The Xbox One launched in Japan at the beginning of September this year. There it has struggled to against competition from the more popular Playstation 4 and declining interest in consoles from Japanese consumers. Despite those difficulties, Japanese software has started to trickle out for the Xbox One.
First there was the free Chaos;Child demo, and now the Xbox One even has an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) in Japan: Onigiri! The release of Onigiri is exciting because the game is free and not region locked. Anybody can download and start questing with friends, provided they don't mind a little legwork and a lot of Japanese text. We're here to help with a full guide to downloading and getting started in Onigiri, complete with video!
What's an Onigiri?
Onigiri is a Japanese food made from rice and seaweed. But the kanji characters the title is written in actually mean "oni slaying." The oni-slaying kind of Onigiri happens to be a popular MMO from Japanese publisher Cyberstep.
The game takes place in an ancient Japan populated by mythological characters and monsters. A race of gigantic monsters called the Kamikui once threatened the land and its people. The sun goddess managed to seal the monsters away for a time. But now one of the seals has broken and the Kamikui return to destroy the world. Only you, a young Oni (ogre) and your friends can protect the land stop the Kamikui.
The PC version of Onigiri is available to play right now in English; give that a try if you're not concerned with consoles. But we're all about the Xbox One and Onigiri's exotic Japanese Achievements, so that's the focus of this guide.
Anyone can download the Japanese version of Onigiri, regardless of country of origin. The method for doing so does not involve fraud and should not be punishable by Microsoft. Plus, it's easy!
- Press the Menu/Start button at the dashboard. Go to Settings and then System.
- Choose Language and Location. Take note of where this option is found so that you will be able to change it back later.
- Select Language, and then scroll all the way to the bottom and pick Japanese (written as three Japanese characters).
- Press B or choose the right-most option to restart the console in Japanese mode.
- Now that Xbox One is set to Japanese, it's time to download the game. From the main dashboard, scroll to the Store page at the right. Select the top-right option, which means Game.
- You might see a tile from Onigiri on the first Store page. If so, select it and skip ahead to "After Selecting Onigiri."
- If the Japanese Xbox Game Store displays four main choices along the left, pick the top-most option (All Games). If you just see a list of recently released games, pick the ellipsis button (…) to launch the full games list. Scroll through the list until you find Onigiri.
- After selecting Onigiri, pick the top option to download it, and then pick the default option to confirm the download.
- You can monitor your download progress from the game's Store page, or exit and watch the download from the My Collection (Games and Apps) page.
- Once the game has finished downloading, repeat the previous steps to return to Language and Location. Change your language and region back to their correct settings and restart the console again.
- You can now enjoy Onigiri! If your Games list is sorted alphabetically, Onigiri will appear at the end of the list.
Creating your character
Before you actually play Onigiri, you need to create an account at the Cyberstep website (or through the PC Onigiri game client). Head to this page at the Cyberstep website and select "Sign Up" at the top of the screen.
- Launch the Xbox One game and select the big yellow option "Log In."
- Now enter your account information (email is the top option, password is the bottom one) and choose the yellow option to continue. You only need to enter your account info once.
All English screens captured from PC version, edited by hand, or both.
- Next you'll visit the Character Select screen.
Tips: Use the left analog stick to control the cursor like a mouse. The d-pad will jump directly between the various menu options. You can also click the tiny buttons near the character to zoom, toggle clothing, and rotate the character.
- After clicking Select to finalize your character's appearance and voice, you'll name the character.
Now you must select from five character types. These types have different balances of the five key stats. The stats affect weapon proficiency and play style. But keep in mind you can distribute stat points whenever you level up, so don't fret too much over your starting stats.
- Power affects Katana, Axe, Odachi, and Spear proficiency.
- Vitality affects skill with the Spear. It also increases your max HP, so don't neglect it.
- Wisdom affects Wand proficiency, as well as max SP (Skill Points) and rate of critical hits.
- Mind aids Staff skills, boosting the effectiveness of spells, and increasing Magic Defense, Max SP, and SP recovery.
- Dexterity contributes to Bow and Twin Sword proficiency. It also boosts critical damage and reduces skill cooldowns.
Pick the blue button "Start Game" and you'll move on to the Character Select screen. See the screenshot for translations of the menu options. Multiplayer is MMO-style play, while Single-player prevents you from encountering other players. Onigiri has no PvP, so there is no downside to playing multiplayer.
Beginning the game
- Onigiri starts out with a single-player tutorial. See the image above for a description of the controls.
- Your first task is to attack the Daruma enemy.
- Hit the Daruma with your first skill.
- Attack it with your second skill.
- Move on to the Kappa enemy and block its attack.
- Next you'll fight the Kani-bouzu (crab) enemy. Just defeat it to move on.
- Finally, you'll encounter the Tiamat boss. Just attack it and roll to dodge as needed.
After saving Lady Shizuka, you'll move on to the first hub city Onigashima. You can now meet other players, take on quests, visit dungeons, and explore other areas.
- Yellow arrows point to "main" story quests and their objectives.
- Blue arrows point to optional side quests and their objectives.
Before entering the first dungeon (necessary for a story quest), you must equip a Magatama. Press Menu and choose either Equip or Status (and then the Equip tab) to select it. See the screenshot for help.
The large meter at the top-left corner of the screen is your experience meter. When it fills up, you will level up and a circular icon will appear beneath the experience and Partner meters. Press Menu and select the icon to distribute the stat points you have gained.
Press the Menu button to launch the main menu. From here, you can choose from four main categories of menus. We've included English screenshots to make menu navigation easier.
Choose the blue X at the top-right corner of the screen to bring up the "Quit" menu.
You'll meet eight partner characters over the course of the game, starting with Lady Shizuka. Partners can be summoned into battle for a limited time, represented by a pink meter. After the summon time expires, the partner will leave and require a cooldown before the next summoning.
To summon a partner, press Menu, pick Story, and then Partners. Select the top-right option to summon or dismiss the partner.
Your affection with a partner affects his or her effectiveness in battle, as well as the various NPC functions they can perform (weapon repairs, crafting, etc.). Increase affection by giving that partner gifts that he or she likes. Several Achievements are tied to reaching specific affection levels with each of the partners. Select the Heart icon to give gifts.
The second partner, purple-haired Yoshitsune is essential to your progress. She can repair weapons when they wear out; just choose the second option when speaking to her. The third partner, blue-haired Miroku buys and sells items. The top option when speaking to him is buy and the one below that is sell.
A vast mythological world to explore
Like other MMORPGs, Onigiri is a truly huge game. The lack of English text in the Japanese Xbox One version makes the game a little more difficult for English speakers to enjoy, but not impossible. With our guide and the Onigiri Wiki, you should be able to progress through the game without too much trouble.
Let us know if you decide to download the game, and how you like it. Perhaps one day we'll meet up in the game and go on quests together!
If you want to see more of Onigiri, check out the replay of our Onigiri Twitch streaming session.
English version coming soon too!
Windows Central is proud to exclusively announce that Onigiri for Xbox One will be released in English markets as well. Read our interview to learn more, including whether or not characters transfer from the Japanese to English versions!