Have You Played… Okami?

Today’s video game recommendation is one that I have recently been playing. I use recently loosely because I started Okami in the summer of 2015 but I have yet to finish the game. It’s not that I don’t want to, but other video games have been taking up most of my time. It’s a shame really because Okami is a masterpiece and one that should be included in all lists of best games of all time.

Okami is an action-adventure game that was published by Capcom, released originally on the Playstation 2. Later a version was released for the Nintendo Wii system and in 2012, an HD port of the game was released on the PlayStation 3. I can’t testify for the Wii and Playstation 3 versions of the game because I have only played the original Playstation 2 version. I know that there are motion controls involved with the Wii and Playstation 3 (Playstation Move) so if motion controls are not your thing then I would stick to trying to find an original PS2 copy of the game.

In Okami, you take control of the sun goddess Amaterasu, who takes the form of a white wolf. As a curse befalls the land of Nippon (Japan), it is your job as the sun goddess to bring beauty and peace once again to Nippon. Words cannot describe the beauty of Okami. The graphics are cel-shaded and very much inspired by Japanese calligraphy. This works perfectly for a game so heavily inspired by Japanese myths and folklore. The gameplay can be compared to that found in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, especially since you also play as a wolf in that game. However, in Okami, you use an item called the Celestial Brush to draw symbols in the style of Japanese calligraphy. You can draw a straight line to cut obstacles or enemies in half. Drawing a circle will produce a bomb that can blow up cracked walls. Gaining these symbols is done by completing the constellations of the Celestial Brush gods which are inspired by the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Everything in Okami just screams Japan, from the graphics all the way to the soundtrack.Creating a game based on a culture and their folklore can be a daunting task. Nonetheless, Okami never once feels cliché. The graphics make the game really come alive and I can easily say that it is one of the most beautiful games out there graphics-wise.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go play some Okami.

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