Japan just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to demons. Dawn of Dreams takes place fifteen years after the original Onimusha trilogy, but the action-packed essence remains fully intact. Emperor Hideyoshi is up to something unspeakable with the nation's cherry trees, and plans to turn every last citizen into a mindless drone under his command.
Your only recourse is to stop this evil with lots and lots of bloodshed. You start out controlling only Soki - a blond samurai ogre with two giant broadswords - but before too many hours have passed, you've got a full stable of five fighters to choose from, each sporting a set of unlockable signature attacks and combos.
Killing monsters and absorbing their souls will slowly power up your avatars from well-dressed gimps to minor deities, and as your basic hack-and-slash attacks are upgraded, new and more advanced forms become available. These can be leveled up as well, and range from Soki's brutal "head splitter" to gun-toting Ohatsu's explosive "fireworks." Each ally also hides a secret form that's set loose with an "Oni Awakening," giving you a frightening new visage, limited invincibility and other secrets to discover. Their weapons - which include swords, staffs and guns - can also be upgraded. And if both your onscreen characters are wielding sufficiently advanced hardware, you can unleash devastating combined attacks that unleash destructive energy everywhere.