In the Japanese mythology game Okami HD, players learn "brush...

In the Japanese mythology game Okami HD, players learn "brush techniques" whose powers to redraw the world can conquer the evil curse on the land. Credit: Capcom

PLOT A white wolf protects his people.

RATED T for Teen

DETAILS PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC; $19.99

BOTTOM LINE Brush strokes of genius.

Okami HD tells the tale of a mystical white wolf that protects the people of Nippon (a fantasy version of Japan) from evil. At its core, the game is a solid third-person adventure, with dozens of characters to meet, treasures to find, vast landscapes to explore and plenty of baddies to fight.

As players roam the game’s magical landscape, they learn “brush techniques” that give them godlike powers. Activating these powers freezes the game and causes a giant ink brush to descend over the scene. Players can then paint and change the game world: Night can be turned to day by drawing a sun in the sky, or walls can be destroyed by painting a firework bomb over them.

This game is a magical, intoxicating adventure that beautifully captures the essence of fairy tales and Japanese mythology in game form. Okami HD has an engaging story and gameplay that’s supported by its eye-popping graphics that seem like a Japanese ink print or watercolor come to life. This is reinforced as you move through the world as the sun goddess Amaterasu, causing flowers and grass to spring up in her wake. Clearing out sections of demons or reclaiming territory for nature rejuvenates an area with a spring-like flourish that’s beautifully captured in bright floral prints and tones. On top of that, the characters — Issun, the buglike travel companion, the Cowardly Lion-like Susano and the calming Amaterasu — are engaging. You can’t go wrong with this game.

— Common Sense Media (TNS)

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