Okami HD is the remastered version of the PlayStation 2 title made by Clover studios and published by Capcom which was released in the UK back in 2006.
Set in the ancient land of Nippon (Japan); you play as Amaterasu, the reincarnated goddess of the sun who has been sent back to earth. Together with your little sidekick, a woodland sprite named Issun, you travel across the country in order to destroy the malevolent forces that are wreaking havoc on the land and its inhabitants. Over the course of the game you discover new locations, take on ferocious creatures and collect new powers for Amaterasu’s ‘Celestial Brush’, making better equipped to fight off the demons.
So what has been added to the PS3 HD version?
Well first up is obviously the graphics; the stunning sumi-e style art is back and now in glorious 1080p. Every detail is a lot clearer than both the PS2 or Wii versions with cut-scenes and gameplay continuing to be pretty much indistinguishable from each other.
The music is elegant and fits perfectly with any setting, whether it’s a wide open field or the lair of a ferocious beast.
The combat is an excellent combination of melee action and the Celestial Brush, making Amaterasu a force to be reckoned with. The brush can be used outside of battles as well. You can use it to with help solving puzzles or just so you can change it from night to day; the Celestial Brush is a handy tool. There’s also a levelling system for the brush. Doing good deeds or by defeating bad guys will give you ‘Praise’. The ‘Praise’ can then be spend on enhancing your brush or gaining another life orb.
As it’s an HD remake on the PlayStation 3 the game wouldn’t have been complete without a trophy system. While some are challenging to get, most are just arbitrary achievements that you get for just playing the game normally, which to me seems pointless.
Speaking of pointless, Okami HD is compatible with the Playstation Move. Now, I don’t own the Move controllers, but I did try playing the Wii version of Okami when came out in 2008. If the Move controller is anything like the Wii version of Okami then it may be better to steer clear.
One last thing , I’m surprised that Capcom or Clover didn’t look into adding a remote play functionality for the Playstation Vita; considering the dual touch screens it seems like a fairly good idea; but oh well.
Overall Okami HD is brilliant remaster of a severely underrated PS2 game; Everything fits perfectly together to deliver a wonderful game that leaves me feeling nostalgic. With an interesting plot , breathtaking graphics and a wide array of diverse characters, this game will keep you entertained for a long time to come.
Right has everyone got a drink? Good then let’s begin!
Bayonetta was released in Japan back in 2009 (and everywhere else a year later) with Sega as its publisher and Platinum Games as its Developer (or Nex entertainment if you own a PS3). I should probably say that to call Bayonetta an”Overly sexualized character ” would be an understatement. Everything about her, from her BDSM attack moves right down to that tiny lollypop she’s always sucking on , looks like something out of a teenage boys wet dream.
Whilst I thought that fanservice would bother me, after about an hour of play I noticed how little it phased me. It was actually funny watching bayonetta use a spear as a stripper pole as she kicks and shoots anything that comes near her like some kind of super powered burlesque dancer.
The storyline can be a bit hard to follow at times, but its an interesting story none the less.
Bayonetta is a witch; which in this game seems to mean that she runs around strapping guns to her boots and wears a cat suit made out her own hair…yeah eww. She wakes up after a 500 year slumber to find herself in a stone tomb that’s at the bottom of a lake, and for some reason she has amnesia,brilliant!. Anyway, we then seem to be jumped forward 20 years and join bayonetta again as she searches for a mysterious object known as ‘ the right eye ‘ which apparently will help with her memory loss, but the Angels and Virtues are getting in her way.
There’s also two factions of magic users called Umbrian witches and the Lumen sages who are something to do with this right eye object. There’s also a left eye and together they make the ‘eye’s of the world’ which summon the creator who apparently can bring heaven, hell and earth together.
I could go on but its more fun if you play it and see for yourselves, and don’t worry if you can’t understand what’s going on right away, the plot gets clearer as the game progresses and until then there’s always good old-fashioned violence to keep you entertained.
While the angels will come at you in swarms like ants to a sugar cube, they aren’t much of a threat and with a few torture moves even the mightiest angel will fall. Even the mini boss battles with an umbrian witch called Jeanne are fairly straight forward. The real challenge is the virtue Boss battles.
With up to 6-7 health bars and a plethora of attacks to beat you down with, the virtues are a force to be reckoned with.
But luckily bayonetta has a few tricks up her own cat suit sleeves; one of which is known as witch time.
Pressing the dodge button just as the enemy strikes is what sets of this particular skill; during which everything except bayonetta comes to a complete stop. Thus allowing the player to inflict some major damage on the enemy without worry of loosing any health points, but don’t get too used to this ability because it only lasts for a short time; so make sure to get out of the way before time returns to its normal state, or you may end up on the other end of a spear.
I’ve mentioned a lot of good points, but no game is perfect and the cutscenes are where bayonetta falls short. The majority of cut scenes are still images pasted to a movie reel animation; and the all the rest are filled to the brim with quicktime events which are frustrating at the best of times. But these ones always jump out at you just as you begin to lose interest, and they give you a minuscule amount of time to react before the game sends Bayonetta hurtling to the ground before making you watch the same scene all over again.
I’m going to stop myself here before I begin to rant. Overall Bayonetta is an entertaining game, the sheer level of sexual innuendo is so bad its funny. The boss battles are challenging yet fun at the same time. While the story is a little hard to follow at first , once you get the basic plot it becomes an immersive tale with some fairly well written characters.