Okami did not sell very after coming out for the Playstation 2 in 2006. The videogame was able to build a strong cult following despite the dismal sale. Enough interest was shown that it was eventually ported not once, but twice. First for the Nintendo Wii in 2008 and then the Playstation 3 in 2012. So how well has the overlooked game held up over the years? Find out in our retro review breakdown.
Long ago, a wolf named Shiranui helped seal the eight-headed demon Orochi. 100 years later, the seal was broken and Orochi is terrorizing the world once again, sapping the land of Nippon (Japan) lifeless. Amaterasu, the reincarnation of Shiranui, has been put to the task of stopping him. Based on Japanese mythos, Okami’s story is full of twists and turns and in unexpectedly charming at the same time. Its quirkiness is unlike any other game.
Okami is already one of the best looking games on the Playstation 2. This is due to the unique calligraphy paint brush style. It is because of the outstanding artwork that Okami’s graphics are future-proof. The Nintendo Wii adds 480p resolution while the Playstation 3 supports 720p. Both ports use the 16 by 9 widescreen.
Capcom really got the moods and settings of ancient Japan down by using a fusion of traditional Japanese instruments for the music. The Animal Crossing-like dialogue, however, is simply annoying. Makes you wonder why they couldn’t use real voice actors instead of artificial noise.
Okami is as close to the Legend of Zelda series as one game can get without being called a rip-off. At the same time, the game has its own uniqueness and mechanics to easily stand on its own.
The game is simply epic: it’s full of secrets, sidequests and minigames. Running straight through will take you a good 30 hours to compete. You won’t be spending all the time just grinding either. Each area of Nippon is different and unique from each other. The game will constantly surprise you at every corner.
The massiveness of Okami also contributed to the game’s main complaint: pacing. The game is full of highs and lows. The problem is that there is often a bit of a downer period after a huge event. It’s like returning to work or school the day after your vacation ended. This happens quite a bit in Okami, especially when you thought that you have reached the climax of the game. Still, the mundane parts of the game is easily overshadowed by the numerous memorable experiences it produces.
Okami does just about everything you expect from an adventure game. The game has tons of collectibles and side missions. You can also gain access to previously blocked paths with new power-ups. Towns and cities are also littered throughout the world. You can even get lost from time to time. Okami just does these aspects in its own unique way that these somewhat tired concepts seem new and refreshing.
The main reason is the use of brush strokes. You can pause the game anytime to draw with your Celestial Brush. Your strokes will influence the world around you. For example, you see a treasure chest engulfed in flames. To put it out, you need to use your brush to connect the nearby water source to the flaming chest. Your brush stroke will send the water flowing to the flames. To avoid frustration, the strokes are simple to do and you don’t need to be that accurate. The Celestial Brush adds whole new dimension and immersion to an already engrossing game.
It is because of the Celestial Brush that many Nintendo Wii fans and Playstation 3 were clamoring over the ports. The thought of using the Wii Remote or Playstation Move as a brush is enticing. Unfortunately, the motion sticks make it harder to perform the brush strokes as you need to be more accurate. In addition, the game sometimes won’t recognize your strokes (this also happens in the Playstation 2 version, but to a lesser degree).
The Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii port additions are both good (upgraded video options) and bad (disappointing motion control implementation). Still, Okami is a game worth experiencing whether if it’s on the Playstation 2, Playstation 3 or the Nintendo Wii. It easily stands up against the classic Legend of Zelda series. With lesser adventure games being released recently, Okami is an absolute must-play on any platform.