This old jewel is one of the fan-favorite anime games released on the PS2. Inuyasha The Secret of the Cursed Mask PS2 is an adventure, turn-based role-playing game, based on the well-known Inuyasha anime and manga series.
Bandai Namco published the game way back in 2004. Video game critics did not enjoy the game very much, it has a score of 51 on Metacritic. On the other hand, the users enjoyed it much more as they gave a much higher user score. The nostalgia of playing an Inuyasha game beats all boundaries when it comes to gameplay quality it seems.
The First Inuyasha Game 2001
The first Inuyasha game was released in 2001, titled simply “Inuyasha”, for the PS1. This game was an old-school turn-based RPG game where you follow Inuyasha and his friends on his quest to defeat his arch-nemesis Naraku. Aside from defeating Naraku, you also have to collect the Jewel of Four Souls (Shikon no Tama) to complete the game. This Jewel plays a vital role in the Inuyasha universe. It drastically increases the spiritual energy of yokais (demons), such as Inuyasha himself.
The battle system is very similar to the old Might and Magic games, where you have a party, which you don’t see on the screen, and the enemies are in front of you with a first-person perspective. However, this game implements the anime art style which makes it a refreshing experience, paired with the original voice acting of the characters.
Whenever one of your party members uses a move, they will talk and the game will display cutscenes during their offending moves, making the experience alike watching the anime itself. Moreover, during conversations, we see the character sprites from the animated series. On the other hand, developers designed the overworld with pixel art typical for the PS1 era, so it serves looks for both those who play it for their love of the series and those who play it because they enjoy classic RPG games in general.
Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask Storyline
The storyline of Inuyasha The Secret of the Cursed Mask is very similar to the plot of the anime/manga itself. You take the role of the non-canon main character named Kururugi (you are male or female based on your choice) who lives in present-day Japan.
After getting sucked in by an ominous pentagram on a floorboard, you find yourself in the Sengoku Period. Sounds kinda similar to Kagome’s storyline, right? After entering centuries older Japan, other people consider you an outcast. Some villagers even mistake you for a demon because of your modern look. After passing out from an encounter with a demon you wake up beside a friendly and similar face, Inuyasha.
Eventually, you introduce yourself to the rest of the squad: Kagome, Shippou, Miroku, and Sango. The story flows like watching Inuyasha anime episodes. You go from village to village and collect info on Naraku who needs to be defeated. During these journeys, you slowly start finding out about secrets on the cursed mask. Slowly, you start realizing its connection to you.
On your way to unraveling mysteries, you come across a person named Utsugi. He is later revealed to be your ancestor who has summoned you to Feudal Japan for malicious purposes. Defeating Utsugi and Naraku is the end goal of Inuyasha the Secret of the Cursed Mask. This leads to a bittersweet return to your world, leaving behind all the new and unforgettable friends you met along the way.
Players enjoyed the extremely compelling storyline, considering its a non-canon story which writers created exclusively for this game. Hanging out with Inuyasha and his friends on this top-quality anime-like journey with many plot twists is simply an amazing experience. Even if you haven’t read the manga or watched the anime, this game might just get you hooked on this overlooked franchise.
Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask Gameplay
Inuyasha the Secret of The Cursed Mask gameplay encompasses basic rpg/adventure features with turn-based combat. You walk around in the overworld interacting with NPCs, collecting information, and finishing quests along the way. Your party consists of six members.
The turn-based combat itself is very straightforward, you choose what action to take each turn. The actions consist of: Battle, Tech, Items, Defend, and Run Away. The actions are self-explanatory, however, Tech is the most interesting action. You can use Normal techs, SP techs, and Co-op techs. Co-op attacks play an extremely good animation that looks like straight out of the anime.
The overworld on the other hand doesn’t look the best. The graphics resemble PS1 games such as Digimon World 1.
Aside from combat, a very interesting gameplay aspect of this game is “internal events”. Before changing locations you can choose to rest with your party. Afterward, you choose with who to interact from one of your party members one-on-one. At first, the dialogue is very shallow, funny, and not so interesting. However, after a certain number of conversations, they become much more serious and dramatic. This mechanic is very interesting since it gives the player the option to get to know each of the characters on a personal level.
If you get exceptionally close with a party member of the opposite sex, there is a chance to develop a romantic relationship. It can even start a love triangle where if you for example get close to Kagome, Inuyasha becomes jealous. Except for the get-to-know factor of this gameplay aspect, it also has other benefits. Developing relationships strongly influences the strength of your co-op attacks with that designated party member.
How Long is Inuyasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask?
On average, it takes around 19 hours to beat Inuyasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask. The main storyline takes up around 17 hours. On the other hand, if you are a completionist and want to finish all of the side quests and unlock all of the extras, the game will keep you occupied for around 24 hours.
For a turn-based RPG game, Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask is relatively short. I wish the developers gave us more time to bond even more with the unforgettable cast of Inuyasha.