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Title: Okami HD

Platform: PS3

Personal Trophy Completion: 100% (Platinum)

Rating: 9/10

This game was fantastic. I actually had given it a shot back in the PS2 days, but for whatever reason couldn’t get into it and quit early on. That was a mistake. This is one of the most beautiful, engaging, and ingenious games I’ve ever played. You play as a wolf named Ammy, who is a reincarnated god traveling through the human world to collect lost techniques and defeat evil. You are accompanied by a small buglike creature named Issun, who does most of the guidance and communication as Ammy doesn’t speak. You are able to travel around a parallel world of Japan, learning new skills, revitalizing the countryside, and defeating monsters. The story is deep and lengthy, and was pretty engaging to me, even as someone who ignores most story (I get bored). There are lots of humorous parts, and it’s easy to see what needs to be done next. All areas can be easily revisited, and must be in order to unlock certain things as you gain new abilities. It has a good balance of fighting, collectibles, and exploration. All of the bosses have unique strategies leading to their defeat, and you really do use every single ability you gain.

Perhaps the coolest part is Ammy’s weaponry. You have melee weapons, you can choose between a “reflector” or shield to whack with, “rosary beads”, basically a whip, or a “glaive”, or sword to equip. You can equip two weapons – one as main and the other as sub, and can mix and match as you’d like. I preferred beads, as they had a long range and could combo like crazy. In addition, you are able to use the celestial brush, where you hold down R1, which pauses the action and allows you to draw certain actions across the screen. For example, a single horizontal line is power slash, which damages enemies, while a loop is Galestorm, which knocks your enemies out of the sky and sends them flying across the arena. You also use these moves in the environment to solve puzzles and reach new areas. Each enemy has a weakness for a certain move, and killing them with it gets you extra goodies. You have both a health bar and ink counter, both which can be upgraded, and ink restores over time. Ammy can also headbutt, dig, and jump, leading to platforming.

I played this game to the fullest extent. I upgraded Ammy as much as possible, bought every technique, collected every stray bead, caught every fish, fed every animal, defeated every type of enemy, completed every side quest, etc. And honestly? It took me just over 40 hours, but I didn’t mind at all. I was engaged the entire time, and truly enjoyed it. That being said, there were a few areas that bothered me. Some of the platforming was a little strange, and sometimes the camera would “lock” and not allow you to look around, which could be frustrating. Also the story was not told through cutscenes, but rather written dialogue, which was fine, however you had to click x to advance every. single. line., which was horrible. It should’ve just flowed on its own, or at least only made you click to continue after full paragraphs. Argh. But what can you do, it’s an old game.

All in all, this is definitely a must play! Especially for anyone nostalgic for the PS2 era.