Okami HD is an interesting remake, it’s a remake of a remake of an original game for the Wii/PlayStation 2. Made for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows for the first time, it comes with support for up 4k resolution and 60fps as well as extra options to switch aspect ratios from 16:9 or to the original playstyle at 4:3. Moving along, I enjoyed playing Okami from beginning to the end, it was one of those games that I left on the shelf after beating Orochi and assuming the game was complete. I was sadly mistaken and forgot it ever since. Coming back to this game, the first thing I noticed was fast loading times, smooth textures, improved visuals and it performed great at 60fps.
Combat is great, but grinding isn’t
The game starts off throwing you immediately into action and you wonder about finding your first celestial brush technique, for many of you who do not know, Okami is based on an old Japanese folktale, so many elements were inspired from “real” history. Brush strokes felt great to perform especially in combat, Okami’s combat system is one of the simplest, yet robust in customization and technique, each battle will have a different strategy to it and will feel new, it does, however, slow down when brush techniques become harder to find and many times you’ll see feel the need to repeat the same brush stroke multiple times to get it just right against an enemy. A drawback of the combat system is partly due to what limitations you have in the overworld, you often feel forced to fight an enemy to retrieve yen to learn new skills from the master. It gets grindy later on in the game when the prices for new moves or quests rise when they want you to use your hard earned spoils to retrieve items for them. Learning is a heavy part of the combat system and so is remembering, if you’ve forgotten a technique out of the many you may have difficulty fighting an opponent, but you can always get a reminder in your start menu so it isn’t so bad.
Okami is beautiful, the visuals are great and music is well thought out and it makes you feel like you’re reading a storybook from beginning to end, with you playing as the main character. It is almost indefinite that most will fall in love with the art style. However, there are a few issues that get in the way with the art direction, for one is the Dragon Temple(I know many will taunt the “water levels”) it is extremely difficult to see as long as your in it, it gets blurry and almost always leaves me with a headache. I wasn’t anymore happier than the next person when I was able to rush out of there as soon as I finished the dungeon. You may be able to fix this with the filter options in the main menu, setting it to low would reduce the art style effect you would usually get in the game, I can’t image playing in the “HEAVY” filter, I’d feel it’d be a bit hard to see some of Okami’s visuals and might literally impair your vision.
The Overworld of Okami Feels Fresh and Full Of Life
Jokes aside, the campaign of Okami is great, the story is something you’d expect out of a Japanese folktale, but delivers on its messages and manages to make every bit of it interesting. The overworld is quite large for a game that released in 2006, without giving any spoilers it expands to quite of a few prefectures in what would be the overworld map of “Nippon.” The design of these lands are fulfilling, for one, the quests are abundant, but can feel redundant, there are a few instances of reduce-reuse-recycle, like digging mini-games, races and looking for items for people. Other than that, you get a world that characters feel original, interesting, and expressive in. The cutscenes are visually and humorously pleasing, I can’t say Okami is the last game to make me laugh, but it was definitely the last game so far that has made me continuously laugh at how absurd, asinine and deliberate Amaterasu and her partner Issun can be. Okami is an interesting take on the old legend of Japan and one that really forms a message of thought, consequence, and misfortune. Finding the brushstrokes in the game, open up new areas in the game, and you feel deeply involved in the world when you can backtrack to a location you were unable to visit unless you had a brush technique to open the area up.
There are tons of things to do in Okami and the world does not feel empty when traversing it, Okami HD is a solid remake from Capcom and I’m pleased to say that this game is a must buy, priced at $19.99 it makes it an even bigger steal for this holiday season. You can use this link here to purchase the game, in which I may get a percentage of to help support the site.