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4.5 out of 5 stars
Okamiden (Nintendo DS)
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2011
I'm beginning to see a pattern regarding the release of Okami games. Okami, and now Okamiden, were released during the dying moments of their respective platforms, destined for modest commercial success. Its as if its creators, Capcom, have conceded that the series will be forever labelled a cult classic, met with high critical acclaim that sadly isn't reflected in the sales figures. The fact that the dwindling limelight on the
stage of the DS is currently being hogged by the latest additions to the almighty Pokemon series, only adds insult to injury.

But don't go writing off this not-so old wolf just yet. Okamiden also shares the same lofty production values as Okami, the same magnificently well-realised world you want to jump head-first into and lose yourself in for hours on end. Okamiden is to Okami what Chibi, the protagonist, is to his mother Amaterasu: a cuter, unfledged version, but essentially cut from the same cloth. Actually, that parallel describes the rest of the game pretty well; more of the same but smaller.

For example, sacrifices were inevitably made in the presentation and content departments to convert the Okami brand to the DS: that is not to say that the game is either ugly or short-lived, though; the beautiful Japanese folklore-inspired art style remains largely intact, and there are hours' worth of sidequests to sink your fangs into as well as the lengthy main story.

The only feature that isn't scaled down to fit the limited hardware, but rather isimproved upon, is the celestial brush. Unlike in other iterations, using the Celestial brush is effortless and strokes are precise thanks to the DS' touch screen. It's easy to imagine why Capcom wanted to develop Okamiden for the DS, given how perfectly this
mechanic has translated to the DS.

A new partner system has been implemented, where you team up with various other children - including Susano's son and a Waka-lookalike - to overcome obstacles throughout the course of your adventure. As well as allowing for some funny and heart-warming dialogues with Chibi, having a partner is practical too; he or she will help you in battle and solve puzzles in the same vein as Spirit Tracks.

Other than that though, given the direction Okamiden seems to have gone in, i.e. insisting on making itself a revisiting rather than a full-blown sequel, the game offers more of the same and little else. Maybe that's not such a bad thing though, considering Okami was such a great game. Epic boss battles, an absorbing plot, a charming script and sumptuous Zelda-inspired gameplay have all been retained in the transition to the DS.

Yet still I can't shake the feeling that Capcom tried a little too hard to replicate the original, rather than make a more creative sequel, and I'm sure that there are other fans who will feel the same way too after playing Okamiden. While its obvious that Capcom approached this ambitious project with commendable vigour and genuine passion to do its predecessor justice, I can't help but think that their veneration of the original has come at the expense of innovation. Instead of playing to the DS's strengths they've merely tried to supplement its weaknesses.

As great as it is being able to relive the same moments as in Okami, to meet the recurring characters, to traverse the same locales - thus repeatedly filling me with dreamy-eyed nostalgia - it is for this same reason that I'd say to the uninitiated to the series that they should plump for the superior original if they had to choose one. It honestly pains me to say that because Okamiden is an excellent DS game on its own merit. Had Okami never existed, Okamiden would get an automatic +10% score-wise.

As things stand though, the developers have done themselves no favours in compelling players to compare Okamiden to its predecessor by making it so similar, when the bottom line is that it could never match its sheer scope and beauty. But if you did enjoy Okami, the sequel is well worth a look.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
As someone who loved Okami (still need to finish it though!), i couldn't wait to play Okamiden. I was a little unsure how Capcom would be able to replicate the world of Okami in a ds cartridge, but i have to say, they did a smashing job.
Set nine months after Okami, evil once again spreads across Nippon, however, 'kami Amaterasu isn't around this time to save the day, so it's down to her cute son, Chibiterasu, to get to the bottom of this mystery. Along the way, Chibi meets many characters, old and new, while trying to restore peace and faith.

I'm going to start off with the negatives:

The touch screen sometimes doesn't recognise what's been drawn. This problem seemed to ease quite a bit when i transfered from playing on my ds lite to my 3ds, but there are still times where it's stubourn.

There's only one save slot- I understand that there's a lot of content but to only have one save slot is disappointing to say the least.

Despite there being two modes of difficulty (i chose old hand), it wasn't all that hard. I did have a few moments where i thought it was quite hard, and i did die a total of 8 times, usually though my own stupidity, but overall, it wasn't too hard. I managed to collect nearly all the masterpiece pieces without too much trouble and only need to collect one more piece when i play it again later.

There's only so far you can level up- in the end, i got 10 ink pots and solar units and couldn't level up any more, despite there still being a few hours left of the game. After it fills for the last time, any praise gained is wasted.

Certain side missions can only be completed at certain times which is slightly annoying as i knew what i needed but i wasn't allowed to do anything until the game decided it was ready to let me do it! This happens once to many times for me to ignore it!

This game has many plus points:

There is so much content in this game! There's lots of side missions on collectables which will keep you busy besides the story.

The story is excellent, and comes with many twists and turns. The end is a mixture of sadness, happiness and makes it so that there could be a sequal!

The characters are brilliant and they all have their own personalities- they will make you laugh, and maybe even cry a little. For me, Kurow's story really touched me! I also enjoyed seeing old favourites, and happy to see that their personalities have remained the same.

This game oozes cuteness whichever way you look at it. If you don't go aww at any point in this game, you're heart's made of stone!

How Capcom have managed to squeeze most of Okami's locations plus new ones in amazes me. They may be a little smaller but it's great to see them on my ds.

The game looks georgeous (even on the 3ds's screen) despite not being as detailed as it's console original, while the music is just as stunning as before. Again to hear this coming from a ds cartridge stuns me!

The combat is very easy to pick up, while the brush strokes themselves are simple designs which are easily remembered, and with some on screen prompts, you know what's required when.

When you finish the game, watch the animation above the credits- it's great fun. There's also a surprise waiting after they finish, so remember to save your game!

This game is a joy to play through, and despite it's kiddy look, it's deep, dark storyline will have you hooked from start to finish. I managed to clock 27 hours on my first playthrough, and if i didn't have any other games to play through, i'd play it again, something very few games make me want to do. It's frustrating that this game's release was a week before the 3ds's launch, but it's not one to be ignored. I haven't enjoyed a ds game for a while, and only a few more that i've spent more time on either. Even if you haven't played Okami, there's plenty to enjoy here, and it would be criminal if this were the last game they did in this series. A game well worth your time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2011
First Impression:

The art style, landscape and soundtrack that made Okami such a beautiful and unusual game are also the key aspects of Okamiden, something I was pleased to discover upon starting the game.
There are many differences though that help to make Okamiden its own game but it definitely has a sense of familiarity and nostalgia that comes with having previously played Okami (though it certainly wouldn't be necessary to have played it to enjoy Okamiden), which does help a little in settling in quickly to the gameplay and story.

Gameplay:

I first played Okami on the wii and while I did enjoy the gameplay the wii remote was sometimes difficult to use in getting all of the brush techniques right when you needed to use them.
The stylus and touchscreen on the DS make this MUCH easier and very simple to use, it definitely takes away any frustration at getting the brush technique wrong multiple times, even circles are quick and easy to draw with minimal fail rate.
There are many familiar Celestial Brush techniques but there are some new ones to discover too that give the game different kinds of interaction. The way in which the ink pots are used are also different in this game which takes a little getting used to.

Characters:

There are lots of familiar faces in Okamiden but also a vast number of new enemies and characters to meet and interact with. This includes the multiple partners Chibiterasu will team up with during the adventure that each assist in different ways during the different stages of the game, just another way in which this game is different to Okami which keeps things interesting.

Chibiterasu displays many of the amusing quirks that Amaterasu did but is definitely his own character. His playful and headstrong puppy-like nature often shows through but while he is very cute and loveable he is not to be underestimated in his battle capabilities!

Story:

I won't give any spoilers away and I honestly wouldn't want to as it's very interesting to discover for yourself how Okamiden fits in with so well with Okami. There are many twists and unexpected surprises which make Okamiden a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, but that's all a part of the enjoyment of the game.

The only thing that kind of distracted me and put me off slightly every now and then was the grammatical errors and missed out words which I assume come from the translation issues but it doesn't detriment the actual game at all and I would still 100% recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2011
After struggling to find Okamiden in the shops I was worried I would buy the game to find it wasn't worth the efort it took to find it. Fortunately, as it turns out the game has been a hit with almost everyone in my family and all my friends (boys in their late teens.)We're currently on around 12 hours game play with still a few hours gameplay to go, making it a sensible length. The difficultly level gradually increases, but has not yet been a big challenge. As others have said before, the aesthetics of the game are beautiful and the dialogue, if a little long winded at times is both made amusing by the on screen animations, and well scripted. Okamiden is an all round great game which anyone can play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2011
This is a heart warming return to the Okami game series. Once again in the same art style was Okami, Okamiden is every bit as elegant and stunning as Okami. The game play on the DSi is fantastic and controls are easy to use, the touch screen makes using the celestial brush fun and uncomplicated. The graphics are also nice and bright and enjoyable and of high quality, which really brings the game to life.

Characters that showed in the first Okami return once again and you shall encounter new ones along the way. Each encounter with a new character is humorous, and enjoyable.

I give this product five stars, as I really think that this game is a sunning, enjoyable and entertaining product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Really great follow up to Okami, this game really needs more press attention but with the 3DS release, it's getting ignored by the general public :(
And even if you didn't play the original game, it doesn't matter as there is enough story-telling and lore incorporated into this superbly crafted game that it just flows as a well written game should. Graphically its the best looking game i have played on the DSi, the music and sounds are spot-on and the controls are perfect, I love this little gem of a game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2011
I must say that I have never submitted a review for anything before, but felt compelled to do so with this game. The attention to detail when it comes to Japanese mythology is amazing and I initially purchased this game because I was feeling a little nostalgic. The game play was spot on and the story had me sucked in like a ten-year-old. All in all, I would highly recommend this game if you have a long plane journey ahead of you. The time just flew in for me!
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on 3 January 2013
Having played Okami on the Wii a few years back, I was ecstatic when I heard that there was going to be a sequel; Okamiden.

From its well-thought out storyline to the wonderful art, this game will provide you with a sense of fulfillment. It might sound silly but, this game may even change your life in the way it makes you think about the world around you.

We follow Chibiterasu, son of sun goddess Amaterasu, on a spectacular journey with new friends along the way. We also see old acquaintances (ISSUN!!) The game's theme is around nature and helping people and I must say, I was definitely impressed by the fight scenes in this game; not too 'samey', not too wacky.

The graphics are flawless and I liked the fact that the cutscenes weren't too tedious, unlike some DS games out there.

I would recommend buying Okami (Wii) first, not because you need to play through Okami to understand this, but because it is a stupendous game and Okamiden makes a brilliant follow-on from Okami.

TL;DR: 10/10 would play forever if I could
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2011
This game is amazing. The graphics are some of the coolest I've seen (really original like Jet Set Radio Future). The gameplay is brilliant and the story is a lot of fun, like when I had to draw a monster face onto a piece of cloth to sneak into the enemies base. The characters are really likeable/loveable! The bosses remind me of Zelda bosses where you have full control of beating the boss (I feel that there are too many games where the fighting is like Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, Dragon Quest etc).
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on 31 January 2013
This game is a must have for fans of the original Okami, or DS owners alike. It's graphics are amazing, characters are funny and memorable, and it's soundtrack is one of the best available on the DS.

You control Chibiterasu, a young celestial puppy with god-like powers. Chibi is non other than the son of Amaterasu from Okami.

Throughout the game, you'll find yourself running into dungeons, enemies, and puzzles. Seem familiar? Well, this game borrows many elements from The Legend Of Zelda, and it plays almost exactly like a Zelda game.

One thing that sets this game apart from the original is the celestial paintbrush. It is perfected using the touch screen, and is fun and easy to use.

To sum things up, Okamiden is a title that should not be missed. Give this game the support it deserves, and buy it right now!
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