Review by Aribeth
"A masterpiece game that any Adventure fan should own."
I will start this off by saying I have never seen a more beautiful game. While the "graphics" themselves aren't next-gen quality, the details in the game are astounding. Watching bursts of color appearing on your screen, dead trees blooming into cherry blossoms, and battle effects has never been quite as beautiful as in Okami. The game is cell shaded, but you really shouldn't let this get in the way of whether or not you want to get this game. I can't stress enough how beautiful this game is. The artwork alone is enough to have this game.
While not the most original story ever, this game delivers its story in such a way that it seems like Okami is a true epic. The story is basically a Good vs. Evil affair, with you being Amaterasu, a Sun God in the form of a wolf. A resurrected demon, Orochi, comes and places a curse on the land. It is Amaterasu's job to use his "13 brush techniques" to return the land to it's normal self, and to defeat the demon Orochi. The story is much deeper than this, but I don't want to spoil it, so play the game for yourself and see.
Wow. If there's anything that matches Okami's artwork, it's the gameplay. The most important aspect is the brush techniques. These are used to do many different things: solve puzzles, help in battle, and progress with the game. There are 13, and as you go on with the game you get more and more, which in turn allow you to get further. One of the techniques has you draw a strait line through something with your brush (hold the R1 button and move the brush with the right thumbstick). Depending on what you move it through, it can cut the object in half (monsters, giant boulders, trees). Another allows you to draw the sun in the sky, turning nighttime to day. One of the more innovated ones I've encountered allows you to draw bombs to blow up walls, rocks, and even enemies. You don't have to worry about quickly drawing these pictures, as the game pauses and gives you time to do it. You have ink bottles which limit how much you can draw. The ink refills quickly, and you never have to worry too much about it.
You get many weapons throughout the game, each one is original and beautiful. You can upgrade each weapon with Golden Powder, to create a stronger version of that weapon. You can equip a second weapon as your "sub weapon", and depending on what sub weapon you have, the effect changes. Having the disk as a weapon would be a short melee attack for some damage, but as a sub weapon, the disk acts as a shield when you press triangle. This allows for many possibilities, and is all up to you to explore. Battle consists of combined brush strokes and weapon slashes, allowing for near endless fun in fighting. Each enemy is weak to a certain brush stroke, giving you rare items if you exploit their weakness. The fighting is easy, which might seem like a bad thing, but it isn't because of the fact that you can admire the many ways you defeat your enemies.
Besides battle there is so much to do. Different activities net you "Praise" which you use to upgrade stats. You get praise by doing quests, feeding animals (you can feed animals their favorite foods) and many other activities. You collect Solar Shards, and once you collect 3, you get more life (much like Zelda's heart system). Also, never have I seen a more interactive loading screen. There are two minigames: Pressing X at the same time as footprints appear on screen, or rapidly pressing X 50 times before the loading is done. Each will net you a Demon Fang, which can then be used to get specific items (Hint: you also get Demon Fangs by exploiting monster's brush stroke weaknesses). You can find treasures to sell at antique shops for money, buy battle techniques from the weirdest Dojo master possible, offer offerings to statues, dig up treasures, and much much MUCH more. The gameplay can't be described with words. Get the game for yourself and see.
The controls are crisp and responsive. They are fairly basic and easy to master. The only hard part might be the brush strokes. You will get used to this, however, and it isn't as hard as it seems because the game pauses when you want to use your brush.
Another form of art in this game that is simply overlooked. The sound fits everything perfectly. The musics always makes sense, it makes you want to stay in the area and listen while looking at the gorgeous graphics. The voiceovers might turn some people off, but it makes complete sense. The voices are squeaks and grunts, and they all fit characters perfectly. The sounds in this game are simply awesome. From breaking pots, to ramming walls, everything just FITS. Simply put, nothing sounds out of place in Okami.
Rent or Buy?
Simply put this is a must have game! The only possible reason you would not like this game is because you don't like 3rd person Adventure games in general. If you don't like Cell shaded graphics, it might be another turn off, but you should at least try it. It won't disappoint you.
This game is a masterpiece, and it's ONLY $39.99. It's definitely worth such a low price.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 09/25/06
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