TGS 09: Hands on with Okamiden: Chisai Taiyo

I know everyone that’s seen the footage of Okamiden for Nintendo DS has wailed over its amazing cuteness, but let me tell you, the adorable levels head infinitely skyward when you actually get your hands on the game in the flesh. The beautiful look even extended to the booth at TGS, which was decorated thematically and even sported a full size cherry blossom tree and a huge stuffed Chibiterasu and Kuninushi which might have been the cutest thing I’ve seen at the whole show (see the gallery for more).

To hear more about my hands on time with Okamiden, hit the jump.

The controls are fairly simplistic — jumping, actions and dismounting Chibiterasu can all be performed at the touch of button. The demo I played showed off some fairly simple puzzle solving such as depressing concrete statues to make bridges appear. You won’t need your stylus immediately, but soon enough you’ll come across a puzzle which will require use of the Spirit Brush (activated with right and left shoulder buttons), and then you’ll need it handy.

Using the stylus to solve puzzles is simple — you can simply draw in the broken portion of a bridge and it will appear. Other puzzles will have you dismounting Chibiterasu and drawing a single magical line which can lead you across dangerous area to claim treasure and more. However, it’s worth dying at least once to watch the animations — when Chibiterasu tumbles off a cliff and shakes all four legs hopelessly on her way down, you can’t help but laugh aloud at the game’s charming touches.

I know some fans are wary because the game is not coming from Clover, but I think fans of the original Okami will be truly thrilled with Okamiden. From the simple gameplay to the lovely atmosphere and thoughtful details, the game is a true delight to spend time with.  It comes out next year in Japan, so let’s hope we don’t have too long to wait before we get it in the US!

Colette Bennett