We’ve been granted the chance to check out the recent PlayStation 4 re-release of Okami HD, which had arrived on PlayStation 3 after originally being released on the PlayStation 2. How will it hold up to the test of time?
Okami HD places you in control of Amaterasu, also known as Ammy, who is the Shinto sun goddess. She takes on the form of a white wolf throughout the game, and sets out to cleanse the land after Orochi, an eight-headed demon, has cast a curse upon it. Amaterasu is accompanied by an artist known as Issun, and the two attempt to correct the foul presence affecting the world.
The characters and story alike are all well written, and you can flesh out the characters more via a variety of side-quests. I won’t spoil anything in case others have not played the title in any form as of yet, but it is interesting to see how the relationships are built upon.
Though typically the comparison is made to the Zelda series, Okami is actually more action-based in terms of combat, encouraging you to utilize your combinations in order to take down your foes. You have a variety of weapons to utilize as you progress through the narrative, with some obtained via defeating specific bosses and others obtained via purchase. You have fifteen different weapons that you can obtain across the Reflector, Rosary, and Glaive categories, and each offers up different effects, depending on how they are equipped.
A Rosary can either function as bullets, if utilized as a sub-weapon, or a if utilized as your primary weapon. The variety gives players quite a bit to experiment with if they so choose, while not forcing those who do not wish to engage in such experimentation to do so fight through with the standard equipment.
As you adventure throughout the world of Nippon, you can come across three Dojos. These can allow you to expand Amaterasu’s abilities, which can both help in combat as well as with some of the puzzles you will encounter in the game.
There are a few RPG elements that you can enjoy in the game as well. You gain praise by restoring the land and otherwise helping the people out, which you can then utilize to increase your maximum hit points, ink pots (essentially the game’s mana points), the size of your purse, which allows you to purchase from the merchants, or your Astral pouch, which serves as Amaterasu’s stomach.
Perhaps one of the most unique parts of the game comes in the form of the Celestial Brush, which opens a canvas upon being activated. You will utilize this in a variety of ways, such as fixing bridges, controlling the day/night cycle, and more, and though the strokes can be similar, where you draw can have an effect on what occurs. If you draw a circle in the air, for example, the sun will appear in the sky. If you draw the same circle on water, on the other hand, a lillypad will appear. You can also utilize this in combat to soak an enemy in ink or even make a Cherry Bomb appear.
Some enemies even require you to utilize the Celestial Brush to uncover their weaknesses, which also contributes to the combat system and making it more interesting. As noted before, using this takes up ink, and, while enemies can drop more ink, if you run out you will be unable to utilize these powers, or even your divine weapons, for a time.
The game rewards you for exploring, granting you money, food, and, in some cases, Stray Beads. If you collect 100 of the latter, you can obtain some amazing power, although it does venture into spoiler territory, so I will not say any more on that subject.
Graphics and Sound
This title has withstood the test of time visually, and continues to look as amazing today as it did when it first arrived on the PlayStation 2. The cel-shaded graphics have stood up quite well, which is something few PlayStation 2 titles can claim.
The soundtrack is still as fantastic as ever as well.
Okami HD is a great game that most adventure fans should enjoy. Many fans have been hoping that the series gets a chance to revive, and, perhaps with this release, their wishes will be granted; It is certainly interesting enough to warrant a sequel.
Final Score: 4.75/5