Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief – Review

Our Score: 7/10

In Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief play as the honourable thief Ebizo. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to walk the path of honour or if you’ll use your prowess as a thief for selfish and evil deeds.

Way of the Thief

You start the game as youthful criminal Ebizo, a Silver Ravens member and a virtuous gang of thieves. When Ebizo notices a little youngster walking around the estate they are robbing, Ainosuke, his supervisor in the organisation, is teaching him the trade skills. Ebizo leaves with the kid when the estate’s owners are executed by the Silver Ravens, having renounced his previous life as a thief and sworn to nurture the daughter in a calm and contented manner. But that was unable to happen.

Suzuna, the girl, spends years living with Ebizo, who starts working as a carpenter. But when Suzuna has a disease that puts her life in danger, Ebizo understands that he must return to stealing in order to pay for the medication Suzuna needs to recover. Suzuna needs medicine, which you must purchase and provide to her. She will pass away and the game will be finished if you don’t give her the medication regularly enough.

Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief - Suzuna

After the prologue, you are let loose in Mikado, where you are free to go around and take whatever you want. Even though the total terrain is very tiny, the initial impression of the experience is positive considering how dated the graphics are.

Pick Pocket Power

To steal anything, Ebizo requires a traditional Japanese thief bag. Different ones may be unlocked that either contain more things or have an enemy-knocking ability. You must cut down what are essentially health bars on larger things before packing them in your luggage. In a similar vein, you may actively rob NPCs of their possessions and money. Because you can only pickpocket from the front, this is a difficult crime to do. Ebizo will hit his victim ineffectively if you attempt it from behind.

Kamiwaza Way of the Thief - Stealth

The “stealth” mechanism in Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief is its strongest feature. You have a cartwheel move that, when used to avoid, grants invincible frames. It also has another feature, though. Time will somewhat slow down and the screen will turn red when you are detected by an adversary. NPCs will no longer see you if you do a cartwheel at this point, and Ebizo will start to shimmer. If you try to pickpocket or take something while glittering, the theft will be successful right away and you’ll get a bonus that counts against your skill points. It’s really rather amazing. You may link them together to increase your score and acquire extra skill points.

Wash Away Your Sins

In Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief, you’ll be taking your stuff to the bathhouse to unload them. You may then trade them for cash by doing this. Or you may place them in your village’s “People’s Box,” which will make people think kindly of you. They’ll greet you with enthusiasm, among other things, and put gifts at your door. You’ll also accept tasks from the informant from the bathhouse, who lets you purchase advice on goods to steal.

Like in the old Assassin’s Creed games, a system exists where wanted signs more accurately depict Ebizo’s face the more frequently you are observed carrying out the deed. If you want to avoid being followed while crossing the street, you must steal signs. However, if your bag is even slightly overflowing, guards will begin to assault you.

A Bit too Old School

Practically no explanations are provided for the wanted system, the alertness of the local guards, Suzuna’s health, or the game’s many endings. Even the subtler aspects of “just stealth” are not taught very effectively. It was possible for the game to include brand-new lessons or even notes in the online handbook. Instead, there isn’t much to bring out the subtle differences. It feels like a huge chance was lost for a game that was transferred and re-released.

Final Verdict

Kamiwaza: Way of the Thief is a port and re-release of a 16-year-old game. Now, the game could have made improvements and added more Quality of Life changes but it doesn’t. The lack of these changes can lead to some people finding it hard to play. But the game is still quite an intriguing stealth game that seems to have lent a lot to different games with its mechanics.

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