to figure out how to get screenshots off the PSTV without using social media.

I love you too, Nueko.

-The god breeding roster is very thin because half the gods are playing around on earth. Even if you beat them up and send them back to heaven, they might come down again anyway before you can breed with them.

-Randomly reshuffling dungeons was a bad idea. Especially since the layouts are randomized as well. Every time a dungeon reshuffles, you have to explore it and unlock shortcuts all over again. I understand that they wanted to keep things fresh, but IMO they should have just had more/deeper dungeons and fewer iterations.

-It’s doubly annoying because you have to beat bosses up to get bits and pieces of story out of them. That was fine in the previous game where they stayed put in their respective dungeons, but now they’re scattered all over the place all the time.

TL;DR:  I loved OreShika, but overall I didn’t enjoy exploring and fighting as much as I’d hoped. You can’t find the bosses you want to fight when you want to fight them and your dungeon exploration progress is constantly reset without warning. Breeding isn’t as much fun either with so few options available.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the game at all – I did, very much so – but I think the first Ore no Shikabane wo Koete Yuke was the more satisfying experience. Sure it wasn’t as pretty and the soundtrack wasn’t as polished. But the story was more coherent, progression was more logical and straightforward and there was a much higher degree of freedom.

That made it easier to play for a longer time, versus this OreShika where you don’t feel like you’ve accomplished anything by the time you finish because there are still onigami like Tokasen running around unpunished. I don’t suppose they’ll ever make a third game in the series, but if they do I hope they’ll splice together the best of both games to create a true masterpiece. No matter what system they release it on, I’ll be sure to play it.

What’s next

Tsuchiura’s route in La Corda d’Oro 2. I’ve got the PS2 hooked up and everything. It seems like a waste to connect the PS2 just for one short route, so I might do Hihara’s as well while I’m at it. After that I want to do some running and slashing, so… Tokyo Xanadu? Let’s aim for that.

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