(New) First Impressions: “Okami HD (PC)”

I first came across the beautiful game, Okami HD, about 12 years ago, when a good friend lent it to me for the Playstation 2 (and it’s been about 11 or 12 years since I’ve owned a gaming console. Fast-forward to 2019 and that same friend told me about the Okami HD port to PC. I bought it, let it sit on the proverbial shelf for a few months (as I finished up classes and World of Warcraft took up the majority of my game-playing time), then finally dusted it off a few days ago. Here are my new First Impressions!

The Setup

When writing ‘First Impressions’, I generally play a game up to the end of the Tutorial section (or when I find a good stopping point). For Okami HD, I stopped about midway through the Tutorial, at the first Treasure Chest.

The Plot/Prologue

The Prologue takes you back to Nippon (Japan), about 100 years in the past. You witness the battle between the demon, Orochi, and the White Wolf named Shiranui, allied with the swordsman, Nagi. Orochi was defeated and sealed in a cave… until it was released by an idiot descendant of Nagi, Susano. Orochi then curses the surrounding area, free to do whatever it wants.

We then go to the present, with Orochi free, the nearby village of Kamiki Village drained of almost all life, and the wood sprite Sakuya despeately seeking help. She awakens the White Wolf, revealed to be the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. You now takes control of Amateratsu.

Artwork

The Feature Picture of this post is an example of what you will find in the game. The game is designed to make the player seem like he/she were playing in a painting; it more than accomplishes this. Just in the Prologue and Tutorial, the contrast of colors and backgrounds lead to a high level of emotional pull. A great job!

Game Controls

This is an issue, and it many has to do with the camera view. The controls have a lot of customization in them, such as the Game Volume, Keybinds (I like to move with the arrow keys, rather than W-A-S-D, so this change was nice to have), and the sensitivity of the Mouse. One thing it doesn’t adjust is the orientation of the Camera. You can use the mouse to move the camera up, down, left, and right, but it almost always seems to end up at an awkward angle. That’s because when you move Amaterasu, the camera stays at the spot you left it. If you turn Amat (for short) to the left, the camera stays pointing ahead, meaning you have to also manually point it the same way as Amat. I ultimately Inverted the X and Y Axis, making the camera movement a little less seasick-like, but it’s still a pain in the early stages of the game.

Game Play

Once you sort out the Camera movement/non-movement, game play is pretty simple. You learn a ‘Bash’ attach really early – this charges Amat forward, ramming an object with her head. It’s good for breaking open pots (Prologue) and attacking very low-level enemies. If you want to get to a high place, you learn a ‘Double Jump’: for example, when close to a wall, hit the “Space’ key (or whatever key you decide to set as ‘Jump’), then hit it again, while you are in the air. This basically lets you kick off the wall, jump higher, and reach what would normally be a very hard item to reach, like a Treasure Chest.You also ‘Dig’ for Yen, items, and treasure; I don’t remember what else you can dig up – I’ll find out when I write up the first part of the Review/Recap.

Impression

The (New) First Impression is good. The Camera view is not my favorite but I can make it work. The looks, sounds, and game play more than make up for the camera. I will review more of the plot and game play once I get through a few stages!

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