6) Twilight of Edo Japan
This is probably going to be my most controversial take that I’m sure plenty will disagree with but I felt like this was a missed opportunity.
Twilight of Edo Japan focuses on a shinobi in training named Oboromaru. He’s tasked with freeing a prisoner and, in the process, finds out about an ancient evil that needs to be vanquished. It’s a branching linear game that requires you to either use stealth or violence to make your way through a massive complex filled with secrets, hidden bosses, hidden characters that help you and more. It’s also features of the most beautiful visuals in the game.
So why is it number six?
First off, the stealth is insane. If you’ve been discovered, just throw up your “Shadowed Self” blanket and the enemy will immediately stop and forget you were ever there. There’s a bizarre password mechanic where a verbal password switches between two different responses every time a bell tolls…which would be tricky if not for the fact that every time the bell tolls your character literally says something like “I guess the password is ‘origin’ now.” It removes any reason for the bells to be there.
Also, remember how I said it had some of the most beautiful visuals? That’s when you’re outside. Unfortunately, you spend a lot of time inside with rooms decorated like someone tried to make a log cabin in Minecraft. This is extra unfortunate considering you’re going to spend a lot of time lost in these halls as the map they give you is one of the most confusing things I’ve ever seen.
Two things I did enjoy though.
I thought the final boss was interesting as Lord Ode has a second form that felt very Ghibli-esque whenever someone succumbs to greed. Also, it has a hidden boss that’s really difficult named Lord Iwonna who’s literally just a giant coy fish. I don’t know why I love fighting a large realistically rendered fish but let me have my little joys.