Okami HD Got Right
- + One of the most brilliant art styles of the last decade gets a HD facelift
- + Multiple different environments to explore
- + Unique take on gameplay
- + Over 30 hours of content
Okami HD Got Wrong
- - Text-heavy dialogue can drag on
- - Combat can be too easy/repetitive
Released on the PS2 late in the console’s life cycle in 2006, Okami sent shockwaves through the gaming world, becoming an instant classic and one of the year’s most well-received titles. In Okami HD, the revered art style is brought to life and given the justice that 480p simply could not provide. If you’re not one for reading then I’ll sum up the review for you in a sentence – if you don’t have Okami in your game collection, then you need to buy it. Now.
The story of Okami follows Amaterasu, a sun goddess of Japanese mythology who has taken the form of a white wolf, who the villagers believe to be a reincarnation of the legendary Shiranui, who saved their lands 100 years earlier. The once-beautiful lands of the Kamiki Village have been ravage by the evil Orochi’s curse, and it’s your job to lift it and restore peace and colour to the various vibrant environments you’ll encounter in the game.
Along with your sidekick and comic relief Issun, Amaterasu is tasked with finding the 13 Celestial Brush techniques to defeat Orochi, which include attacks to slash and drop bombs on enemies, as well as creating platforms to reach previously-unreachable areas and the ability to restore broken objects (such as bridges). This is what sets Okami apart from your usual action-adventure game – the brush techniques can be used in a variety of unique ways, and provide a facet of gameplay that we’ve never seen before.
Pressing R1 will freeze time and turn the screen into an artistic canvas, of sorts, where then pressing Square will allow the player to draw brush strokes on the screen using the analog sticks. Whether you draw a straight line through a boulder or enemy to slash through it, or even the outline of a bomb to wreak explosive havoc, the world of Okami truly is one of the best interactive experiences of the last decade.
If you own a PlayStation Move controller, Okami HD is a fine example of the technology being put to use. Using the Celestial Brush with the analog sticks can prove tedious at times (especially circles), and while it’s only a minor annoyance, the PlayStation Move controller allows the game to flow on a whole new level – if you can get the hang of it.
The Move controller can prove to be clunky and ultimately more difficult to use than the standard controller, however those who are comfortable with it will enjoy the game at a more free-flowing pace. While the Move controller will allow you to control the Celestial Brush with ease, utilising your standard PS3 controller won’t detract from the overall experience of the game (it was made to play with a controller).
Visually, the game was heralded upon release for its vibrant, cel-shaded style, and is a serious contender for best art direction of the last ten years – high-defintion has only made Okami even more beautiful than it already was. As you lift Orochi’s curse and defeat enemies the environment around you will return to its colourful and peaceful state – be it in a forest, cavern or village, the HD remastering allows the game to be viewed in a way we could have only dreamed of six years ago.
Like everything, though, the game has its flaws, as minor as they are. Cutscenes and the text-heavy dialogue can become tedious and tend to drag on, although the occasional comic relief from various characters will provide a laugh or two. You’ll never have any problem traversing through the environment, either – combat tends to be on the easy side and can often become repetitive.
Ultimately, Okami HD is a pure remastering of one of last generation’s most under-appreciated titles – if you’re expecting new content, you’re out of luck. Okami HD is undoubtedly a title that deserved a HD facelift and a brand new reveal for a new market that may have never had the chance to play the game.
The Final Verdict
Whether or not you’ve already had the chance to play Okami on the PS2 or Wii, you haven’t had the chance to play it in 1080p. With PlayStation Move and trophy support, there’s plenty of reasons to pick up Okami HD and revisit one of last generation’s best-looking games. If you’re new to gaming or simply never played it back in the day – go out and grab it and experience the game like never before.
By Jake Galouzis