Okamiden; the Sequel We Never Thought We’d See

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jun 24, 2010 in Videogames |

Okamiden art

Back in 2006,  Clover Studios developed one of the most innovative and beautiful titles to have ever graced to the Playstation 2 — Okami. The studio, who had been funded by Capcom Japan, had been riding off the success of their Viewtiful Joe franchise. While their previous games had featured similar cell-shaded graphics, Okami received crtical acclaim for its combination of beautifully rendered visuals and innovative gameplay. Unfortunately the game failed to sell and ended up being a contributing factor in the studio’s subsequent dissolution at the hands of Capcom’s board of directors the following year. As a result many fans who had enjoyed the game were left wondering if a sequel would ever be possible.

Okami Screenshot

(Above, a screenshot of Capcom’s Okami for Nintendo Wii.)

Despite the fact that the game, and its subsequent 2008 port for the Nintendo Wii failed to meet the sales goals Capcom had expected, the game left behind quite a legacy. Several developers cited the game as being the key inspiration for the visuals used in their games, such as Ubisoft’s 2008 cell-shaded reboot of Prince of Persia, and Capcom’s very own Street Fighter 4. It’s no wonder that Capcom finally decided a sequel had to be made. Okamiden, as its become known, is currently scheduled to hit North America sometime next year. 

Will the sequel be more of the same, or will we see some of the innovation that made the first title in the series so memorable.  Honestly, it’s tough to say. Most of the original development team had moved on to other companies, such as Platinum Games, the developers Sega’s Bayonetta. As such, many are wondering if Capcom will merely rehash their previous work. 

Okamiden screenshot
(Above, a screenshot of Capcom’s Okamiden for Nintendo DS.)

I recently had a chance to sit down and play a bit of the game at E3, last week. While the brief time I spent with the title didn’t really provide enough of an experience to touch on the subject of innovation, I will say that the game plays exceptionally well and does a fantastic job of utilizing the Nintendo DS stylus, providing a fresh take on the same control scheme from the previous title. Perhaps we’ll just have to wait and see what Capcom has in store for us — I for one feel we’re fortunate to even be receiving a sequel in the first place.

Tim is a pro-blogger and freelance writer out of San Diego, California. In addition to Fanboy.com, he contributes to the ModernMethod Network of sites as the Features and Reviews Editor for the Japanese culture and entertainment blog, Japanator. He’s also an Assocaite Editor for the collectible toy culture blog, Tomopop. For more information, follow him on twitter, or check out TimSheehy.com

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