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A demo for Tokyo RPG Factory's next game is now on Steam

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Oninaki is a new action-RPG from Tokyo RPG Factory, the team behind I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear, and publisher Square Enix, about a Watcher who protects Life by ensuring that the Dead move to the Beyond, as they are intended. It's all a bit strange, so I'll let the description on Steam speak for itself.

"Reincarnation is the foundation of our way of life. We celebrate the lives we’ve been given, and offer up prayers for the next. It is grief of death which shackles the living, and causes the dead to stray. Indeed, there is no greater affront to reincarnation. So do we turn our grief to joy as we send off the dead."

"But the souls of those who held back their tears in life still need salvation in death. A duty that falls to the Watchers. Their task is to guide the wandering souls known as the Lost, and serve as keepers of the Living World and the Beyond. The Watchers sever the bonds that tie the Lost to this world, and send them on to the next. They navigate the emotions of the living and the dead. They prize life above all else."

Odd as that sounds, the themes of protection, shepherding, and sadness are pretty well in character for Tokyo RPG Factory. I Am Setsuna is about a young girl who has chosen to sacrifice herself to protect her people from angry demons, while Lost Sphear is about a young man who must restore his disappeared village by rediscovering lost memories. And in terms of actual gameplay, Oninaki sounds fairly straightforward, with "fast-paced, free-flowing" real-time battles, customizable characters, separate Story and Battle modes, and "emotional cut scenes, events and intimate conversations."

The trailer looks good, and even better than that, a demo is now available on Steam. It offers the opening of Oninaki's "epic tale of life, death, and reincarnation" in Story mode, as well as Battle mode with an upgraded character who's been possessed by four Daemons (but this is apparently a good thing) "Daemons that perform exciting and varied alternate job roles, with unique combat weapons and abilities."

Any progress earned in the demo will carry over to the full release of Oninaki, which is set to come out on August 22. It's available for pre-purchase on Steam for $45/£36/€45, which is ten percent off the regular price.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.