The sequel to the award-winning Okami, which was originally released on the PlayStation 2 and then adapted for the Wii back in 2008, has finally arrived. Okamiden puts players in control of Chibi, the descendant of Amaterasu from the first game. With Chibi now in charge and a new partner to help him in his journey, what sinister adventure awaits these two players? Being on the Nintendo DS, players can expect the full utilization of the touch screen controls in Okamiden, but what else can they look forward to?
Although Okamiden is the successor to the hit Okami on the PlayStation 2, does it also hold the power of the Celestial brush? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Capcom’s Okamiden.
If fell in love with the graphics that Okami delivered on the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo Wii, you will be pleased to know that the cel-shaded graphics are back on Okamiden, making it colorful and pleasurable to play. Just like its predecessor, the game is heavily inspired by Japanese ink brush painting. The environment is a massive, colorful world where Chibi and his partner can explore. While you may be impressed with the graphics on such a small handheld device, the character models aren’t as impressive as those on the PS2 version. However, for a handheld game, Okamiden delivers some of the best 3D graphics yet on the Nintendo DS.
Nine months after the events of Okami, a new threat has descended upon the land and Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, has been reborn in a small pup named Chibi. Using the Celestial Brush once again, which allows Chibi to perform a variety of tasks that aid in puzzle solving and combat, Chibi and his allies will have to find a way to restore the land to its former glory. As you enjoy the beautiful scenery on your Nintendo DS, you can expect a humorous and engaging story to carry you through the game. Familiar characters from the first game will also make an appearance in Okamiden. Newcomers who want to get into Okamiden will not require previous experience with the first game since the game will summarize the events of Okamin at the beginning.
Gameplay and Touch Screen Controls
Similar to the first game, Okamiden will offer fans approximately 20-25 hours of gameplay. For those who have played Okami, you can expect the very same gameplay; you will use the Celestial Brush by drawing on the touch screen, do some quests, save the world from a sinister threat, and of course beat down bosses. Newcomers will be able to jump right into the action, as the controls and core gameplay mechanics are easy to grasp.
Thanks to the Nintendo DS, using the Celestial Brush is now easier than in Okami. With the use of the Nintendo DS touch screen, you can switch into the drawing mode by pressing either the L or R buttons. In the drawing mode, you can then draw the techniques that Chibi has learned throughout the game. At first, Chibi will learn the basic technique of creating the sun in the sky, but as the cute pup goes deeper into the game, more advanced techniques will become available.
There are a lot of puzzles to solve in Okamiden. Most of the puzzles available in the game are solvable using the Celestial Brush, and in every dungeon you go, there will be a mixture of techniques that you will have to use to get through it. Most of the puzzles will not have any hints and it’s really up to you to figure them out. The quests, puzzles, and use of the Celestial Brush help Chibi earn orbs that allow him to level up and gain extra health. In addition to solving puzzles, Chibi will also have to smash through pots to gain items and find collectables. Like Okami, Okamiden borrows heavily from Zelda, but the elements are put to good use and don’t feel recycled.
My favorite moment in Okamiden is fighting the bosses. Each of the bosses has a specific weakness that you must uncover. At first you will have no idea what to do, but you will quickly learn their weaknesses after watching them fight. Compared to other adventure games, Okamiden has one of the more decent boss fights on a handheld game. The bosses that you will encounter along the way are huge demons, but in the end they are no match for little Chibi and his partner. To name a few, the bosses that I love fighting are the frog and the catfish. Aside from controlling Chibi to do melee attacks, you will also have to use the Celestial Brush to defeat bosses.
Weak Techniques and Unresponsive Touch Screen
The techniques that Chibi will learn in Okamiden are reused from the original Okami. Not a lot has been added and for fans who played the original, the techniques might be a tad boring. Using the touch screen to draw may be ideal for this kind of game, but there are times that the touch screen can be unresponsive.
Dull Combat and Camera System
The adventure and platforming aspect may be enjoyable in Okamiden, but the combat may ruin it for some people. What I find annoying in the combat in Okamiden is that it gets repetitive. Pressing the same Y button to attack enemies gets very old. I wish Chibi could get some awesome combos that don’t involve pressing a single button throughout the game. Another annoyance that you should remember before you buy the game is the camera controls. Controlling the camera in Okamiden is limited, and while Chibi is out exploring, there will be times the camera will focus on Chibi and make it difficult to see what’s going on around him.
For a handheld game, Okamiden delivers satisfying adventure right on the Nintendo DS. While Okamiden may feel like you’re playing the original Okami on the PlayStation 2, it does succeed in creating an epic adventure that will bring life to the colorful world it offers. The dull combat system lacks some innovation, but the overall experience is worthwhile, as the new story and the ability to play such a long adventure game on a handheld is now possible with Okamiden. While Okamiden still follows the shadows of the original game, fans of the first game should definitely get it.[Editor’s Note: Okamiden was reviewed on the Nintendo DSi XL platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.] Okamiden Review,