Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel looks predictable: nothing special, but possibly something fans of the anime series will at least enjoy. In the beginning, this seems to be the case. Once you leave the first battle, though, the game will quickly shows its nature… way, way too quickly.
We’ve played a lot of RPGs in which enemies randomly ambushed us as we walked from place to place - that's practically a staple of role-playing games. But we can safely say Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel has one of the most ridiculously high random encounter rates, ever. Approximately one to three steps is all it takes for the screen to freeze and for an assembly of evildoers to assault the party. This isn’t more than a second or two, folks. If this sounds irritating, you don’t even know the half of it - most areas are set up to have at a lot of dead-ends, with not even an item for your hard work. It’s a confusing process of selecting the correct path based on your gut instinct, which will inevitably become more tortuous as areas look more interchangeable.
With battling random monsters comprising at least ninety-five percent of the game, we suspect the developers wanted to show off a combat system that’s unique and addicting. But it’s not; in fact, Inuyasha has one of the most basic RPG combat systems out there. Thankfully, the battles are therefore simple and pretty easy; boss battles typically don’t require more than an “attack and heal” strategy.
Even though it does say Inuyasha right there on the box, you don’t play as Inuyasha right away, oddly enough. Initially, you play as Janis, Unfortunately, this evolves into her biggest mistake, which is something along the lines of jumping into another dimension. Around this time, you get a message to be careful because of the amount of monsters out there. If you manage to plow through the game's irritations, you will indeed find a story that’s respectable for fans.
Depending on your magnitude of patience, there is a chance you’ll continue past these nuisances and on with the story, which is admittedly pretty good. You'll start the game not as Inuyasha, but as Janis, a high-school girl who has recently moved to Japan. Shortly after meeting series stalwarts Kagome and Inuyasha, she takes a few steps into the wrong dimension and it all goes haywire. The resulting storyline isn't quite Final Fantasy quality by any means, but series devotees will find plenty to admire here. Still, given the constant interruption for battles and the heinous dungeon layouts, we suspect that none but the most devoted fans of the series will care.