The once exclusive Capcom classic gets to shine its light to a brand new audience
Following more than a decade of exclusivity elsewhere, the watercolour wonder that is
Ōkami HD will finally be setting paw on Xbox shores just in time for the holiday season – and it’s bringing 4K resolution support, the option to play in the aspect ratio of the original game and those brilliant interactive loading screens along for the ride as well.
‘Oh come on, not another HD remaster,’ we hear you cry. ‘Don’t we have enough already?’ Yes, we’ve got loads (and there’ll be plenty more before Xbox One’s time is done), but there’s nothing on Xbox quite like
Ōkami. The word ‘classic’ gets thrown about a lot these days, but this is one of those few games that actually deserves it. Created by the now defunct Clover Studio, Ōkami melds platforming, exploration, puzzle solving and, of course, deity-based paint skills.
Placing you in the wolfish skin of Ameratesu – a sun goddess from Japanese folklore – it’s your job to banish the darkness and restore the world to its rightful, light-filled state. Sounds like the kind of virtual adventure you’ve embarked on a hundred times, right? Spend five minutes in the colourful world of this lupine lady and you’ll see why it’s so special. The game is designed to resemble classical, ink-washed Japanese paintings, with Amaterasu’s Celestial Brush power enabling you to build bridges, kill foes and conjure elemental effects. It’s got a real The
Legend Of Zelda quality about it, so it’s managed to weather the years without feeling tired or dated. Not bad for a decade old curio.
The videogame industry isn’t short of titles influenced by Japanese culture and history, but very few are so deeply informed by the allegorical tales of its folklore. Ōkami goes deep with its charming and unique journey into the world of Nippon and spiritual stories of Shinto (the ethnic religion of Japan). You’ll encounter artists, musicians, warriors and demons as you discover engrossing side-quests, unlock new moves from forming constellations and collect those elusive Red Fangs. Even the interactive loading screens are brilliant, enabling you to unlock ingame items while you’re waiting for a new section to boot up.
It’s one of those games where we could fill this whole issue discussing its every nuance, but that would just ruin the fun of playing Ōkami for the first time. It’s also great to know Capcom has chosen to pack in the original 2007 release’s 4:3 ratio as well as a more modern widescreen presentation. Add that to a shiny new support for 4K and Ōkami HD’s cellshaded extravaganza will be a true treat on Microsoft’s family of consoles.
Get Okami HD on 12 December for £15.99/$19.99.
“It’s got a real The Legend Of Zelda quality about it, so it doesn’t feel tired or dated”