Review by KillerCrono599
After playing Shadow of the Colossus, I was impressed with its artistic direction. Before Okami even arrived at shores, I was looking at screenshots and movies, and saw that this was shaping up to be a great looking game. That feeling never wavered as I put it in my PS2. Once it was there, it never came out of my PS2. It was that addicting.
You (Amaterasu) are on a quest to rid Nippon of the dreaded Orochi. (Yep, your -good vs. evil- story) You are introduced to a world that is filled with nothing but darkness, however, you're going to be the one to correct that. Since Amaterasu is a wolf, however, you have Issun on your side. He serves as her voice, but brings comical relief and hints at various parts of the game. Even though Amaterasu can't talk, however, she does show her ways of disbelief, anger, and happiness. It's something you have to see for yourself
This is one of those games that looking at a screenshot will do you no good. It has a marvelous cel-shaded motif that makes it look rather cartoony, but at the same time, it brings a large variety of feelings. It fits well within the Japanese-mythology elements. The graphical effects even change from night to day and from sunrise to sunset, it's beautiful all around. From the way townspeople respond and react from everything to brushstrokes, attacking them (whether you meant to or not), to Amaterasu's movements, it's all very fluid.
From the many musical pieces you'll be hearing to the sound effects of your surroundings, friends, opponents, and even Amaterasu, it all comes out rather well. The music from town to town whether it's cursed, peaceful, or somewhere in between, really fits the mood.
Like most action games of this type, you'll start out with barely anything at all. However, before you even get to fight, you'll get something totally different from any game I've experienced: ~ The Celestial Brush ~
With it, it's possible to draw many things once you acquire the power from other gods. It's rather simple to use, and when you do use it, drawing something like a straight line, or a bomb, will result in that effect happening on the screen. As you go along, you'll get more of these techniques. Without spoiling anything, the combat starts out simple from the start, however, once you get more brush techniques and weapons, it only gets better and better.
If there is any gripe, it's that the combat never gets hard. I'm not saying all the combat is easy, because a few of the sidequests and bosses provide quite a challenging fight. Even with the ease of combat, the fast-paced action is incredible and even addictive.
If hard games are really your style though, you could make the game harder for yourself if you don't use praise (the equivalent of the game's experience points) to ever upgrade Amaterasu's stats.
The size of the game, however, is also impressive. Even if you rush through it for your first time, it will take you around 30 hours. If you don't and do sidequests or other miscellaneous things, you can easily double that time. The journey certainly does feel epic
In the end, I came out rather amazed by the whole presentation. With the artistic look, and the way it plays, it was hard for me to put it down from the beginning to the end. If you like action/adventure games similar to Zelda, this would be the one to pick up.
Games like this on the PS2 are rare indeed.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/04/06, Updated 12/18/06
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