Back in 2006, Capcom graced the PlayStation 2 with a Zelda-inspired game called Okami. Despite only achieving modest sales, the game went on to receive critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. It has since received ports to Wii, PlayStation 3, PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch, and it really goes without saying that Okami is truly something special. It’s also one of my favorite games, and I occasionally still go back to listen to its OST. But what’s always baffled me is that, even with its high acclaim, it has never received a console sequel.
Yes, there was Okamiden on the DS, but that wasn’t the same. A true, console-centric successor always seemed out of reach — until recently, when Hideki Kamiya teased the possibility of an “Okami 2” within the next few years. And so, as a massive fan of the first game, I figured I’d share my personal hopes for this next entry in the franchise.
Keep the distinct art style, improve motion controls
The most obvious place to start is Okami‘s overall aesthetic. The original game had an excellent soundtrack, so I would hope a new sequel would bring more of that. Plus, I’m not a graphics junkie — my 7th generation console of choice was the Wii — but I’ve always appreciated this game’s sumi-e-inspired art style. It looks like a Japanese watercolor painting come to life, and the game always leaned into that with its game mechanics. Unfortunately, because of the PS2’s original hardware limitations, there’s always been a blocky feel to the designs that, while cute, look a little dated in 2019. Modern technology in an Okami sequel would not have to deal with such limitations.
I also think a more fluid control mechanic would be welcomed. One of the biggest complaints that fans of the Wii version had was that the Wiimote wasn’t precise enough for brushstrokes. Motion controls seem like a natural fit for this aspect of Okami and would be welcome in a sequel — but they need to work properly this time.
Doggy doggy, who’s got yer bone?
Another area to improve is the original game’s mini-games. The digging mini-game wasn’t that frequent, but it tended to slow down the flow of the game and could be annoying to play. If Okami 2 wants to really impress me on that front, I think it should either axe those digging mini-games altogether or streamline them so that they’re not as tedious to get through.
Additionally, I think the Praise system needs to be a little better integrated this time around. Praise was easily one of the most enjoyable components of Okami, as it forced the player to interact with everything — animal, human and plant alike — in order to gain experience points and level up. Yet because Praise was often context-specific, I sometimes was lost on how to feed my animal friends or please the various humans of Nippon. Okami 2 should clear that up.
A sequel could also stand to expand upon the series’s environmental component. Okami‘s big draw was that it put the challenge of restoring the damage done to Nippon in the hands of the player. It was immensely satisfying to watch Amaterasu and Issun restore a Guardian Sapling and watch the land surrounding it become rejuvenated via a cutscene set to beautiful music. It even helped me better appreciate the balance of nature. I hope that Okami 2 expands on that by keeping the environmental component and upping the player interaction with the world.
Okami has a wonderful and charming cast of characters. Everyone from the doltish Susano, to the whimsical Waka, to even the voluptuous Rao leaves their mark on the player, making it possible to get emotionally attached to their plights. A sequel must go to the same lengths to create memorable characters.
In turn, the sequel has a wonderful opportunity to expand on the series lore. Okami was heavily seeped in Japanese folktales and used them as key plot points. Be it the triumph of Nagi over Orochi, the tale of the demon fox Rao, or even the tragedy of Kaguya the bamboo girl, the game’s reliance on Japanese mythology helped give it an identity. So why stop there? Japan has many famous and not-so-famous folktales still ripe for adaptation in this unique world.
In these varied ways, I think an Okami sequel could bring the series to greater heights.
Do you have high hopes for a new Okami sequel? What are the areas that you want improved or expanded upon? Let us know in the comments.