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Hands-On: Okami HD

Okami HD Screenshot - 1112213

A little while back, Capcom announced its latest high definition makeover, one that fans had been requesting for a long time.  Okami HD is just a couple of months away from release on the PlayStation Network, where it’s set to sell for $19.99.  Before the game’s release, however, the company had a hands-on station set up this past week at the Comic-Con International at San Diego, where devotees and casual players alike got to give Amaterasu a go with the new PlayStation Move set-up.  Of course, we joined in the fun.

First off, if you’ve played Okami before over on the Nintendo Wii, you might have a slight idea how it’ll work for the Move.  You’ll be able to control Amaterasu (your main heroine, a goddess transformed into a wolf) using the main controller, while utilizing the Move controller for attacks and other functions throughout the vivid world.  However, the real treat is activating the Celestial Brush, a special tool that allows you to draw items in the world that come to life and aid you on your journey.  Using this is just like using a paintbrush, guiding your strokes to create stuff like a sword on an incomplete statue, or a sun that will brighten the land.  It’s really quite cool how it works.

Okami

But obviously the main draw to this version has to be the graphics.  Capcom has gone through a painstaking process bringing Clover Studios’ bold vision to life in the high-definition era, and based upon what we’ve seen so far, it’s a process that has been very rewarding.  The bright pastel water colors shine brighter than ever in this version, and there’s no detail we weren’t able to spot when we were running around the level, striking enemies and making flowers pop out of the ground.  The camera angles are excellent as well, though the best one is right behind Amaterasu, so you don’t miss anything that’s happening on the ground.  The frame rate is still a slight bit sluggish, but that might have been the TV that the demo station was running on.  No question this thing will be a beaut on something 50” or bigger.

Since Clover has gone on to become Platinum Games and partner up with the likes of Sega (Anarchy Reigns) and Konami (Metal Gear Rising Revengeance), Capcom turned to the development team at Hexadrive to handle the conversion.  If you don’t recall, they previously worked on bringing the classic Rez to high-definition form on the Xbox 360…so you know a good team is on the case.  So far, so good.  We can’t wait to see more of the game in action.

Okami

Best of all, Okami HD will come with bonus PS3 goodies, including Trophies that can be unlocked over the course of the game.  It’s always nice to have bonus little rewards for your efforts.

Even if you’ve already bought Okami previously on another game platform, you owe it to yourself to give it another try on the PS3 when it releases in a few months’ time.  Between the tranquil music, luscious new visuals and innovative control and Trophy additions, you’ll be howling to play it again.

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Robert Workman
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