Monday, December 11, 2017

"Okami HD" Review

It was 11 years ago that "Okami" became one of the most beautiful and distinctive games released to that point on the PlayStation 2. The painstaking art style, inspired by traditional Japanese mythology, wood cuttings and paintings, the fable tells a tale of a mystical wolf who quests to bring peace to the realm of Nippon.

In a realm of neverending remakes, remasters and HD upgrades, "Okami HD" is an example of the rehash done right. Not only is "Okami" a vital classic that merits revisitation on modern consoles, the graphical upgrades are sweeping and impressive, blowing out already stunning graphics into breathtaking artwork. Best of all, the game is only $20 -- a stiff counterpoint to the likes of the "Skyrim" remasters, which weighed in at a full $60 out of the gate.

Naggingly, some issues that remind you of the game's age remain. The archaic save system, which eschews the modern nicety of the autosave in favor of old-fashioned checkpoints, as well as the inability to skip overly long text-driven story scenes, makes cranking through content to get to a save point more trying than it needs to be. "Okami" remains a game you need to allow room to breathe, focusing on for hours on end to receive just rewards.

Since "Okami" is old enough that even those who beat it at release will have forgotten its finer points, as well as cheap enough to justify a new purchase, that it feels like a crucial and essential addition to just about every gamer's library.

Publisher provided review code.

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