A Bizarre Review Request

by Scott Nichols

I was recently fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review Okami HD, which is releasing today on PSN. However, the press release/cover letter/review guide that accompanied my review code from Capcom is one of the most bizarre I’ve ever encountered. As such, I wanted to share it with all of you.

Disclaimer: I am sometimes naive about these things, so hopefully this doesn’t get the PR person who sent this in trouble if I tease it a bit. I find it an amusing oddity, not something worthy of condemnation, so if there’s a chance this will get the person in trouble with their job, I will remove it. In the mean time, under the assumption that this is all in good fun, let’s begin!

Dearest Amaterasu fan,

Please find enclosed along with this covering letter and fact sheet your review code for Okami HD.

[All good so far!]

Okami HD is beautiful, so beautiful. Sadly, *weep*, this game will probably review well but not sell in reflection. This time though, on PSN, it’s only £15.99 SO THIS COULD BE ITS CHANCE. Please.

[Wait, what? You're telling me that you expect your game to get good review scores? Sure, this is Okami, but in my experience that is pretty unorthodox to actually outright say that to a reviewer. Even more unorthodox is telling me that they don't expect it to sell well. Again, for Okami this makes sense with its history of poor sales, but still, super weird. Not to mention that "not sell in reflection" is a pretty awkward phrase. Also weird is the "please" at the end as its own sentence. This is literally begging.]

Released 31st October [Note: this was from Capcom UK, so that's the UK date], you retread the steps of Okami in HD, and hopefully in the process stir up some wonderful nostalgia. Okami HD is a decent reason for you to use your PlayStation Move, it makes painting all that much more joyful. Here are some things you should also know to re-jig your memory;

[Okami HD is a "decent" reason to use PlayStation Move? Whoa there, calm down. You don't want to oversell it. Considering how well the Move support works, really well in fact, I'm surprised they aren't pushing this harder. Other than that word choice, fairly standard PR stuff. Also, that semicolon is really bothering me.]

  • This game is MEGA long. Like, you think you’ve nearly finished it but actually it has only just begun. [Quite true! Though I actually talk about this as the game's major failing in my review.]
  • It’s beautiful. 1080p HD graphics beautiful.
  • It’s compatible with Move. Use the Move controller to brush away enemies with your celestial brush.
  • A full suite of trophies will be available for players to challenge themselves in new ways; including a platinum trophy.
  • If you don’t find this game warm and caring, you’re dead inside. [Important feature to be listed on the back of the box]
  • Please keep your footage to reasonable sections.
  • It’s only £15.99. [Again, UK-ness]
  • It’ll make your sad face turn upside down.

I have assets if you want ‘em and can sort out some Q&As on request. Give me a shout if you need anything else.

GO AMATERASU, GO, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE LITTLE ONE. [Go go gadget caps lock.]

Best,

[Redacted PR person's name, contact info, etc. Update: not to generalize, but based on the person's name I wouldn't guess that they are a native Japanese speaker.]

Ok, maybe as a whole this isn’t as weird as I thought on my first impression, but that second paragraph…wow. It’s not quite out there enough to have the Aubrey Norris charm, though I respect the effort. A review info letter just seems like a strange context to try and flex those particular PR muscles.

What do you think? Am I over-reacting to its weirdness? Under-reacting? I’d especially love to hear from some PR people with their thoughts on it.

UPDATE: My Okami HD review is live now, so why not go ahead see what I thought of it?

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