Game review on
Nick Staunton-Mckenzie / Wed 31st Jan 2018
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The darkness has returned to the village of Kamiki, so once more it's protector Amaterasu must come back to set the world straight and dispel all evil from the land.
Okami HD is a remaster of possibly the best looking game of the PS2 era. Developed by the now-defunct Clover Studios and published by Capcom, Okami HD is now available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PC.
The story is the same that gamers fell in love with back in 2006, a journey of hope, humour, and beautiful art heavily entrenched in the fascinating Japanese Shinto culture.
Okami HD follows Amaterasu (the goddess of the sun) as she emerges to battle an ancient evil made of darkness itself, a being called Orochi. Over the course of the game, the player is taken on an interesting and at times humorous escapade across beautiful landscapes, unravelling the mysteries of the land and how the darkness came to spread after being sealed for 100 years.
The gameplay is what you'd expect from a remastered game, everything is essentially the same as it was back in 2006.
A mix of hack and slash mechanics and brush mechanics really sets Okami HD apart from the pack (pun intended) because this game is a case of everything that you learn helps to shape and cleanse the surprisingly open world around you.
The only downside to the game is that rather begrudgingly, the camera controls (which feel like piloting a tank through quicksand) from the original have been carried over. Running around the world, and completing puzzles becomes truly a chore to complete, marring an otherwise fun and engaging game.
As it was back when the original came out in 2006, the art style is gorgeous. Blending bright and colourful character design with a game-changing open-ended level design, this is a game that takes the player on a beautiful tour through Japan's Shinto culture.
All of this is, of course, paired with the remastering main addition to the game, a sped-up frame rate across all platforms, and industry standard 1080p HD resolution. These additions make this the definitive edition for longtime fans of the game and new players looking to experience what all the fuss is about.
The music throughout the game sets a soothing and serene mood through its use of traditional Japanese folk music, which encourages the player to explore the artistically designed world.
The "dialogue" (which sounds like they have been taken straight from the Banjo Kazooie games) is a mix of grunts and moans. Although humourous at first, it gets rather tiresome after you have to sit through the lengthy Japanese style exposition dumps which plague the early parts of the game.
For the most part, this is exactly what a remaster should be. Fun and a close adherence to the original game which updates certain elements to make it more enjoyable for the current players.
Aside from the from the outdated camera system which feels like it's stuck in the mud, and the repetitive combat, Okami HD is a textbook remaster of a true PS2 era gem.