Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Box Art(http://www.okami-game.com/)  Rated T for Teen by the ESRB.  In 2006 Okami was released to great reviews but fell short in sales.  The PS3 cast a shadow over Okami, arguably hurting its initial sales.  It is sad because Okami is gorgeous, with its unique and beautiful Sumi-e style graphics and its immensely fun gameplay; it is a game too many people missed out on.  The story is well told trough attractive cut-scenes.  You play the sun goddess, Amaterasu, who takes the form of a mystic white wolf.  A great evil has been released upon the world and only Amaterasu can stop it.  You’re tasked with fixing a ruined world on your way to completing the ultimate goal of slaying the tyrannical monster Orochi.  The task of saving the world is made easier with the use of your Celestial Brush, a magic brush that lets you change the world with just a few strokes. With the addition of the PS Move support playing Okami becomes a whole new experience.  The original Okami was amazing and the HD version is even better.

Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Box ArtOkami HD (PS3 PSN) Logo(http://www.okami-game.com/) Rated T for Teen by the ESRB.  In 2006 Okami was released to great reviews but fell short in sales.  The PS3 cast a shadow over Okami, arguably hurting its initial sales.  It is sad because Okami is gorgeous, with its unique and beautiful Sumi-e style graphics and its immensely fun gameplay; it is a game too many people missed out on.  The story is well told trough attractive cut-scenes.  You play the sun goddess, Amaterasu, who takes the form of a mystic white wolf.  A great evil has been released upon the world and only Amaterasu can stop it.  You’re tasked with fixing a ruined world on your way to completing the ultimate goal of slaying the tyrannical monster Orochi.  The task of saving the world is made easier with the use of your Celestial Brush, a magic brush that lets you change the world with just a few strokes. With the addition of the PS Move support playing Okami becomes a whole new experience.  The original Okami was amazing and the HD version is even better.



Graphics:
The HD makeover for Okami made the game even more beautiful than the critically-acclaimed original. The gorgeous Sumi-e style graphics are a welcome change that makes the game feel unique and fresh.  Sumi-e is a traditionally Asian form of painting that uses ink and tries to extract the essence of a scene in the fewest possible strokes.  The world starts off pretty bland, but as you progress, through the game you will bring immense color and life to the world of Okami.  The characters are very interesting although sometimes they seem a little stiff.  From beautiful landscapes to interesting character designs this game has it all.  This HD remake of a game hailed for its artistic style somehow finds room for improvement. 

Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots

Gameplay:
The gameplay of Okami is similar to that of other games in the Action-Adventure genre including games like the Zelda series.  The controls are pretty easy to understand; Cross is Jump, Cross on a wall will wall jump, Square is attack/tackle, Triangle is dig/bite, Circle is bark/talk, L2 is map, left stick controls character, and Right stick controls camera. Both of the bumper buttons are also used; L1 Changes view, R1 lets you bring up brush while square lets you paint.  One thing that is really fun, albeit a small detail, is that if you don’t move Amaterasu for a short time she will sit then lay down.  The biggest gift the game gives you is the Celestial Brush.  The Celestial Brush lets you alter reality by creating trees, cutting objects or enemies, forming a sun or other magical objects, and many other magical powers.  The game has lots of combat and puzzles which makes full use of the Celestial Brush.  Combat takes place in an arena; which comes up either randomly or by running into an enemy on the map.  During combat you will fight using the square button; after a few hits an enemy will turn black or grey and the Celestial Brush can be used to slice the enemies into pieces.  The puzzles are also fun and make good use of the Celestial Brush.  Early in the game you will have to use your brush to draw a sun so light will shine down on a particular place to make a tree grow.  The puzzles get much more complex as the game progresses. 
Through combat you will earn Yen, which is used to buy items, goodies, and new combat techniques, which can be learned at dojos around the world.  Once a fight is over, you will be awarded Yen depending on how long the fight took and how much damage you took.  By doing quests, rejuvenating trees, helping people, or just feeding animals, you will earn praise.  Praise is used to upgrade Amaterasu’s different stats, including your health, ink holder, and other stats and abilities. 

Early in the game you will meet an artist named Issun.  Issun is always with you, presenting tutorials and info to help you progress through the game, similarly to Navi of Zelda fame.  Just like Navi, Issun can be extremely annoying but also a huge help.  Issun is also a fun character (although he sometimes talks too much).  He is a big help throughout the story. 

The implementation of the PS Move was done fairly well.  The original game used the standard controller and when the game was rereleased on the Wii it used motion control.  The PS Move’s control is an improvement over the Wii version.  Drawing with the Celestial Brush is fun and more fluid than in other iterations of the game.  Using the PS Move really adds to the feeling of painting with the brush.  Although combat can feel a little strange, the PS Move it is a welcome addition to the game.  If you do not like using the PS Move, you also have the option of using the Dualshock controller for a more traditional experience. 

Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots

Innovation:
First off not many games use the Sumi-e art style and it is truly something to behold.  It is very beautiful and really brings a lot of life to the game.  The other innovation in Okami HD is the use of the move controller.  Motion control has been used in Okami before as seen in the Wii version but the PS Move improves on that immensely.  They original Okami brought a lot of freshness to an otherwise bland gaming world and the HD version of Okami keeps that freshness alive and well.  

Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots

Longevity:
This game has moderate replay value and you can get all the trophies in a single playthrough.  Some of the trophies could be easily missed, but there are over 50 trophies and a platinum trophy to obtain.  A lot of the trophies are obtained through the main story but a few of them require exploration and collectibles.  With a large number of trophies all you trophy hunters out there should be happy with this game, especially if you played the original and know where everything is already. 

Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots Okami HD (PS3 PSN) Screenshots

Conclusion:
Even though Okami didn’t do well during its initial release it was a great title.  It was a shame that not as many people played it as should have. Okami’s beautiful Sumi-e style graphics and its fun, yet familiar, gameplay is a game more people should play.  With this HD version of the game you get all the charm of the original with even better, more beautiful graphics.  If you haven’t played Okami before this is the perfect time to pick it up.  It is only $19.99 and is a great deal for a game of Okami’s caliber.  The point of the game is to bring happiness and color back to the world and it is pretty hard not to feel great while you do it.  If you are a fan of the Zelda series and like vivid colors and intriguing story, then you should definitely give Okami a try.  If you are a fan of the original and want it to look even better then you also should download Okami HD. 

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