Ihave been an avid video game player and collector since I was 8 years old. While I enjoy some of the more recent titles on the current systems, I must admit that the games that make me smile like a little kid are the older ones. That was the case until a few Saturdays ago, when I stumbled into Ebgames and walked out with Okami for the PS2.
There hasn’t been an experience like this in a video game in almost a decade. Capcom and their in_”house design team, Clover Studio, have put together a visual tale that is as light-hearted as it is thrilling.
The game centers around ancient Japanese folklore, more precisely the story centers on Amaterasu, the sun goddess. The game’s story focuses on Amaterasu’s quest to rid the countryside of Nippon from an eight-headed beast named Orochi.
Why might Orochi be such a problem? It’s simple: Orochi has cursed the land, stripping away plant life and turning all the humans into lifeless statues.
Amaterasu takes the form of a wolf during the game, which in itself gives the player a unique experience. The game initially doesn’t feel like anything special, but a game play quirk called “celestial brush” takes the game to a whole new level.
By simply holding down the R1 button on the controller, the screen changes to a virtual canvas for your brush to do its work. The brush mechanic is easy to handle and is used enough to not be called a gimmick. With the brush you can do everything from make the sun rise to rebuild destroyed buildings.
The game environment itself looks like a painting come to life. The bright colors create a living tapestry of wonder, with cherry blossoms blowing throughout the landscape.
I have tried to search far and wide for something I disliked, and I only found one thing. The camera during battle scenes ends up in awkward places at times, and leaves the player prone to attack. As with everything else in the game, it does not prove painful at all.
I went through a great deal trying to even find this game in a store. It’s a shame that quality games such as this find such a hard time selling in the United States.
I will stop ranting about it and simply say this: Okami is without a doubt a Game of the Year contender. Anyone looking for a modern day classic game should get on the next thing smoking to a store that has it and pick up a copy of Okami immediately.