Reviews// Okami HD (PS3)

The latest HD remake of a PS2 classic pits a wolf, an imp and a paintbrush against an eight headed demon.

Posted 5 Nov 2012 15:52 by
I reviewed the original Okami on PS2 back in 2007 and declared it one of the most beautiful games I'd played up until that point. Since this is a remake of that original game, most of the review still stands
.

The game hasn't been altered in any hugely substantial way. Sure, we've got trophies added in and you have the option of using the Move controller to assist with the paintbrush sections, but essentially you have the same game from 2007.

So lets look at the alterations. First up is the clue in the title, this is an HD remake and so the graphics have been upgraded. However, in doing so the game hasn't kept pace with developments in game art.

You see in 2007, the sumi-e inspired, cell-shaded art style was a fantastic departure from the norm, but since then we've had the Prince of Persia reboot and Borderlands one and two that have pushed cell-shaded game art forward in a high definition way.

Okami HD isn't such a radical departure from its peers as Okami was and the lightly textured colours with characters surrounded by heavy black lines looks a little dated. That's not to say it isn't still beautiful, but it's something we've seen before, even if it's more detailed this time.

Another gripe with the HD graphics is that the on-screen text that is spoken by the characters is just scaled up from that the PS2 version of the game. It would have been good to show more of the text at a time since there are some very lengthy speeches in the script.

The addition of trophies is a standard feature for these HD remakes and adds very little to the game since the trophies are almost all given for progressing though the story. Some are granted for performing a sequence in a particular way, but without looking them up in your trophy list you'd be hard pressed to stumble into gaining them.

One of the larger additions is the support for the Move controller. As you might have expected, this is used to control the celestial brush, but as with the Wii port, this isn't as accurate as I'd have liked. It's also a bit off that you can't control the camera in the normal adventuring mode of play, there's just a centre view option that points the camera in the direction that Ameratsu is facing.

In addition, I found that using the Move makes combat a bit less intuitive so during my play through I switched back to the standard Dual Shock controller after giving the Move an exhaustive testing.

All of the above may make you think that you should avoid this game. Maybe you could give it a pass if you've played the original and weren't impressed, but if you like RPGs and you've never experienced the water-colored land of Nippon, then please don't miss this game.

As I said above, the game play is basically unaltered and that is a very good thing. The game is a joy to play. The characters are interesting and the story is very engaging. Like I said in my 2007 review, there are very few games where you will get a monster drunk by squirting sake into its mouth so you can ring a bell on its back.

The originality of this game will charm you if you give it a try.

Pros
+ Basically unchanged game play
+ Enchanting and original story
+ Beautiful, if slightly dated graphics

Cons
- Fiddly Move controls
- Easy to lose sign of your objectives
- Random battles get tiring after a while

SPOnG Score: 8/10
Companies:
Games: Okami

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