Review by Sour DieseL
"Possibly one of the best games on the Wii"
The popular title Okami, developed by Capcom for the PS2 was a massive hit. Nintendo wanted to cash in on the action and we got a port that was even better than the original. The designers decided to go with a cell-shaded style that gives it a friendly look for anyone that wants to play it. It's a beautiful game and will most likely draw you in (no pun intended) and keep you playing for hours on end. This game is really hard to put down. It's addictive, fun, and fairly challenging without being too hard. It's a massive game and at first gives an illusion about it's length because of one of the story arcs. There appears to be only one at first, but things become much bigger and much more gets put on the line.
Story: 10/10: Hundreds of years ago, in the countryside of Nippon, a Japanese region, an eight-headed dragon appeared by the name of Orochi. Orochi terrorized and frenzied the people of Nippon, laying waste to any that opposed him. However, Orochi and people came to an agreement. Once every one hundred years, Orochi would come out of his gave and hand-pick one maiden that he would feast upon. The girl would be sacrificed and Orochi was pleased. The, one day, Orochi's selection was the love of a young warrior's life. He vowed to save his love and began training. He runs into a wolf, who eventually starts following him around. The wolf is deemed a curse, a familiar of Orochi. The warrior attempts to slay the wolf, but is beaten. He continues his quest, and hatches a plan to kill Orochi. He would get the dragon drunk, and slay him in his sleep. The trick worked, but Orochi was still not easily beaten. Just when it seemed like the man would die, the wolf jumped between Orochi and the boy. The wolf attacked Orochi without mercy, somehow using the powers of the elements themselves to attack the beast. Still, the wolf was no match for Orochi. The wolf howled and the clouds parted, allowing the moon to shine down upon the warrior's sword. The sword was imbued with immense power, and the boy finally was able to use the sword to seal he dragon away so he could never awaken. However, many years later, someone attempted to steal the sword, and Orochi has awoken again. In response, the wolf has once again come to life to defeat the evil dragon.
Gameplay: 10/10: You play as the Goddess of all life and creation, Amaterasu, in the form of the wolf that helped slay Orochi. The land of Nippon has started to rot, and demons and imps and other various monsters have been appearing all over the place in response to Orochi's awakening. It is your duty as the Goddess to being back life and peace to the countryside. Amaterasu is given the power to draw whatever needs to be drawn, and it happens. For example, you hold B, and the screen becomes a canvas to draw upon. You aim the Wii remote and hold down A as well to draw. The first power that you get is the slash. You simply bring up the canvas, and draw a line. Let go of the B button and congratulations, you've done your first slash! This is only one of many powers though. Another allows you to draw a gust of wind, and another, by drawing an upside down "Q" shape will make a bomb appear. That's the great thing that the Wii version has over the PS2 version. You actually have to draw your attacks instead of just moving a joystick around. The controls are really simple and you run around using the joystick. There are a lot of powers to harness, and you'll get new ones as you complete certain tasks, the most common of which is filling in stars in a constellation, which unseals a new god and it's power. Every power comes in handy and some are optional, but can be even more helpful, such as drawing a tornado.
Okami, for the most part, feels a lot like a Zelda game. Moreso in the exploration and not really in puzzle-solving. The dungeons feel kind of lackluster compared to Zelda but they're supposed to, as once again, it's mostly explorative. Along the way, you'll run into large demonic scrolls that look kinda like magic carpets. Running into one of these will thrust you into a battle. You'll have a few options here and later on you'll have to harness a few of them. Swinging the Wii remote causes Amaterasu to attack with her equipped weapon, the first of which you'll receive is a reflector, a spinning mirror of sorts. You can go to the dojo and buy new attacks and longer combos, some of which require some good timing and reflexes on your part. Upon defeating your enemies, depending on how your faired in battle, you'll receive a certain amount of Zenny, the currency used in the game. In battle you can use a combination of just regular attacking and drawing. Some enemies require you to draw a bomb or a slash first to lower their defenses to a regular attack, though they can still be hurt by drawing attacks pretty much all the time. It's really fun and easy to get caught up in.
There's one more game-play factor that I have to mention. Since you are a goddess, after all, you have divine intervention at your disposal. Completing fetch quests will reign in some praise points. These are used to increase your life bar and the number of ink wells. The more ink wells you have, the more drawing you can do in succession. You'll gain praise points for a variety of other things, such as saving a town. You can even use your drawing powers to make something appear that will really please someone. For instance, in the first town, there's a woman doing laundry down at the river, but her clothing line has disappeared. Walk up to the stakes where the clothing line should be and draw in a line between them. You've made this lady's day by giving her a new clothes line. She'll be confused as to how it happened, but you'll receive praise points. It's kinda like "Hmmmm, this neat stuff always happens when that wolf's around....I wonder if it has special powers?". So you're also kinda making a name for yourself. The overworld map is massive and there are tons of places to go and lots of people to help out, so make sure you talk to everybody!
Graphics: 10/10: For Wii games released at the time, this game looks fantastic. They did a one-two combo here. The visuals are cell-shaded and it all has a very, very Eastern style to it. And I don't just mean anime eyes, which are non-existent in this game. When you pick it up, you'll see what I mean. A lot of the cut-scenes and story and told in storybook fashion, with a narrator. Okami is very easy on the eyes and everything is so smooth, nothing feels out of place at all. They went into immense detail in the game and it definitely shines through. All in all, the artists and programmers did a fantastic job and they deserve some recognition. The cherry blossom leaves, and even the trail that Amaterasu blazes all look wonderful. Wherever Ammy runs, she leaves behind a trail of large grass and leaves, letting you know that just by being there, she is the goddess of creation.
Sound: 10/10: Much like the graphics and story, the soundtrack is heavily inspire by ancient Eastern culture. On top of that, a lot of the soundtrack is just plain catchy. You may find yourself tapping your foot often to the battle music. It has a lot of memorable songs. And every song fits the situation, engrossing you into the atmosphere of whatever situation you may be in. The sound effects are great and the voices are funny. The voices are done in sort of a Charlie Brown way, but more comical, if that makes sense. It's always a blast hearing Ammy's little artist friend Issun flipping out during a tempter tantrum. Ammy, being a wolf, often whines or howls depending on the situation, and seems easily aggravated, making for some hilarious scenes. The overall result is an epic that keeps it's sense of humor throughout the game.
Overall: 10/10: Perhaps one of the best games on the Wii. It makes heavy use of the motion sensing controls which more Wii games need to do. I'm surprised they went for this much of an overhaul when it comes to the game-play from the previous version. Okami is a must-have for your collection of Wii games. There's a ton of stuff to do in this massive game and it doesn't get old. You'll have trouble putting it down, trust me!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/15/10
Game Release: Okami (US, 04/15/08)
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