Okamiden

May. 2nd, 2011 10:21 pm
moonsheen: (into the great unknown)
[personal profile] moonsheen
I have finished Okamiden. In the tradition of blatantly ripping off my friends ( that is, [livejournal.com profile] halcyonjazz )I will now express myself in picture form.



What I played:



What I expected:



What I got:



When I first heard about Okamiden I was highly skeptical. I thought "well, Okami was one of the best games I've ever played, none of the original team are on the sequel, it'll probably suck--OH MY GOD CUTE WOLF PUPPY."

That said I wasn't actually expecting too much when I played it. I figured it would be a cute if dumb sequel that would clunkily mirror the original gameplay (which it did), make use of the DS stylus (which it did), and probably have a silly plot to justify the cute puppy running around your DS.

What I did not expect was that they actually chose to get the scenario writer behind a game called 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de. A story-based mystery/thriller game that got a rare perfect score from Famitsu and happened to spawn a dead serious action/thriller anime called Canaan.

Basically way more effort was put into the story of this game then I was expecting.

Most characters are still based off of historical/folklore figures (Crane wife! ...cameo from Murasaki Shikibu?!?!). Plots resemble instances in Japanese lore. Extremely minor characters from the first game come back in larger and interesting capacities. It has a less epic scale, but the team behind this game clearly loved and respected the original a lot, and they clearly worked very hard to recapture it in spirit, without completely copying it (or lifting every single level). More information about the Moon Tribe! Benkei! Otohime! Isshaku!

But more to the point the ending of this game actually went where the original Okami did not. I think all and all it was a way darker game than I was expecting. Okami had its extremely dark moments (The Ninetails Arc being the Neverending Punch In The Heart), but it also had an extremely triumphant and all-around happy ending. Okamiden's ending verges more on the bittersweet, which... well, I did not expect out of my dumb puppy sequel game. There's a higher cost for that happy ending, and while you still get your cracked out silly WTF sequel moments (Issun, what?), you can't really shake a sense that something was lost, and not to mention one of the main characters is left at a very uncertain place with very little emotional resolution. (Because they're setting up for a continuation, but I don't think I'd mind with that particular character)

Yeah, I got a little misty-eyed.

(BAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW)

Also true to the spirit of Okami? THE GIRLS KICK A TON OF BUTT. I really appreciated that Chibiterasu's most take action lets-do-this-thing partner was Kagura! Tiny awesome theater girl! Nanami was also delightfully sassy. ("I GET EXCITED EASILY.") It was funny when the male partners were by contrast relatively subdued and cowardly bunch, all told. (ps. Manpaku's mom is awesome. The end)

That said my favorite partner arc was Kurow's. Because I'm predictable. And the crazy moon people always manage to steal the show in these games.

(speaking of crazy moon people: Waka is still a dick. This is also true to the spirit of the first game. the spirit of Waka being a dick.)

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