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Okamiden review

The non-spoilery part: I'd say 8/10. I'm surprised I didn't hate its guts like I expected, and my annoyances at the plot (many of those I already had before playing it) didn't hit until the final act, in which I was too busy getting my heart broken to whine properly about it. But that said, I had a lot of fun with the gameplay. I'm glad it was shorter and more limited compared to Okami because that was an unique game, and it makes sense it's all smaller. So I don't regret playing this at all. Now someone stop me from writing Moon-tribe-related fanfic to fix the plotholes!

The gameplay: I said in my main journal that the stylus is awesome for brush techniques. The D-pad and camera... not so much. The special part I call Super Mario Water Level was horrible for my nerves, NGL. Buying weapons with the equivalent of demon fangs was very shitty too.

Sidequests and bonus: Not too much to do, pretty easy with a guide. I couldn't buy all weapon upgrades but I actually got everything but one antique -meaning I only missed one game+ reward. You still have to be careful and get everything you can in dungeons, as you probably can't return and then they're lost forever. No races, no digging (yay!), no impossible shit like Blockhead Grande, no horrible extra fights, no 100 skulltullas beads.

Translation: IT'S TSUKIYOMI AND ISHAKU! D< Er, I mean. Nitpicking aside, someone should reduce the editor's paycheck. Missing words, typos, quite a disaster. I've wanked before about Shiranui's gender/sex so let's not go into that again.

Consistency: Until the last part of the game, it was surprisingly making sense with the world they had, with almost everything having an explanation. Then they made a SECOND time travel and Everything Was Fucked. But I'll go on about that later. Actually some additions were pretty cool, like the sunken ship in general or seeing what Susano was doing while Ammy was running around in the Moon Cave. Oh, and the ugly baby from the Okami credits WASN'T retconned, hurray!

Mythology butchery: I haven't caught a lot of references this time, but the ones I recognized were neat. There's obviously Sugawara no Michizane, who actually was a poet/politician who scared the shit out of his enemies after his death -and later he was promoted to kami of scholars and students, fffff. Shikibu and Genji are of course author and main character of Genji Monogatari, a classic novel about the sluttiest bishounen prince ever. And Kurow comes from the full name of Minamoto no Yoshitsune/Ushiwaka-maru (Fridge horror moment: Kurow - Akuro-oh. Well, SHIT.) An addition I LOVED was that Benkei actually challenged Kurow to get his flute as his 1000th sword! Then he was trolled by the old sailor into fishing the cutlass, but the awesome was awesome. Oh, and Momotarou finally got his animal posse! The crane in Yakushi village was also a nice touch. I think (悪路王) Akuro-oh references something, but I can't find anything in English yet beyond something in a visual novel and a song's lyrics.

Partners: I prefer the term Doctor Who companions, but anyway.

→ The "not another special snowflake amnesiac guy who's dull and defined by his relationships with others, yawn" partner: Kuni. Man, I so never cared about Kuni or understood why Chibi was so attached to him. He was the Jason Grace of this game (then Kurow is the Luke Castellan...?) It's like ooooooh he's special and mysteeeerious and they don't say why. Newsflash, guys: he's not going to look speshul if the other partners include a miko priestess, a mermaid, and a magical alien.

→ The "you're so cute and the game needed more of you" partner: Nanami. Sassy meeeeermaid~

→ The "OMG YOU'RE SO AWESOME I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER" partner: Kagu! I fucking love Kagu with intensity ♥ I think she might be my favorite partner of the lot. Yes, even more than the Waka mini-me. Speaking of which.

→ The "I'm playing this game for you and your subplot" partner: Kurow. We all know I break for Moon Tribe. I spent 1/3 of the game scared shitless of any time he left me ("HE'S GONNA BETRAY ME AND DIE THE NEXT TIME I SEE HIM, ISN'T HE"). So yeah, I am ridiculously attached to the dude.

→ The "GTFO you're so annoying!" partner: Manpuku. I knew little about him and I assumed it was because fandom doesn't care about overweight characters. Nope, it's probably because that brat is so annoying and whiny. I don't like to bash the poor guy, but he really irked me. And his mom's Petunia Dursley attitude irked me to no end. No, lady, it's fucking unhealthy that you overfeed your kid to the point you starve yourself. UGH! His hair was cool, though.

So the ending and the final timey-wimey suck balls: I think the moment the plot broke was when Shiranui died and suddenly her sacrifice for peace means squat because her son (SON, GAME, SON) is now off to save the world from a worse evil, and the whole Kamiki village witnesses that. Even worse, Ishaku (WITH ONE S) is going with him, making the lack of travel guides hinting or saying about Akuro and Chibiterasu a huge plothole. Besides, it's implied that Ishaku and Waka are friends, and he doesn't bat an eye about Kurow. Then again, I think the writers didn't research his character and just put a golden-colored Issun instead. Sigh.

It was very cheap that they made Akuro-ou the superior baddie in this universe. First, it cheapens everything Amaterasu did in this life and the previous one (SHIRANUI IS NOT HER FATHER, GAME). It was already bad that she sent her baby son to fight evil without giving him a paw, but now it turns out it's an evil superior to Yami, so superior that Yami is one of his vessels. It makes no fucking sense and it looks just awful on Ammy. Second, I don't know why it had to be a superior evil after all. Orochi and Ninetails were servants and derivatives of Yami, but they were more intimidating and charismatic than the original evil. Why couldn't Akuro be Yami's vessel instead of the other way around? Is it CAPCOM saying subtlety (not!) that "OMG OUR BADDIE IS BETTER THAN CLOVER'S FTW"? IDK, it's just terrible in many ways.

I am glad... that Issun has a bitching UFO now to visit Ammy ♥ That's the only thing I liked about the ending, TBH.

And this plothole bugs me in a personal way: WHERE ARE THE TAO TROOPERS?!?!

Manry tears: Regardless of knowing about his death and training by stalking angsty fanarts in Pixiv, I still cried Kurow's death. Impossible not too.

So what WAS Waka thinking? That's the million dollars question now. He's either swallowing more Manpain and guilt than he did before, or he's an insensitive bastard. I thought I would figure it out after playing the game, but I'm still clueless. Yes, this is an important thing for me, as I've been roleplaying as the half-baked prophet for years and I should be able to tell.

Regardless! I'm even more convinced now that the Moon Tribe technology is behind everything and Waka does more things in the shadows to push fate than we give him credit for. But nevermind my conspiracy theories!

By the way, who are the "they" that Kurow talks about? THIS WILL BUG ME FOREVER.

Also, I don't want sequels with Kuni as the main character. Fuck that noise.

Comments

( 28 comments )
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
He's either swallowing more Manpain and guilt than he did before, or he's an insensitive bastard.
... sooooo they did CLAMP Waka after all? :/
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
We have no idea! He was just namedropped. But in the end, the only clear thing is that Kurow was a doll, not a clone (which raises more questions, really)
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
Something tells me this is not an "it makes sense in context" situation >.>
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
Who knows, that part happened so fast. Basically, he (and other Lunars maybe? Kurow talks about "they") creates or has someone create a doll who looks like him, and somehow/somewhere he gets sent to Nippon around the same time than Chibiterasu. The point of the doll was that with a pendant, he could make a seal with his own body for Teh Evol. Then if Kurow gets killed while he's restraining Teh Evol, it gets vanquished with him.

The ethical problem being that this kid, despite of later believing he's a soulless doll, obviously must have a soul if he has so many feelings. But does Waka consider Kurow a living being or he doesn't care? THAT'S THE ISSUE.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
... ouch. Those are like. My anti-pings. DX Why don't you send non-sentient creations to do that kind of stuff, guys.
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Do they even know he would have feelings, though? I mean, this is a race who think it's a good idea to hide monsters and weapons of mass destruction everywhere. Maybe it's a case of robot who gets sentient on his own, maybe not.

And then, how far did Waka foresee? Then I remember how underwhelmed he felt about Himiko's death (and she was his boss!), so it's not far-fetched that he might shrug Kurow's death because it was fated anyway, as cruel as it was.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
Hmmm. So it's more like they left the implications but didn't really explain the reasoning behind it? Ouch.
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
It's quite possible, or at least I want to believe that's what happened with Ammy not lifting her paw over this mess.

But since Waka is a cryptic son of a bitch anyway, I have to wonder if a good writer would've even tried to explain what the fuck is going on with him. Again. But it's giving me problems to decide ICly whether he feels bad about it or not, and how much he knew in that regard. And how hard is Chibi going to headbutt him in revenge when he gets back home.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
It's better to blame it on the writers than on the characters, IMHO. But looking for in-universe explanations/motivations for roleplay is still a bitch.
halfbakedlunary
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
Al menos es fácil con Clow porque es buenazo dentro de todo lo troll manipulador que es. Waka... puedo asumir que tiene su corazoncito todo lo que yo quiera, pero no puede tener demasiado o lo estoy woobificando. NO SÉ QUÉ HACER AÚN.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
Y sí. Aunque si hubiera conocido a Clow por TRC/HOLiC definitivamente no me hubiera dado impresión de buenazo >.>

... la otra opción es, ya que es el único de su cast, hacer de cuenta que Okamiden ~no existe~ y jugarlo sólo teniendo en cuenta Okami. (Que es lo que Fu y yo estamos haciendo con todo lo que vino después de Shrek 2 |D)
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Eso funcionaría en el ámbito de Mansión, sí, pero para las ocasiones que lo llevo a dear_mun, o si un día me da un acceso de locura y lo appeo en un juego en LJ, voy a necesitar hacerle compatible. *no se lo está tirando a los nenés en d_m para que le pateen las canillas, noooooo quién dijoooo silbidito-goes-here |D*

Por otro lado, estoy armando un fic épico en mi cabeza con POV de Kaguya para armarle el sentido a Esos Locos Lunares.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh. En eso no había pensado |D

A lo mejor el rollo este al menos sirve para desbloquearte.
taotrooper
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
Una idea que siempre ha sido una especie de headcanon mío es que en la luna, Waka era una especie de acólito en un monasterio guerrero, y que lo admitieron de élite por su clarividencia tan alta. Estoy jugueteando con la idea que Kurow fuera creado en esa época y que los monjes superiores no le permitieran tener contacto con el original para que no hiciera muchas preguntas. Al ser más joven en esa época y estando más en su fase "si lo veo en una visión me toca hacerlo" por entonces, Waka realmente no puso peros ni se preocupó en absoluto por un muñeco que no haría nada en ~300 años o si tenía mente propia.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Eso tiene mucho sentido. Y no lo hace quedar tan heartless bastard, pobrecito.
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yo lo que digo es que de algún lado tuvieron que salir los Tao Troopers :'D Aparte que eso que Kurow hable de "they", por más genérico que sea en el inglés, me hace pensar que Waka no pudo hacer la trastada del muñeco solo.

Seguiría siendo un heartless bastard considerando que ni una mano le echa al niño, pero al menos tendría sentido que lo viera como un objeto si para ese entonces era un brat. Y da espacio para cualquier guilt trip en circunstancias futuras en RP!
wherenobotsgone
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
cuenta de roleo lalala
Lo de los Tao Troopers ni lo había pensado :o

... apruebo los guilt trips /mala mun
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Re: cuenta de roleo lalala
Sólo Samurai Dandy yo pienso en los Tao Troopers normalmente ;A; *les da papel en el fic de Kaguya porque sí*

Por algo lo tiro a dear_mun estos días, es la mejor forma de fomentarle guilt trips o/
wherenobotsgone
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yo los quiero a los Tao Troopers ;3; Lo que me pasa con Okami es que como lo jugué taaaaaaan lento me acuerdo la historia básica pero los detalles se me pierden. Ni hablar de ponerme a hacer teorías |D
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
No era contigo, era con Eshiro et al. En el juego, ellos ~desaparecieron~ y nunca dan justificación. Samurai Dandy chismosea que cree que ellos se largan hasta que haya un(a) heredero(a) al trono, pero no tiene sentido con lo que ellos dicen en Okami o.O IDK, esto me tiene más mortificada de lo que debería.
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
... Eshiro es el mismo que anda haciendo lío con Ace Attorney, no?

No, si yo te entiendo. Es el problema de que a una le gusten personajes secundarios. Hay cada detallito que rompe el cerebro y seguro ni los creadores pensaron en eso.
rainmage
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
El mismo. Aunque bueno, él no es el que escribió el guión, supongo.

Qué tal esto? Abe sin querer presiona un botón rojo y los HQ se transportan a otro lado. Tanta computadora de la luna y ni un manual de instrucciones en japonés = qué peligro :'D
laurus_nobilis
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
Ah, por eso me sonaba :o

XDDD Creo que me quedo con ese headcanon.
outou
Mar. 25th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
1) The ugly baby wasn't retconned? Who exactly is this Kuni, and what has he done to our potentially-homely protagonist?!

2) Er...is the game a prequel rather than a sequel? I'm getting confused, what with the Shiranui/Chibiterasu/Issun/Isshaku mix-ups.
rainmage
Mar. 25th, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
1) The ugly baby will be born after the game ends! It's not really a big spoiler because it comes out less than 2 hours in, but Kuni is adopted. Susano just found him all amnesiac by the lake right before he rescues Kushi. We never get to know who/what Kuni really is.

2) With all the time travel they do... I guess it's still sequel but in a Back to the Future sequels kind of way (except the timeline isn't rewritten, just everyone else is shoehorned). It's a sequel where they get involved in the original's plot a little too much but without really ruining it. All the Okami events still happen but some look cheapened to me. Maybe I'm looking too much into it because I'm picky.
balalaikach
Mar. 26th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
Aaah, I really wonder if someone who actually speak japanese and english could compare the dialogues from the game... even though it is quite meaningless, but I think it would be very interesting to see the differences on the details they give in both versions.

Thank you for your review by the way :)
rainmage
Apr. 1st, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'd be curious too. I do know that Kurou (in Japanese) gives more Ushiwaka flashbacks because they actually share the same speech quirks -they both use Engrish and say "mii" and "yuu" to refer to people. Meanwhile Kurow (in English) has no French vocabulary and has a different quirk. This is likely a localization decision, but it sort of makes Kurow sound more of an individual than Kurou as he doesn't feel exactly like a SD Waka. But no idea about other references. I've seen fanarts using the word "copy" to refer to Kurou, so I don't know if he's a doll in the original too or a clone or something undetermined. That's the problem of only knowing by tracking Waka fanart, I guess.

You're welcome!
(Deleted comment)
rainmage
Apr. 5th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, if you follow the Japanese it would be technically Isshaku (as he is イッシャク), but in Okami's English localization (I had no idea for French and German because I can't speak those languages -my copy is the European fff) it was summed as Ishaku. Therefore, it's a localization/edition complaint, as the other original characters' names in English were the same but not him. It's about consistency. But since Okamiden!Isshaku was so rude I feel like making the difference to Okami!Ishaku? XD

Indeed, the producer for the AAI games is the same guy that produced Okami (Motohide Eshiro), and... I have a lot of issues against him from that fandom -and his interviews for Okamiden didn't help much. But I didn't go there in this post because I don't want to annoy people who like the Edgeworth games, so... well. I didn't find AAI1 hard, quite the contrary! Except the final villain, who was SO ANNOYING UGHUGH. So yeah: easier than original franchise, worst plot, I'd say about the same style.

I was pleasantly surprised with how similar Sugawara's role was to his legend (spirit of politician with a grudge). Except for the LOL ALIEN and possessed by evil part, I guess XD But much more accurate than many characters *cough badass samurai general → magical prophet alien cough*, so... fff.

I was talking the other day in another person's review about the chances of Sugawara and Ushiwaka knowing each other. I mean like you said, they both lived in the same city and worked for the same government! But considering his loneliness and the attitude to Kurow as if he was the last Lunar he's seen in a while, I suppose they didn't. Which sucks, in my opinion. They were so near to each other and they should've been friends (or hate each other's guts if they can't get along.)

Ishaku and Waka's friendship is a little in the fanon side, to be fair. But in the travel guides in Okami, Ishaku mentions at least twice a guy from the Moon Tribe he knows, and how he heard the stories of the Moon and the Celestial Plain's fall from him. For one, the fact that Waka -someone so cryptic and secretive- trusts a person enough to tell his story tells a lot. Second, Ishaku sounds very sympathetic and respectful to the Moon tribe man's sad story (compare to anything Issun writes about Waka in both games). So I think it's a good hint that they were friends even if it's not in the main plot. Or at least, much friendlier than Issun to Waka. Which is why "that Waka guy" and Okamiden!Isshaku being pretty much a colder version of Issun really annoys me. Well, this Isshaku in general just irks me, not only for lack of friendship with Waka. He didn't look so upset over Ammy's death. I don't know this guy at all! They didn't research his character.

CAPCOM decided to make their evil like " LMAOLMAO I AM THE RUKER OF DARKNESS YOU EMBRYO FROM CLOVER IS NOTHING AGAINST ME LMAOLMAO"
I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who thought that! It was cheap and rude, if that's what they went for. And Akuro made every cool boss cheaper suddenly, which is just terrible.

Ever since I heard about Kurow's origin and death in spoilers, I was so angry at the implications on Ushiwaka's already kinda-douche personality. I have my own ideas as for why he's so distant about deaths in Okami (as a prophet, I think he tries not to get too attached to people with short lifespans as he can't do anything about it), but that wouldn't explain Kurow too well. Creating a living creature to die like that is a different level of cruelty, and I'm having problems to reconcile this with the personality I think he has. He must either be very coldhearted or very depressed/guilty abour Kurow, but either possibility is nasty and we'll never know which one it is.
( 28 comments )