Okami Den

8.9 Overall Score

Art | Action Packed | Story

Low Replayability | Tedious

Let’s cut to the chase! I’ll start off with what this game is. Okami-Den is the sequel to a short lived series simply entitled “Okami.” The original developers, known as Clover Studios, disbanded after the first game was created. The project was quickly taken over by Kuniomi Matsushita and Motohide Eshiro, who showed interest in making another game. It is based around Amaterasu Okami’s child, “Chibi,” who is sent back to Earth in order to protect it from the evil that Amaterasu had seemingly banished in the previous game. The game goes through many sub stories, which culminate to aid the main story. One day, Chibi will be getting a mermaid her magic, and another saving a drama theater. As a god, Chibi was given the power of the Celestial Brush, a mystical calligraphy brush that, when taught, can give the ability to cut, explode, or even repair things. Although most people cannot see Chibi’s red markings, the few who can will always offer aid. Somehow, it tends to always end up being small children. No one calls attention to it, but I suppose that’s the best for it anyway.

Mostly, it follows a pretty simple play style. Motion is based off the D-Pad, or circle pad on the 3DS. Chibi can jump, attack, and, with the touch of a shoulder bumper, use the Celestial Brush. The companions that ride on his back will help in battle so long as you keep melee attacking… Issue is, sometimes it’s not very safe to melee. A lot of times it’s just best to use the brush when you have an excess of ink pots. These ink pots and your health meter will increase based on the happiness and good karma you bring to the land. Every time that meter fills there is another bonus. It’s a pretty simple dynamic. Best part is, you never have to worry about sacrificing your funds for more weapons, as in the first game. As fun as it was before, the new system simply gives you each of the three items: the reflector, rosary, and glaive. My personal favorite is the rosary. Of course, all of these items do somewhat seem pretty useless if you rely on the brush.

What is the big factor in this series is the art style. It’s very unique to gaming in general. The style is like watercolor and ink, called sum-e. Both developers used cel-shading to do the art, and somehow worked it out to look as if it really was physically drawn this way. Both teams did a great job in the camera angles, thankfully giving weary eyes a break when it turns with you rather than against. There are a few glitches here and there, like getting the camera stuck facing you as you run toward it. A quick flick of the D-Pad and it is all fixed up, though. Every step Chibi takes, plants bloom and later disappear. The brush strokes that create wind and the sun appear throughout the game in little ways; showing the breeze or the dawn of the day. Everything and everyone is different, and it seems you’ll never run into the same character twice, and, if you do, it’s pointed out. Obviously, the team had to save somewhere, and they did so with the lack of voice acting. Honestly, though, the high speed mumbles are welcomed rather than the constant drone of Pit and Athena from Kid Icarus.

A welcome change is that a game can be so action packed, and story filled, yet not have a drop of blood shown. The rating for this game is 10+ due to difficulty and also due to the action. No, you don’t see gore, but you are slicing things in half. Though they float away as if paper, and blossom into fountains of goodies, it’s still “comic violence.” Either way, I do recommend it to everyone! This game might look like child’s play, but it is certainly even the grown up’s cup of tea as well!

Keeping this in mind, I have given this game a B+, due to its low replayability. Once you beat the game, that’s kind of it. You really don’t want to go back due to the large amount of work you have to put in. It happens quite often you run out of ink pots early on in a fight and if you don’t come prepared, you’re done for. It’s a great game, and I love the art, but it’s very tedious to say the least.

The author of this review kindly requests any questions, opinions, or other issues be placed in the comments section or emailed to her at kardynalka@pyrocleptic.com


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