In Okamiden it’s a while later and the peaceful world Ammy created has gone kaput so she sends her little wolf baby known as Chibi to save the world for her.
Where Ammy could attack with her bark, you’re a little too small to cause real damage so you can attack with a little sword or by drawing moves with your tail. Pressing L or R brings up the paint screen on the touch-pad and you have 30 seconds to draw.
Throughout the game you can learn new brush moves from the children of the other Gods and these help you with your quest.
There are many side quests and helping people gives you the EXP you need to increase your life and the number of ink pots you have. Ink is used up whenever you do a brush move.
The main quest requires you to heal the land of the evil that has covered it, mainly by bringing the giant sacred cherry blossom trees back to life so that they purge the demon smog and allow you to progress to the next area.
As Chibi is but a pup, he needs a human friend to ride on his back, talk to villagers and read signs for him. When he’s alone and you try and get him to read he whines and looks confused.
Your companions also help you solve puzzles and have different unique abilities. You can throw them off your back and guide them to switches that you yourself can’t reach. The mermaid can swim and you can use her hair to put out torches and one of the other friends can hover over gaps.
When you’re required to use your brush, some of the strokes are easier than others. For example, the power slash is just drawing a line on the touch screen where you want the slash to go, whereas a cherry bomb requires you to draw a circle with a line sticking out.
Now I’m not the best artist, so sometimes my bombs are less than perfect and the game doesn’t recognise them so I’d recommend taking your time and having a very steady hand or you’ll mess up and have to do it again.
This can get tedious during cut scenes.
The main controls can also be finicky. I’m playing on a 3DS so using the joystick to move can be awkward. For example when walking up a slope that’s on an angle, pressing up on the stick or the d-pad makes Chibi walk straight forward, instead of following the boundaries of the path, he’ll just fall off.
There are a lot of cut scenes with slow text that you can’t mash A to get through as I normally do in games (I’m a fast reader) but they can be skipped. Be warned, you may miss important plot points and instructions on what to do next. I recently found myself skipping a scene and being presented with a ghost who wanted some flowers to be drawn on him.
Regardless of some of the issues, it’s a cute game and good fun for those who love the Okami series.
Definitely worth picking up pre-owned if you want something visually lovely to play over the bank holiday.
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