Saturday, 23 October 2010

Okamiden, Chiisaku Taiyou Special Edition.

Man, I just couldn't wait for this!  When I found out about Okamiden (sequel to the brilliant but generally unsold Okami) I knew I would have to get the Japanese version while it was being translated. 

THEN I found out about the special edition.  Sadly too late though... 

Oh well, off to ebay.  I was pleasantly surprised though, as I managed to find one for a decent price.  Happy happy joy joy.  It retailed for 8000 yen and if you bought it from the Capcom site, you got a celestial brush stylus!  So now I have it in my hot little hands, whats the go?

Okamiden (meaning Okami sidestory) is quite appropriate for the DS.  The premise is that you play a god-wolf and have magical powers, that are controlled via your celestial brush.  The PS2 version of the game had the set up that the whole story was being told on a scroll and had a rough paper look, therefore, to use your powers, you would use the 'celestial bruch' to draw on the 'scroll' which is the world.  It was a beautiful game, with rich colours and the artwork was a whole water-colour style of painting going, always in flux and just amazing to look at.  Definitely the best looking game on PS2!!  Thus with the drawing mechanic in mind, it only seems natural to give it a go on the DS, where you draw on the touch screen to use the powers.

It does Naturally appear to be a cut down version (chiisaku means tiny) which fits in nicely with the pun from the first game. Ookami mean Great god, or wolf, depending on the written characters and you played the Japanese sun God, Amaterasu who was in the shape of a wolf.  Also the reason for being a puppy.  However, the special edition is something else to behold.  Okami didn't have any special editions and little merchandise as well, which sucks, as I really want an Amaterasu plush toy...

N.B, see the bottom of the page for more info on series, influences and overview of story.

Here we go!
Hooooooo Baby!  The box here is HUGE.  It has one of those bits of paper on the side that all Japanese games seem to come with as well, making it look like an oversized DS case.  The outer box is printed in a wood style with metal looking clasps over it.  It simply flips the lid up to show it's treasures inside.  What do we get?

The game, in a standard DS case, a Chibiterasu (Chibiterasu is the name Amaterasu gets in Okamiden. Chibi is a kind of slang/affectionate term for small) little  keychain plush toy (cute), some ear phones, a short novel, a game scene DVD and small soundtrack. Phew!  The bonus celestial brush stylus is pictured in the top.  It doesn't have a spot in the box, can be made to fit fairly well if one is careful. 

The music on the CD is in the same vein as the music from Okami, which is no bad thing as it was quite good.  A mix of traditional Japanese instruments and styles as well as modern.  I haven't had a chance to check out the DVD yet, nor the game... Sad really...

The earphones are cute, the bits you stick in your ear are paws...  However they seem to plug right in your ear hole, which I a not too sure I like that style...  Unlikely I will use them I guess.

The novel is short, but will take me ages to read.  It has a few nice pictures in the appropriate style of art, but no furigana.  Better start brushing off my Japanese Kanji skills (geddit? Brushing off!  Boom Boom!) 

The keychain Chibiterasu is annoyingly cute, complete with holy mirror on her back (see bottom for extra info), god markings and paw prints on the bottom.

One thing I am impressed with is the instructions, even they look like they are part of the artwork.  Fantastic. 

So, is it worth the effort?  If you liked Okami (most people should) and I do, I believe it one of the best games I have ever played, then it is a definite "Yes it is worth it."  If you don't, wait for the English release and you will want to get the PS2 version (also out on Wii, but crappier due to motion controls) and then you will want this set.  So just save yourself some time and get the set anyway.  I think I would get this again in English if they went this far.  That's the OCD collector in me though...

I have to admit though, out of all the special edition sets I have gotten/seen as of late (they seem to be becoming a popular thing), Okamiden's is the best presented and coolest set I have seen.  Even worth the $130 I paid for this baby.  And I got the limited stylus from the Capcom store too.  HACHAAA!

Now I just have to find time to play the game.....

The rest of pics.

Series chat
Okami is based on Japanese folklore.  Many, if not all characters in the game come from stories of Japan's mystical origins.  Amaterasu (Ammy as she is called in the game) is the Sun god, who was supposed to be the parents of the first emperor of Japan.  The weapons that Ammy uses in the PS2 game are based on 3 artifacts that only privileged people get to see, mostly those withing the Imperial family.  A mirror, a sword and a set of beads.

The mirror stems from the traditional Japanese religion of Shinto, which is basically ancestor worship and spirit worship.  All things have spirits, rocks, trees, the sky, etc etc.  the mirror was placed in shrines and is said to hold the spirits.

The sword comes from, erm not too sure actually,but I believe it is called Kusanagi (grasscutter) and if you read the Usagi Yojimbo comics, you should know about that one.

The beads I am assuming are just priest beads.  Since Buddhism in Japan is a blend of Shinto and Buddhist beliefs, I think (don't quote me on this) that the beads the priests use are related to the beads from Okami.

These items are kept by the Imperial household, as the Emperor is the highest ranking priest in the Shinto religion.  Up until the end of the Second World War, the Emperor was a God.  of course with the surrender of Japan, the Americans forced the Emperor to give up his divinity.

Official Okamiden Capcom site (Japanese)
Official Okami site (Japanese). Scroll down to choose Wii (left) or PS2 (right). The PS2 one has some good stuff on it.  Like an 8 bit minigame and various downloads.
As far as I can find, there is no official Okameden site in English...
US Okami site

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