If you ignore Okamiden you're a terrible person (hands-on)

Never got around to playing Okami on PS2 or Wii? You disgust me – close this window immediately and repent on your failure as a supporter of beautiful and original games.

Er… wait. You can stay if you promise to give Okamiden a chance this time. And if you're an Okami fan who's worried about the art style suffering on the small DS screen, rest assured that Okamiden definitely pushes the DS hardware impressively, and it still looks and sounds absolutely stunning. The paintbrushy sumi-e art style seems well-suited to the DS too, and the colors are pleasingly vibrant. Of course, Chibiterasu is adorable too.

One obvious reason for putting an Okami game on the DS is that the touch screen seems made for the celestial brush. As you play through the game, you unlock various celestial brush moves that do everything from unleash special attacks on enemies to make trees blossom. You can use the celestial brush anytime by hitting either bumper button, which freezes the action while you draw the appropriate brush move. Using the correct brush move is often a big part of Okamiden's many Zelda-like puzzles, and also crucial for dispatching certain enemies.

Enemies appear throughout the overworld that you can engage or avoid as you choose, and running into one triggers an RPG-style encounter. Chibiterasu can do a basic attack with the Y button and an adorable twirl dodge with the A button, and most enemies are vulnerable to specific strategies using a combination of celestial brush moves and attacking. One of the fiercer enemies in the demo was a flying snake that was invulnerable while holding his swords, and required careful timing and the right brush stroke to dodge its sword throws and send the serpent crashing to the ground.   

Like its predecessor Okami, Okamiden is strikingly Zelda-like in gameplay. At one point in the play session, Chibiterasu walked by a familiar-looking crack in a wall, and drawing a cherry bomb with the celestial brush to exposed a hidden entrance. It's one of the many obvious rip-offs that appeared in the original, and we can't help but love Okami and Okamiden even more for it, because it so clearly comes from a place of respect, and even though certain aspects are pulled directly from the Zelda series, the Okami series still has a heart of its own.

The game is out in Japan already, so it's going to be tough to wait until next year for the US release. In the meantime, you can check out the recent TGS gameplay trailer, and look for our interview with Okamiden producer Motohide Eshiro later next week.

Oct 6, 2010

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  • AshLynx - January 15, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    Guess this makes me a terrible person too, I disliked Okami even before realizing that GR is all over Okami like it's the best game ever (the fanboy attitude is not helping me like the game any more). So I am going to ignore the heck out of this game for all time.
  • gamefreakl1996 - October 28, 2010 1:32 a.m.

  • VercettisShirt - October 14, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    Next step is to re-release Okami in HD on PS3, 360 and PC to reach the largest audience.
  • DarkSpyroDragon - October 8, 2010 3:16 a.m.

    I loved Okami and I am certainly planning on getting this :D
  • Metroidhunter32 - October 8, 2010 12:08 a.m.

    @Strangleme It's a split. Wii has prettier graphics and better drawing, but the PS2 has smoother melee combat. I have the wii version and got past it by just using the rosary type weapons, but in truth it's your call. Wii is prettier, PS2 is faster.
  • Strangleme - October 7, 2010 11:28 p.m.

    I'm sorry I disgust you Carolyn but I just never got a chance to experience such beauty in Okami. Fortunately I am more than willing to put all my trust into Okamiden!!! I will also brush up (pun intended) on Okami for either the PS2 or the Wii. the problem is, I don't know which to try. Anyone have suggestions??? PS2 or Wii???
  • michaelpreston - October 7, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    Oh God, I can't wait to buy this!!!! Oh God, I can't wait to play this!!!!
  • Shagnasty - October 7, 2010 8:02 p.m.

  • Clovin64 - October 7, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    I bought Okami wen it first came out for PS2, but somehow I havnt managed to finish it yet (does that make me a bad person?). I'll definetly buy this, but I really need to get cracking on the first one right now.
  • AngryScotsman - October 7, 2010 6:29 a.m.

    I bought Okami on PS2 and Wii to make up for you silly geese that didn't buy it at all. I is well looking forward to this, innit bruv.
  • 510BrotherPanda - October 7, 2010 4:49 a.m.

    I'm going to put it on reserve once I save up enough, Carolyn... Are the Brush abilities activated with roughly the same shapes as the PS2/Wii one? And like Tygerclaws said, are the controls hampered by the D-pad like Other M?
  • MrSuitMan - October 7, 2010 3:23 a.m.

    Play Okami. Preferably the PS2 one.
  • OhMyJosh - October 7, 2010 2:07 a.m.

    I wonder if the item finding is still as good as the first one? If it takes a turn like Kingdom Hearts 2 and makes it too easy to find everything as the people who play this game are all 2 year old babies, then the game is ruined for me.
  • Primes - October 7, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Okami is now a gift i give to all my friends. birthday here's Okami. Wedding Okami. Holloween trick-or-Treaters... well candy but you get the idea
  • Corsair89 - October 7, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    Okami was wonderful. Okamiden looks the same. I want it and I want it NOW!
  • n00b - October 7, 2010 1:38 a.m.

    i will get this, in hopes that there is a 3ds sequel
  • enlargedhousecats - October 7, 2010 1:17 a.m.

  • EnragedTortoise1 - October 7, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    I will repent my sins by buying this game at LAUNCH! if I can... ._. too many damn games coming out.
  • Turboash - October 7, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    Fuck this game! So there. I'm gonna have no time for any other game for the next 5-10 years once GT5 comes out (maybe Duke Nukem).
  • Tygerclaws - October 7, 2010 12:41 a.m.

    Honestly, unless Waka and Ammy are the stars, I don't really care. 70% of the charm of the first game came from the characters themselves, so this game is already crippled by removing them from the picture in lieu of making an actual sequel. Y'know, to expound on the ending of the first game that screamed sequel bait. And as someone mentioned above, the fact that it's on the DS means that you'll be playing with a D-Pad in a 3D environment, which has shown to be lackluster at best, as showcased by Other M. Beh. Lovely conundrum. I don't care at all about this one, but I love the first to death.