Okamiden Updated Hands-On: Minigames, Musicians, and a New Companion

Capcom's Okami sequel serves up more fun in its latest demo.



Capcom let us try out a new demo of Okamiden, the forthcoming sequel to its fan-favorite console game, in its media room at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. The demo was made up of two sections, one featuring a minigame and another that let us explore a floating city. It also showcased two new celestial brush powers. Although it was short, the demo continued to sell us on the game's cute charm.

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The first demo level we tried featured Chibiterasu and a new traveling companion, a boy named Kurow, as they rode the winds to a distant city in the clouds. This is the first time we've seen Chibi's new buddy, who, according to reps on hand, is a boy found inside a fallen star that lands on Ryoshima Coast in the game. The blond-haired newcomer has a "dude" vibe that's underscored by his penchant for trying to woo the ladies, in this case the lady scholar you deal with in the game.

The minigame has the pair flying through the clouds to a city off in the distance. Over the course of the trip, gusts of wind will kick up from the right, left, or in front of you and threaten to push the pair off course. To counteract the windy menace, you'll need to use Chibi's galestorm technique, which lets you create your own wind burst to keep the duo on course. You'll create the wind by drawing a lowercase cursive L onscreen to fight the gusts on either side of you and a spiral circle to tame the winds in front of you. The catch to dealing with the wind that kicks up from your side is that you need to make sure that the line you use for the L starts up on the side of the screen opposite of where the wind is blowing in from, so winds coming in from the right need to be counteracted with an L that starts its line on the left.

At the end of the minigame, you'll arrive on the floating island and make your way up a spiral path to the island's highest point, where you'll meet the Thunders, a musical group whose rocking out is causing the electrical storms that pop up around the island. The journey to meet the Thunders is quick, because the path doesn't have too many detours. You will find areas where you'll need to use the galestorm technique to clear away smoke clouds that block access to items you can collect. One item of note is a new chest type emblazoned with a lightning bolt symbol, which is foreshadowing a new technique you'll need to pick up before being able to access them.

Meet Kurow, your new companion.
Meet Kurow, your new companion.

When you reach the island summit, the Thunders aren't the friendliest bunch of rock musicians. They're not total jerks, but they don't take kindly to Kurow and Chibi's request to stop playing. To convince them to stop, the duo must take on another minigame that has them using the power slash technique to hit musical notes rising to the top of the screen within a time limit. When you've beaten the game, you earn a new ability: the thunder technique from the tiger Gekigami. The new ability lets you draw a line from electrical sources to certain objects. In addition, you earn the very vital drum item that makes the pair immune to lightning. The demo ended as Kurow and Chibi moved on to the next area.

The demo look and played great, and we're especially pleased with how the localization has come together, as the dialogue in the areas we tried had some chuckle-worthy moments. Okamiden continues to impress us with its charming visuals, fun gameplay, and engaging story. Fans of the original who are looking forward to the upcoming DS game will unfortunately have to bide their time a little longer, because the game isn't set to ship until March. Until then, check out our latest videos and count the days until you can get your hands on it.

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