11 August 2008


After 55-60 hours of playing time, I recently finished Okami for the Nintendo Wii. Okami is a great game, definitely a keeper along with Twilight Princess.

The first thing that struck me when playing Okami was the art: watching grass and flowers bloom as you restore a cursed, blackened land is a treat.

The incorporation of the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii remote into the game is very well done. One of the key actions in the game is using brush techniques -- you use the Wii remote like a paint brush eg. paint a line across an enemy to damage it, paint a circle around a tree to make it bloom or in the sky to make the sun appear, paint in a broken bridge to make it whole.

I guess I'd describe Okami as an adventure game in an ancient Japan-like setting. The story is based heavily on Japanese mythology. You play a god-wolf trying to literally restore the land from evil. The artwork is such so that it's like you're reading through an ancient scroll with the story and pictures drawn out in front of you. As the wolf runs you see flowers bloom at her feet; when she jumps maple leaves scatter.

Battles are interesting but ultimately not too tough. I never died during the game (through the use of many healing aids) but I came close. Okami is fun because of how the brushwork is smoothly incorporated into fights and for the need to figure out an opponent's weakness.

So... Okami has great game play, wonderful art, and an intriguing story. What more could you possibly want?

The final battle and conclusion to the game were emotionally satisfying. This is the first time a game has made me (almost!) tear up. The game developers also left avenues for an obvious sequel. Unfortunately, I've read that the Okami developers are no longer in business. I guess it will be up to good sales to determine whether another company takes up the Okami mantle. I'm crossing my fingers.

Aside: I might not finish Resident Evil 4; RE4 has been relegated to "if I have nothing else to play" status. I don't have enough ammunition to finish a particular boss fight and going back to repeat chapters in order to conserve ammunition lacks a certain appeal.

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