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    jp's Ōkamiden (DS)

    [December 28, 2016 04:22:58 PM]
    Phew, finished!

    Weirdly, the game ended on a semi-sour note for me. I was feeling great about finishing it (even after beating all the bosses a second time, which I wasn't looking forward to) and excited by thinking about how simple, yet fun, the game is when...cue about 30 minutes of cut-scenes before even getting to the end credits.


    It didn't help that it was late at night and I wanted to go to bed. While you can skip all the cut-scenes, I didn't want to because...well, story stuff! But...I really didn't need 30 minutes of that.

    Overall, I'm glad I played it and the game definitely went in directions, both gameplay and storywise I wasn't expecting. It kept things really fresh, to be honest, and I wasn't really bothering with some of the side-mission stuff you could do like farming monsters for items you could use to get better weapons and stuff. As for the story? I got the sense that it interweaved in ways that people that played the original Okami will appreciate - I appreciated it too, because I feel like I've played Okami vicariously now - there was time travelling (!), cute characters, plenty of little bits of humor...and aliens from the moon. Not alien monsters, but aliens nonetheless. And a flying saucer? It sounds really stupid as I write this, but amazingly it all worked pretty well. Oh, and all of the above with super simple 3D graphics, low-res textures, and controls that were kind of wonky and imprecise.
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    [December 20, 2016 06:58:50 PM]
    I'm starting to get more annoyed by the slow pacing of the cut-scenes reaching a point where I'm starting to wonder if I want to finish the game or not. I also got to a boss battle that has been significantly more challenging than the previous ones. I think I'll hand in there for a bit more, but I am starting to look sideways...

    In another note, I just realized (way late, to be honest), that all the other gods/spirits you find are chibi or young versions of "grown up" ones. I wonder if they're all the same ones that appear in the PS2 Okami? Is this game essentially the same story, but with "baby" characters because it's on a handheld (baby) game console? Awww....
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    [December 12, 2016 03:35:10 PM]
    I'm 10 hours in and probably about half-way through. The game's definitely taken a turn for the more interesting!

    I still think this game really feels like a Zelda game (in a good sense), that it has a strong sense of Japanese cultural identity (also, in a good way)...but there's more going on now that I'm actually excited about.

    So, in the beginning of the game you meet a kid you ends up riding you (ami, the dog) and you do stuff. When you beat the second boss (the fish guy) there's a giant tidal wave and the kid is washed away! You start the next section without the kid and I thought I'd find him quickly and move on with the rest of the game. However, I found a girl instead who ends up riding Ami! She's the "protagonist" of the next section of the game - where you're fighting demons who are taking over a theatre. It turns out the girl has powers and when you finish this section she leaves to get training...and another kid appears! Each of the kids interacts with Ami differently (they all have different nicknames for Ami as well) and, I think this'll be the case for the new kid I just learned about, they all have different abilities you'll have to use over the course of the next part of the adventure.

    The different characters has been a positive and fun surprise!

    (on the other hand, long cut-scenes have been annoying)
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    [November 30, 2016 06:43:50 PM]
    I'm about two hours in having moved beyond the early tutorial and into the first "real" part of the game. I've beat the first boss. It's been an interesting experience so far, tinged with a bit of boredom. The latter mostly comes from the fact that there is a lot of slowly paced dialogue that you can't accelerate (though you can skip past, but I've been loath to do so). For now I'd describe the game as a Zelda-like experience. It features a lot of similar humor, crazy characters, and, to a degree, a familiar aesthetic. It is less bright (in terms of color) and the camera is regularly annoying. Fortunately it hasn't been a major source of frustration, but I fear that as I make progress in the game and get to more challenging parts, it'll start to intrude poorly.

    In Zelda the "verbs" are mostly tied to equipment you acquire that lets you do new things such as access new areas or interact with objects (generally to access new areas). The setup feels similar in this case, but with some more signposting (use this now!) and less puzzle-solving. Here the verbs are brush strokes that have effects and, surprisingly, I've unlocked 5-6 already. I wonder how many more there are! So far there's "draw a sun", slice things, complete/repair things, re-vitalize plants, and I forget the rest. Interestingly, because there's the wolf pup and the boy, you sometimes have to split them up and send the boy of to do things...

    The highlight so far was the boss fight, actually. Not so much because of the fight, but because I realized that I had to figure out how to defeat the boss (had to use a brush skill) and, in a surprise twist for me, had to figure out another brush skill to use in order to defeat the boss' 3rd "go". I'm looking forward to more interesting bosses and again, was reminded of Zelda.
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    jp's Ōkamiden (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 23 November, 2016

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 28 December, 2016

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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