Saturday, 15 December 2012


Gamespot Score:7.5 (Good)

My Score:8.2

(+)Pros: - Beautiful visual style, -Great story, - Great characters that are highly memorable, - Impressive world that is a joy to explore and unravel, - Fun puzzles that make use of partner characters well, - Fun boss fights that use a weird variety of methods and game play mechanics to beat.

(-)Cons: - Touch screen controls are f**ked up at times, - A little on the easy side.

Gameplay time: 20-30 hours

The DS is dieing in the favor of the 3DS, and that is saddening. The luck of good upcoming DS games is proof of that. "Okamiden" is one of my last DS adventures, and I must say even though I never played the original "Okami" on the PS2, this is one of the very few games that came very close to bringing me to tears. Not because it ended or anything of the sort, it was because of the story and characters. I was genuinely impressed by a lot of what the game offered, and today I share my experience with all of you. "Okamiden" is a great game.

As a full blown sequel, "Okamiden" takes place a few years after the events of "Okami".  The world was presumably saved by Amaterasu's efforts, and the game starts you off as her daughter, the super cute Chibiterasu. Like his mother, Chibi here is on a journey to clean up whatever evil that remains in the world, and for that he needs to train his powers to become powerful enough. But of course he cannot do this alone, he gets the help of Kuni, a young boy that is the son of Susano, to travel around the world as his partner. Along the way he encounters new friends and enemies, all as Chibiterasu tries to clean up the world after his mother's name.

Gorge yourself in the beautiful visual style.

Let's dive right into the game. First things first, the visual style. Its downright amazing for a DS game. With thick stroke outlines and an overall "paint" feel and atmosphere, the game looks downright beautiful, ranging from the characters to the environments. As expected from the successor of "Okami". The story also deserves a good mention. While everything doesn't seem very important or linked together at the first few hours, from 30% mark till the end, everything is a blast to watch unfold. The best thing about it? There are tons of emotional and heartfelt moments throughout the entire experience. However, these are mostly thanks to the great characters.

The characters in this game, while mostly young children/teenagers, are full of emotion and spirit. Be it the inexperienced Kuni, a happy-go-lucky mermaid girl, a cocky young female priestess or many others. All the characters that Chibiterasu team up with or befriend are different from one another and are full of personality. Even after finishing the game for quite some time, I can still remember some of their names and feats, just because its so hard to forget all these great kids. Well since we're on the topic of partners, lets get on to the game play. Its an adventure/RPG hybrid with some puzzle elements thrown in, combining to become a stellar game of different genres.

Oh boy, enemy encounter incoming!

You freely travel across the world with a partner riding on top of you at all times (most of the time at least), and travel to cities, run into enemy encounters etc etc, like an RPG, but with more freedom. Oh, and what a world it is. Combined with the beautiful visual design, the world of "Okamiden" is an awe to explore. You get your caves and forests, but traveling across the entire world, viewing landscapes, oceans, mountains and faraway towns feel really awesome. Its even better to visit these places, like underwater shrines or mountain temples, and solving the puzzles that reside WITHIN these places....oh my what a joy this game is.

Discovering puzzles is always a joy. You never know where you have to use the unique brush drawing mechanic that helps you in combat to draw out a certain symbol, and then suddenly something happens, and you realized that you discovered a new cave with items and secrets. Or even the main puzzles in dungeons, which mostly involve clever usage of the celestial brush Chibiterasu posses. Believe me when I say these puzzles are crafted very cleverly. Combat is pretty average. You encounter enemies and they bring you into a small arena where you duke it out with your enemies, like "Star Ocean" and the "Tales of" series. However when you get into boss fights, things become very fun as you interact with the surroundings to stun or find ways to stagger your foe.

Yeah! These are things that mess up the game's groove!

Flaw number one, touch screen controls. For the most part in combat they are okay, but when you need to draw out certain shapes/figures in puzzles or story events, the slightest mismatch in line work can really f**k you over and the game does not sense it right. There was once I had to draw the figure of a pig and it took me so many tries I raged and restarted my entire DS system a few times JUST to get it right. Another issue is that the game is a little easy. Sure its okay to have an easy game, but I only died once which is during the final boss and I am sure I used less than 10 health related items throughout the entire game...I only used a good deal of ink pots.

"Okamiden" may be a sequel, but as a newcomer, I loved this game. Its a great emotional game throughout with an awesome world filled with interesting puzzles.  The easy difficulty may turn people off, but its almost impossible to not want to progress further into the story to discover more of this beautiful game. A game worthy to just about anyone in my opinion, if you haven't, this game is worth checking out!

Happy gaming!