Released over a decade ago, Okami was, and remains, one of the best video games ever made. At the time of release, it was overlooked, hitting stores a few months before the PlayStation 3. A re-release for Wii gave Okami another chance but was also overlooked and sold poorly.
Eventually, Okami HD would be released for PC, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One giving players everywhere a chance to experience it. However, now, some 12 years after it was first released, THE definitive version of Okami has been released.
Okami HD on Switch lets the game shine like it never has before and truly shows just what the original team were trying to accomplish.
Okami HD Review Switch
Okami is an action-adventure game, similar in style and function to any of the Legend of Zelda titles. There’s an overworld with multiple areas, dungeons, towns and plenty of other places in between.
As Amaterasu, players explore ancient Japan after it has come under threat from the evil Orochi. Based on Japanese folklore, Okami’s narrative rivals the best of anime and Studio Ghibli and features some great characters.
Your constant companion on the journey, Issun, is a Jiminy Cricket-type character, who’s far more interested in the ladies of Japan than helping you on your quest. Being a Japanese fairytale, the story is best experienced, but rest assured it’s got all the hallmarks of a great adventure game.
It’s also pretty damn hilarious. Most characters are utterly ridiculous and only Amaterasu and Issun seem to appreciate the silliness of proceedings. It’s like there’s a fourth-wall breaking wink to the player, it’s just subtle enough to keep the immersion intact.
As the embodiment of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu holds the power of the Celestial Brush. With this, the player is able to paint onto the world to achieve all manner of goals.
The Celestial Brush can be used to rebuild broken structures, it can be used to cleave enemies in half, cause flowers and trees to bloom, turn night to day, create bombs and more. Think of the Celestial Brush as similar to Link’s Ocarina.
Instead of playing a tune, you’ll draw the correct shape and cause the desired effect.
When Okami was released on PS2, the Celestial Brush was controlled by moving the analogue stick. It was a bit clunky, but it still worked. The Wii port allowed players to draw using the Wiimote. When I played the Wii version, I remember it being almost unplayable due to the sensitivity of the Wiimote.
I couldn’t get the game to recognise the shapes I drew and gave up in frustration. When Okami HD was released for PS3, the Celestial Brush was again tied to the analogue stick. It was playable, but I still felt like the control scheme was constraining the creativity of the title.
Switch it up
Finally, releasing Okami HD on Switch has made it feel like its potential has been fulfilled. When played in handheld mode, using the touchscreen to paint with the Celestial Brush is flawless. It’s fast, fluid and never once interrupts the flow of the game.
When played in TV mode, using the Pro Controller or Joy-Con grip is ok, but using the Joy-Cons separately is excellent. While not as good as using the touchscreen, the sensitivity and accuracy of the Joy-Cons are so far greater than the Wiimote that it’s a very close second.
Having played Okami on PS2, PS3, PS4 and Switch, I can easily recommend the Switch version over the others. While the gameplay has always been great, Okami HD on Switch is by far the best example.
So, aside from being the most playable on Switch, what else is there to sell you on Okami HD. If you’ve never played it, then go and buy it immediately. Okami HD is one of the best games ever released.
If you’ve played it on other platforms, you may not be ready to play through it all again. But if it’s been a few years then you might be ready to have another go. If you are, playing on the Switch gives you the benefit of the best control scheme and portability.
Okami HD was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by Capcom.
Game Title: Okami HD Switch
Finally a console that works - 8.3/10
The definitive version - 8.5/10
Amazing visuals still hold up - 7.8/10