Capcom’s newest Japanese folk based game is soon to be released, but I got a chance to play it at PAX East. Okamiden is a direct sequel to Okami, a game in which you take control of Amaterasu. Amaterasu is the sun goddess, incarnated into a wolf form. Both games focus around Amaterasu being called to rid the world of evil spirits. In Okamiden, the deity that instead shows up is Chibiterasu, who is the child of the original sun goddess. Much like the controllable character in the game is a child, so are the other characters, as they are children of characters in the first game.
My time with Okamiden was enjoyable, and I found the game very cutesy. The cel-shaded look of the previous game was had here, and as far as the backdrop it worked very well. The same can not be said for the characters, as often times they appear slightly blocky. One is glad they stuck with child characters though, as full grown adults may have appeared even worse. As your character runs along, it appears to leave a very short trail of flowers and grass. Jumping up and landing gives a splashing effect to these flowers, and it was a nice addition to the less colorful background.
The game controlled pretty well, as the main character is controlled with the D-pad. The Celestial Brush is a returning concept in Okamiden, as the DS is the obvious choice for this game concept. The “celestial” portion of this tool is absent here however, as you do not obtain the god’s powers through drawing constellations. These powers instead are found in various places throughout the game. The Celestial Brush is still used to solve puzzles, and in the instances I played it worked rather well. At one point I was asked to draw a scarecrow to save the field, and in another it was a simple circle in the sky to melt something. The game is “paused” at the point of drawing, and you can do this whenever you want, to reflect a more amber screen and an ink pot on the top screen. You can just draw scribbles on your game screen and when Chibiterasu walks over them during the game they disappear into a cloud. I had a lot of fun with the Celestial Brush portion of the game and found the tool very easy with the stylus.
Fighting enemies was also pretty easy as you would simply just tap them to attack. I did not like the way this worked and wished that instead it was controlled by buttons. It took me a while to figure this out but the enemies attacks in the beginning are not strong and would be easy for a beginner to figure out. Okamiden is a promising title and, for fans of Okami, should be a must have. The graphical flaws of the game are easy to look past when paired with the story and game play of this great title. Stay tuned, though, for our full review coming soon to MTB.