Previews

Okamiden: A wolf in sheep's clothing?

Don't be fooled by Okamiden's cutesy appearance

The theme for the original Okami might have been 'epic' - there were at least four or
five moments when we thought we were approaching the endgame, only to be presented with a vast new chunk of the map to explore.

For this sequel, the theme appears to be 'cute', and with every new preview version Capcom are taking the sweetness factor to a different level.

Almost every scene has something to make you go all gooey inside, from Chibiterasu's dumpy-legged running animation to the way he flails his paws in mid-air for a moment before plunging off a cliff.

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DOG FIGHTER
Although he's probably the least threatening combatant in the history of videogames, young Chibi is more than capable of kicking an arse or two.

Once you've unlocked some decent weaponry and learned a few combo moves it's possible to put together a string of attacks that leave multiple enemies frozen in statue form, awaiting the coup de grace from a vicious Celestial Brush technique that chops them all clean in half.

Violence swiftly accomplished, clumps of flowers sprout from bisected foes. The combat is almost identical to the original game, barring the use of the stylus as the Celestial Brush.

At the moment there's a rather jarring pause when freezing the action and bringing it down to the touch screen.

The soundtrack also stops, to be replaced by a special drawing theme before returning after you've seen the results of your artistry. Hopefully it'll flow a bit better in the finished game.

Away from the fighting, the way the developers have recreated the original Okami locations on DS is impressive. We'd seen towns and villages already, but we didn't expect larger locations like Shinshu Field to look as close to the Wii version as they do.

It's a shame that by the time this comes out, as perhaps the most visually outstanding DS game there is, everyone's going to have been wowed to a far greater degree by the 3DS.

Dungeons play differently, with two characters that you can split up. Remember the Goron Temple in Phantom Hourglass? This will all seem rather familiar then. But otherwise this is essentially Okami in the palm of your hand.

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