Review on Okami HD (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

In December 2017, Capcom re-released the HD version of its classic game Okami. Remaking classic games became a mainstream nowadays, but it is not always a way to success. For many players, new textures and crisper graphics are not enough to replay the cheesy old plot. Okami is a completely different case, it felt unique in 2006 and now with 4K graphics, it is still one of the best games to play. Follow this review to lose any doubts about this statement.

Explore Japanese mythology in a most exciting way

Explore Japanese mythology in a most exciting way

The game is a slow-starter, so, if you have played previous versions, Okami HD allows skipping the 15 minutes long intro. If you have never heard of Okami, it is an action RPF game based on the traditional Japanese folklore. Game’s director Hideki Kamiya was inspired by The Legend of Zelda series, so you can find some similarities between two games.

Your main character is a Shinto goddess of sun and nature Amaterasu, who took a form of a white wolf. The main goal is to restore peace and defeat evil daemons that put ancient Nippon (Japan) under scrutiny. Even though the game’s main story is linear, you will have an opportunity to explore the world through optional activities and various sidequests. Amaterasu is guided by Issun, a “wandering artist”, who evolves from an arrogant joker into your true friend along the way. You need to pass various assignments from small ones (like feeding wild animals or bringing a dead tree to life) to big ones (like fighting beasts and solving mysteries).

Fighting in the game is fun and challenging. Fights take place in closed ghostly arenas but some encounters can be omitted. To defeat different enemies you need to use special techniques like wearing them down or hitting vulnerable spots. After battles, Amaterasu is rewarded with in-game currency presented as Yen. You can get more for finishing fights quickly or without taking any damage. This money is needed for upgrading your skills and weaponry as well as for buying healing potions and quest related items.

Paint your way to victory

Paint your way to victory

All of a sudden, the most powerful weapon in the game is not a charmed sword but a paintbrush. After learning and mastering all thirteen Celestial Brush techniques with Issun’s help, Amaterasu becomes almost invincible. You can cut enemies by drawing a line through them, slow them down with a wall of fresh sprouts by drawing some dots on their way or even blow them up with a cherry bomb. Do not worry if it sounds like an overkill. Celestial brush relies on limited inkwells, which refill slowly over time.

This divine brush is, without a doubt, a powerful weapon but it can also be used for creation. You can build bridges with some simple strokes, revive dead trees, and even make the sun shine brighter. This keeps you searching for new opportunities to use this wonderful tool. Unfortunately, the use of Celestial brush can get hard on consoles. Sometimes it is hard to draw a loop with enough precision using the analog stick, which results in a wrong move. The PC version of Okami HD does not have this problem because you have a perfect fit using a mouse to operate the divine brush.

A journey to the bright world

Furthermore, the Celestial Brush perfectly go together with game’s vibrant watercolor design. The traditional Japanese legend corresponds to the visual style of Sumi-e paintings. Of course, for some gamers, it will lack modern features like autosave or 60 FPS mode. Some will also find the computer-generated dialogues a bit annoying and out-of-date. Nevertheless, Okami HD is still full of wit, and 4k resolution will keep it from fading into oblivion. To sum up, Okami remains stunning regardless of its age, and good reasons for that are its great deep plot and unique visual arts.

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