Review | Okami HD

"Has Capcom given the game the treatment it deserves?"

Ōkami is a cult classic that possesses amazing visuals and a huge open world to explore and save. The game has since received an HD update and now has the tech behind it that it deserves, but has Capcom given the game the treatment it deserves?

Ōkami itself is still intact, it’s still the same brilliantly charming and clever game it has always been with memorable characters and a world that transforms as you move through it. Playing as Amaterasu, your role is to restore the land and save it from a demon that has risen after years of imprisonment at the hands (paws) of an ancestor. Armed with the celestial brush, you will paint life and splendour back into the darkened world.

"…does more than just stick with the groundwork set by its inspiration…"

Gameplay is very, very similar to Zelda, there’s no illusions to argue against that made here, a huge open world with quests gained from NPCs that inhabit the many villages you will visit. You gain new powers as you go, giving you access to some areas you may have passed before, but were unable to traverse. Luckily the game does more than just stick with the groundwork set by its inspiration and improves many of the problems that the Zelda series possesses. Combat is not reliant on a lock-on mechanic and uses a intuitive directional based combat system much like Hideki Kamiya’s other games and it works just as well here with little to no issues arising whilst in the zoned off combat arenas. The map is instantly accessible by holding down L2, which makes long quests that require a lot of travelling a lot less tedious with no time need ever spent in menu screens. The writing and characters are also a lot snappier and smarter with every character bursting with character and charm.

There are a few issues, such as the overly sensitive tutorial sections of the game that will give little room for error before they re-iterate what button does what and give some extra ‘subtle’ hints to make sure you understood. Also the introduction to the game’s story and that whole cinematic is a bit long-winded. 

The visuals of Ōkami are renowned for their beautiful watercolour, sumi-e ink painting style and they are intact here with more than a bit of a boost. Colours burst out of the screen and thick black outlines give definition and style to every object, it’s truly something to behold. Capcom haven’t done everything they could’ve done with some issues with pop-in, but it never looks ugly, ever. The most visually stunning games are never those with tons of tech pumped into the development time, but rather those with creative and resourceful visuals getting the best from video game hardware. So is the case with Ōkami and this HD remake is still one of the most beautiful looking games around.

”[Okami will] reaffirm your love for video games…”

Whether you’re a long time fan who is looking to replay the game in HD, or are looking for a fresh and interesting game in the adventure genre then Ōkami is a game that will satisfy those needs and reaffirm your love for video games and what they can be when a developer such as Clover knows what they are doing and do it ever so convincingly. 

  • Brilliant character with lots of charm.
  • Amazing visuals that accompany the game’s character and themes.
  • A world that comes alive with every action performed by the player.
  • One of the best games of the PS2 console cycle, now on PS3.

  • Intro is a bit long-winded.
  • Tutorials are a bit patronising and sensitive.
  • Pop-in is a slight nit-pick.

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