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
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.