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Review: Okami HD (PlayStation 4)By Sasari At 06.03.2018 22:56

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Originally meant to be just a tech demo, Okami became one of the most memorable titles of the PlayStation 2 era. This tale incorporates classic Japanese folklore into an adventure game in the style of Zelda. The white wolf in the game is Amaterasu, the great sun goddess who died battling another character straight out of Japanese folklore, the dreaded serpent Orochi. Amaterasu protected the people by sacrificing herself, sealing Orochi and splitting her powers out to thirteen lesser gods. The game opens years later; Amaterasu has been reborn, needed once again to stop the now free Orochi once again.

Amaterasu has to travel around and find each of the lesser gods to renew her powers, along with finding each of the elements that were combined to lock Orochimaru away the first time. The thirteen lesser gods each return the powers to Amaterasu in the form of brush techniques. Gathering up these brush techniques is what makes the game so comparable to the classic adventure games and director Kamiya's inspiration from Zelda titles is evident. Amaterasu has to unlock specific abilities to progress. These techniques could be combat abilities or ways to overcome aspects of the environment. The power of rejuvenation allows her to repair items within the world; the power slash technique can be used to cut through enemies to finish them off but also to slice through boulders blocking the way. The water lily brush technique is needed to create paths across water and the special cherry bomb explosive brush technique can blast armoured enemies and to get through walls.

For those who didn't play the original, this is a great time to jump in. While the original looked great and the PlayStation 3 HD remaster made the beautiful Japanese aesthetics look even better, this is absolutely stunning. This latest version ups the graphical fidelity from an already impressive 1080p to a full 4K resolution experience. The art style uses the classic Japanese Sumi-e paintings and Ukiyo-e woodblock prints as inspiration, delivering gorgeous brush stroke designs with a rich colour palette that is wholly unique.

The charm doesn't come just from the beautiful art style, though, as the writing and crazy characters are fantastic accompaniments. There's the descendant of the great warrior Nagi, for example; a Hercules-like character, named Susano, a coward and a drunk who has to go a long way to live up to his legacy; or the talkative Issun, a tiny sprite, like Navi, who guides Amaterasu on her journey.

What a journey that is. Over the thirty-to-fifty hours most players will invest to complete the adventure, Amaterasu treks across the beautiful and varied world of Nippon. From the first steps into the story where she must bring sacred trees back to life to restore a lush valley to traditional Japanese towns, through to the cave of a Spider-Queen, and inside the body of a Water Dragon. Then, just like the game it draws inspiration from, each area is topped off with huge, fantastic boss battles that require smart use of the latest unlocked technique. The boss designs are awesome, too, once again pulling characters and designs from Japanese mythology, like the Nine-Tailed Fox.

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Final Score
[i]Okami[/i] is a truly beautiful game and it's in its best possible form with this absolutely stunning 4K remaster. [i]Okami HD[/i] is something truly special; the sort of game that is still remembered fondly years later by those who play it, and wonderful in every aspect. While remasters often get a bad rap, classics like this deserve the chance to get more sales - especially if it increases the chance of a sequel - not to mention more players get to experience an amazing and memorable adventure. Combine this quality with the low asking price here and this is a no-brainer. Buy this game. Love this game.

8

/10

User Comments
#1 ringlord71 - on 07.03.2018 at 05:05

Never got a chance to play this game. Thankfully, now I can experience it! Add this to the backlog.

#2 devidise - on 07.03.2018 at 15:23

Great review, easily one of my favorite games of all time!  Score is exactly what I was hoping it would be, definitely needs some minor improvement (cut scenes run a bit too long, controls are awkward at first), but this is a really rich experience.  I'm excited people who've never played it get to now.


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