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Thread: Okami

  1. #1

    Default Okami

    To say it plays something like Zelda is to do the game a disservice. It makes it sound like a bland clone. It's anything but. Truth be told I'm enjoying this much more than I did Twilight Princess.

    The similarity likes mainly in the structure of the gameplay. You explore, chat to villagers, fight enemies and solve puzzles, gain a new skill or bit of equipment which enables you to reach a new area, and the process repeats.

    You have a small companion with a squeaky voice who makes sarcastic remarks, gives hints, and flies off to indicate objects of interest.

    You play as a wolf. Unlike Link's transformation in Twilight Princess the form is permanent.

    Now for the differences.

    The game's flavour is heavily Japanese. The setting, characters and story are influenced by Shinto mythology. The visual style is that of a Japanese watercolour painting brought to life. The music is mostly traditional Japanese in style. It's not uncommon to see kanji in the game, and the vast majority of character names are Japanese in origin and not limited to the comfortable handful of Ryus and Usagis Westerners are familiar with. The game is set in Nippon, more commonly known as Japan. It all works marvellously; it makes the game feel unique.

    There's a wealth of things to do. Japan has been cursed by an evil monster; Okami Ameratsu (you!) must combat the curse and, eventually, defeat the evil at the heart of it. You do this by steadily restoring life to the world. How, you might ask. By painting. Yes, painting.

    As the sun goddess Ameratsu has the power of the celestial brush. New techniques are learned as you progress through the game; each allows you to perform one specific function. Whatever you paint becomes real. When you hold down R1 the world changes to a sepia and ink outline of the current screen and, by holding down square, you can paint on the scene using the analogue stick. For the most part this works well, and the game is reasonably forgiving when it comes to tricky shapes like circles. Release R1 and the ink merges with the world, and becomes whatever you drew. A simple line becomes a drying pole for a clothes line, an arch forms the other half of a water wheel, a wide squiggle makes the footpath of a bridge. A straight line painted through certain objects will cut, or will harm enemies if they are in their vulnerable state. Painting a circle in the sky summons the sun and turns night to day. Dots added to a constellation fill in the missing stars and summon a minor god to aid you. There's many more uses for the brush: bombs, water spouts, planting flowers, rejuvenating trees ...

    As you slowly work your way to the sacred saplings and rejuvenate them with a swish of your brush the land restores to life. The colour returns to the world; cursed land is mostly grey, or painted with washed out colours. The more you do to restore an area the brighter and more vibrant the colours become. Animals begin to creep out of hiding, flowers and trees grow, people are freed from their statuesque state, buildings appear. The land becomes an intensely beautiful place. Seriously, this is tied for the best looking PS2 game I've played.

    As a goddess Okami Ameratsu is reliant on prayers for her powers. Doing tasks for people, feeding animals, and saving the world generates prayer points. These points can then be invested in one of four skills to provide boosts to health, lives, ink, and purse size. The more you do to help the more powerful you become. As you're able to invest freely you can customise Ameratsu to your preferences.

    There's plenty to do in the game. I find I'm constantly running into new things; it makes it very hard to quit the game because there's always one more fish to catch, one more person to help, one more treasure I've spotted, one more new ability to try out ...

    Combat is pretty standard. On running into some demons a wall of fire erupts around the combatants to form a mini arena. There's a 3 hit combo, later upgraded to 4 and possibly more. Weapons grant different two different abilities depending on whether they are equipped as primary or secondary weapons. It looks like there's going to be 8 weapons total; so far I've got 2, so I can't say too much about this. Brush abilities can be used in battle too. Flying enemy annoying you? Cut its wings off with a straight line. Slow but tough enemy? Draw a bomb under its feet and blow it back to hell!

    Enough with the good. There are two things Iím less than enamoured with so far.

    The beginning. A very, very long cutscene followed by a very, very long tutorial. It takes about an hour and a quarter for the game to get going.

    Action events! From time to time without warning a cutscene will flash up the icon which indicates you need to do something with the brush and youíve got a limited time to hit R1. Most of the time I miss it and have to watch part of the cutscene again to hit the cue. Then you need to draw whatever is required inside of a time limit and you need to draw it precisely enough for the game to pass it, otherwise you have to start again from the beginning. Most of the time there are multiple cues; fail one and you have to do it all over again. Hereís my real bugbear: you have to go through the dialogue and cutscene all over again each time, and the text is still set to advance at its lowest speed. You canít skip ahead and you canít speed it up. Fail twice and you get additional text from your buddy telling you what to do Ė typically another 3 or 4 slow screens to sit through when you just want to get back to the drawing.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.

  2. #2
    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    New Jersey, USA

    Default Re: Okami

    It's on my list of PS2 games to buy used. I've seen other people play it at school, looked fun.

  3. #3
    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Riding Shai-Hulud

    Default Re: Okami

    It's also on my to buy list, ever since I played the demo. I found the regular fights rather confusing but the boss fight was brilllant.

    I wonder how many years it's going to take to finally get through my ps2 library...
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II


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