Okami HD Review

Richard Walker

Okami is a true one-off. Sure, it might liberally borrow from the Zelda games a bit, but its raw charm, vibrant colour palette and stunning painterly art style is truly unique. Ten years on, it's still an incredible game, one that manages to be a constantly surprising, unmitigated joy from beginning to end. Playing as Amaterasu, the reincarnated spirit of white wolf god Shiranui, you'll use your divine powers to lift a curse that's choked the colour and life from the land of Nippon, one brushstroke at a time.

Armed with her Celestial Paintbrush, 'Ammy' can make flowers bloom, cause the sun to blaze in the night sky, summon winds or slice enemies asunder with a swift stroke. Each starry constellation Amaterasu restores in the sky unleashes a new ability, enabling you to reach higher levels using vines or traverse bodies of water by drawing circles to conjure lily pads. Watching as your actions gradually return colour to Kamiki Village and the lands beyond is always gratifying, but vanquishing eight-headed demon Orochi won't be easy.

Ammy has the people of Nippon to take care of too, solving their problems through her Divine Intervention. Whether you're reuniting a boy with his lost dog, painting a new washing line for an old woman, repairing bridges, making the hapless Susano look like a hero or catching fish, there's always a new challenge of some sort to tackle in Okami. As you help the simple folk across Nippon, Amaterasu will gain Faith, which translates to points that can be spent on upgrading your attributes, like the amount of health or ink you have.

Feeding animals, returning pink blossoms to dead trees, and digging up hidden clovers all earn Faith points, and you'll need them to make Ammy even more of an omnipotent force if you want to overcome the challenges that lay ahead and defeat the demonic bosses that Okami throws at you. Sharing this journey with you is peppy little bug-like companion (just don't call him a bug) Issun, and after about 40 hours of him bouncing around, he can get a little bit annoying. In fact, if there's one slight criticism to level at Okami it's the game's gibberish squeaky voices.

Yet, it's all delivered in such a pleasingly delightful way that the garbled dialogue exchanges don't really matter. Okami is a stunning RPG adventure; a transcendent masterpiece whose world is a living canvas for you to leave your mark upon. There are few games as special as Okami and even fewer that will leave such an indelible mark on your brain. Amaterasu and Issun's tale has an esoteric, beguiling appeal that's even more magnetic in high-definition. There's simply no part of the game that you won't fall in love with on some level.

Okami HD is a jawdropping game that still shines 10 years on, its gorgeous watercolour aesthetic, awe-inspiring tribute to Japanese folklore and brush-based gameplay hook making for a singularly joyous and exciting experience. In high-def, Okami HD's art style really pops too, but it's the core of Amaterasu’s journey that will live longest in the memory. There's not one aspect of Okami that hasn't been lovingly crafted and it's this attention to detail that shines through. There's really no reason why you shouldn't buy Okami HD right now.

Okami HD

Okami HD is essential, especially if you've never been lucky enough to play Clover's 2006 classic before. And even if you have, you owe it to yourself to play it and love it all over again. It's utterly sublime.

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The music is glorious, but the gibberish NPC chatter and Issun's helium-pitch squeaking can grow irritating after a while.


For a ten year-old game, Okami HD still looks remarkable. Its eye-popping watercolour painting-style visuals are even more inviting in high-def.


Bounding through Kamiki Village, Agata Forest, the Emperor's Palace, flowers shooting from the ground in your wake, brushstrokes swooshing across the screen, playing Okami is never anything but a pleasure.


A big game, Okami is entertaining from start to finish, constantly throwing surprises your way. It's sensational stuff, even a decade on.


A solid enough list that does a lot right, we nonetheless did run into a handful of glitched achievements. Overall, however, this is a decent set of objectives to strive for.

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