Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Okami HD

5:00 PM on 11.23.2012 // Kyle MacGregor

Wolf it down

Initially released for the PlayStation 2 in the autumn of 2006, Okami, Clover Studio's penultimate release, garnered significant critical acclaim but suffered from lackluster sales. Born unto the shadow of the recently launched PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii platforms, the game failed to gain traction outside of a small community of fervent supporters. 

In 2010, Guinness recognized the game for being the "worst-performing winner of a Game of the Year accolade from a major gaming publication." And while it has gone on to spawn a sequel for the Nintendo DS, two years later, Okami is still a game searching for an audience.

Okami HD (PlayStation Network)
Developer: Clover Studio, HexaDrive 
Publisher: Capcom
Release: October 30, 2012
MSRP: $19.99

A fusion of tales from Japanese mythology, Okami's story follows the Shinto sun goddess, Amaterasu. When an ancient evil awakens after a century-long slumber, our canine protagonist is summoned by a spirit guardian to deliver the world from darkness. Accompanied by the sprite Issun, Amaterasu sets off on a journey to restore the land of Nippon to its former glory.

Okami may not be avant-garde, but this seemingly timeworn tale is far more colorful than its synopsis lets on. This is a game steeped in tradition; a medley of Japanese legends that have been gathered and woven together. Synthesized with classic action-adventure gameplay and gorgeous cel-shaded visuals, this fabric forms what is both a beautiful and timeless tapestry. 

In contrast to its traditionalist roots, much of what makes Okami such a cohesive and enjoyable experience is actually a feature that is entirely unique to the game. Wielding a tool known as the Celestial Brush, Amaterasu can bring time to a standstill. Using either the PlayStation Move or an analog stick, players can draw symbols directly onscreen to conjure items and manipulate the environment. However, this isn't just a gimmick. The painterly power is the game's central thread and is fundamental to the experience. 

Okami's world doesn't just look like an animated Japanese ink illustration. Staring beyond the vibrant colors will reveal subtle papery textures. As a god, its fitting that Amaterasu can add to and shape this living, breathing canvas. All of these elements bleed into one another, creating bridges from the game's mesmeric aesthetics to the narrative and the gameplay itself. 

There are thirteen brush techniques in total which have an impact on everything from combat to platforming and puzzle-solving. Drawing a circle in the night's sky can transform dusk into dawn, whereas a crescent moon in broad daylight will have the opposite effect. With a swirling motion, Amaterasu can create wind. And countless dormant trees throughout Nippon can be revived with a quick flick of the Celestial Brush.

Similar to The Legend of Zelda, the series from which Okami draws much of its inspiration, these techniques are most frequently introduced in tandem with corresponding dungeons. Oftentimes, new acquisitions are as much of a key to traversing these stages as they are the silver bullet to defeating the bosses that dwell within. 

They also have uses when it comes to combat. While Amaterasu has quite the armory at her disposal (swords, energy whips, and even a rifle of sorts) that can be paired to create dramatically different styles of play, conjuring a well-placed bomb or landing a well-timed celestial power slash can turn the tide of battle. Other techniques have more indirect applications. For instance, blooming cherry blossom trees allows the player to earn the Praise (experience) necessary to make Amaterasu a more formidable fighter. 

While these light role-playing elements exist, the battles themselves take place in arcadey arenas where the player is graded on the duration and execution of the fight. The game gives monetary incentives to finishing a fight as quickly as possible, but also rewards those that mitigate damage. As one might expect, the additional capital can be put to good use by additional purchasing items and weaponry. There are also dojos scattered throughout Nippon where Amaterasu can learn new combat techniques -- for a nominal fee, of course.

As for new content specific to this high-definition re-release, there isn't a whole lot here that wasn't present in the game's previous incarnations. The motion controls seen in the Wii version see a return thanks to the PlayStation Move and there are plenty of Trophies here to supplement the intrinsic joys of the game. 

However, one addition that really matters here is the graphical update. I'm by no means a graphics snob, but just being able to see this game in 1080p makes it well worth the price of admission. Okami HD looks so breathtaking in motion that I'm hard pressed to think of another title that rivals its sheer beauty.

As wonderful as Okami can be though, it is not without its faults. There are reoccurring boss fights that do nothing to alter the experience the second or even third time around. This is already a very long game that suffers from a slow start and a meandering pace. It doesn't need additional padding. Oh, and another thing -- I know Clover Studios drew a great deal of inspiration from the Legend of Zelda series, but did they really feel the need to include a pint-sized sidekick whose soul purpose in life is to annoy you every step of the way?

Those few minor gripes aside, Okami HD is the definitive version of one of the past decade's premier games and absolutely deserves to be played. Whether you've experienced it before or have yet to do so, do yourself a favor and pick this up.



Okami HD - Reviewed by Kyle MacGregor
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Okami HD

  Oct 31

Capcom spoofs Assassin's Creed 3 to promote Okami HD

At least they have a sense of humor about it

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

Sharp cut Digital Flatbed Cutter | Sharpcut Flatbed Cutters

Things I'm Thankful For

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

Fun2Play: Downwell

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Black Friday slowly seems to creep its way onto Continental Europe, but I'm not complaining! I managed to get my grubby little paws on a new physical copy of The Wonderful 101 for €20! Thanks, America!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Since I missed yesterday, I am going to do something a little different today. Are there any questions you would like to ask me for a change? If so, please feel free. I may add a second Community Question later today, as well.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Isn't PES 2016 Free-to-Play model just the demo with extra crap thrown in?
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Damn Gumo, you cold as fuck. [img][/img]
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
While partially responsible for one of the biggest jokes in the metal, Cold Lake by Celtic Frost, Curt Bryant is doing the soundtrack to the game Slain!. I'm digging the shitty garage band vibe.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
How is the Lightening thread STILL GETTING COMMENTS!?!?!? P.S. I am trying to make Chex Mix, but we lost my special recipe I custom designed. sucks man.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Got a deal on a Surface Pro 3 model that I wanted. Now I just need a deal on a PS TV in Canada and I'm golden.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you in the UK, don't have a PS4 and don't mind buying used/display goods there's a few reconditioned PS4 (12 month warranty) on amazon for £199.
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
my dilemma this black friday is a PS4 for bloodborne and little else or like half the games on my steam wishlist. I know in my heart which one I'm going to pick.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
"You had all the lasagna you could ever eat, yet you kept going!" "This isn't about the lasagna anymore, Jon, and I didn't come this far just to quit! Tonight, I'm making sure my name will go down in history!"
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got DeSu2 Break Record from GS' Black Friday sale ($29.99). Love the Arrange CD. It's been far too long since I heard Meguro do something that wasn't tied to Persona. Also grabbed an extra copy of Freedom Wars since they were $5.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Haven't been around a few days. Getting over a cold and working on a review for Superbeat: Xonic on Vita. Starting to feel better, I think / hope.
inspavo avatarinspavo
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -