Video Games Review: OKAMI HD (PS4, Xbox One, 2017) Don’t Brush This Adventure Aside!

Some games are like a fine wine, they age so well. Especially when the original game is already a great one! The longer they’ve been out, the more widespread the fan base grows, the greater the overall feeling of nostalgia envelopes you when you finally return to it after so many long years (look at Jak and Daxter). Some games age beautifully, some do not (Skyrim?), and then there’s those titles that fall neatly in the middle, Okami HD rests on these shoulders. For the most part, it’s pure brilliance and utterly addictive and others, well you can mostly fine tune them out, but after all these years, shouldn’t these have been fixed?

The transition to much larger HD and 4K Screens hasn’t bode 100% for the now 11-year-old title. Its cell shading, at least to begin with, did not play nice with my eyes, I adjusted the filter to high or low in the options menu which made the double visions seem a little more comfortable, but it’s still there and it almost feels like a 3D movie does when you take off your 3D glasses, I wasn’t sure I could play it for long lengths at a time, but I did because it’s extremely addictive and my eyes felt like they were bleeding a little, but then the strangest thing happened, my eyes grew accustomed to it and once your rid of the confined spaces of the first hour or so, the open world holds up extremely well.

The voice over when reading characters text is nothing short of annoying, another on the list of aging mechanics. But thank God, a friend told me to turn down the voice in the options menu and wallah! No voice during those painfully long text scenes.

All of this seems like some major criticism, but believe me, the good far outweighs the negatives. The adventure to find the 13 Brush Gods and end the rule of the multi-headed Dragon Orochi, using your brush stroke powers, is pure genius and for the most, still holds up extremely well today. How do I know? Well, I never got the chance to play this 11 years ago. Coming from a fresh perspective and not a nostalgic one, that’s saying a lot.

Using the controller analogue stick to do things such as rejuvenation, which rebuilds collapsed structures, such as buildings and bridges and brushing circles around decaying flora to bring back the green grass and floral colours into a scene full of grey dulls never gets old.

The story can get a tad convoluted and some scenes seem to go on forever, but I can imagine this sort of storytelling 11 years ago would have been something new and fresh, as of right now though, I found myself skipping speedily through most of the banter and paying more attention on the major scenarios only.

Isuun your spirit guide, gives your Wolf Amaterasu the nickname of Ammy and I found him to be the most annoying, constantly stopping me for things I could have figured out myself, I tell you what Issun, how about you give me a damn direction arrow between missions, I was Lost so much I had to look up a guide in some segments, lack of any direction may sound exciting for some but not those who are already time sensitive and just want to get through the 50+ hour campaign. Also, the comments and remarks have not aged well, Isuun speaking to a woman by whistling at her or calling her ‘Sweety’ even remarks such as ‘I’d love to get her tipsy’ are very heavy on the nose and made me feel a little awkward.

Let’s wipe all that aside however, when It all comes down to it, an extremely satisfying Zelda inspired RPG adventure to which I stayed on board for the entire campaign. Shoot me when I say this, but I can never quite get through a Zelda title, the world’s so ridiculously big and the story focus seems to sway off to the side that I become lost and overwhelmed, a tightly focused story with clear-cut missions such as Okami is more up my alley.

If you have never experienced Okami in many of its iterations then, do yourself a favour and grab it now. It’s a Beautiful, fun and oddly charming ride you won’t soon forget.

Review Score: 8.5/10
Highlights: Excellent and Zany Japanese Mythological Story, Beautiful Revamped HD Art Design, Excellent Combat!
Lowlights: Annoying Audio and Some Awkward Dialogue, No Visual Direction On Where To Go Next!
Developer: HexaDrive, Clover Studio
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: Out Now
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Reviewed on Playstation 4 Pro.