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Okami HD review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

I’d imagine most people are more familiar with Platinum Games than Clover Studio at this point, but it’s nice to get a little reminder on what the precursor to Platinum was with this release of Okami HD on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, Okami has been ported to a number of consoles at this point, and no, this version of Okami isn’t all that different from the recent releases on PS4, Xbox One, or PS3. That said, having Okami to play on the go? Sign me up. Portability is the constant feather in the Nintendo Switch cap, and this port of Okami feels just a little more special because of it.

If you’ve somehow missed the Wii, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and original PS2 release of Okami, then you’re in for a treat here. If you’ve already picked up one of the previous releases, at least this port is pretty much in line with the more recent console releases. The visuals look fantastic, it maintains a rocksteady 30 frames per second both docked and undocked, and controls great with either the Joy-con or Pro controller. You also get the added motion controls for the Celestial Paintbrush from the Wii version, and the ability to use the touchscreen for painting when in handheld mode.

Still on the fence? I think it helps that Okami still manages to hold up remarkably well today, despite being just a little over 12 years old. It’s a testament to the stellar game design from the original, which incorporated a number of things that felt akin to The Legend of Zelda, but deeply rooted in Japanese folklore and with an aesthetic to match. Okami also remains one of the most visually unique games ever released, and it will always be one of the shining jewels in the original PS2 game collection. Having another great port of this fantastic game is never going to be a bad thing, even if it would be nice to see Capcom fill out the release with some supplemental material to spruce up the overall package a bit.

Still, the core gameplay of Okami remains rock solid. Breathing life into the corrupted world around you as you progress through multiple open areas rarely gets old. Using the brush to bring trees and other plant life back to life, watching the screen fill with bright green grass, or seeing cherry blossoms burst into existence is as marvelous now as it was in 2006. Combat can get a little repetitive here and there, the game is mostly filled with encounters that take place in small walled off sections and require a fair amount of button mashing, but there is some challenge to be had with boss fights and late game encounters.

There’s also enough content packed into this adventure that you’ll easily be able to drop a couple dozen hours into the game. There’s a host of side quests and other activities that can keep you pretty busy, and the world is fairly large and open. It’s also fun to interact with the NPC’s, they’re all generally weird and entertaining, extending the charm of Okami even more.

So yeah, this is another solid port of Okami. It plays well on the go or at home, and Okami is still a really delightful adventure even if you’ve played through the game a few times before. It’s one of my favorite Hideki Kamiya games of all time, and I was very happy to revisit Amaterasu, Issun, and the eclectic cast of characters contained within. Suffice it to say, I think you’ll be just as pleased.

Capcom provided us with an Okami HD Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A