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Review :: Okami - PS2

by Steven Williamson on 24 January 2007, 14:17

Tags: Okami, Capcom (TYO:9697), Wii, Action/Adventure

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The PS2 continues to roll out classics...

We now have a video review to accompany the written one. Check it out : here

Okami was released in the US before Christmas and received extremely high review scores across the board, even beating the likes of Resident Evil 4! The Japanese action adventure from Capcom is now ready to be shipped in Europe, hitting shops on February 9th and we’ve been playing it like crazy to see whether it lives up to the hype.

Despite the high review scores overseas, when Okami arrived in the post we were expecting nothing more than a run-of-the-mill, albeit quirky, action adventure, but after playing it solidly for many hours we’re totally blown away by the quality of the game’s abstract visuals, enchanting ancient Japanese music, unique gameplay ideas and excellent presentation and production values.

Ôkami tells the story of a mythical sun god who sets out to restore a dismal world, decimating the forces of evil that stand in the way by commanding the elements and mythical abilities the deity possesses. The heroine of Okami is Amaterasu, a goddess who takes the form of a wolf. To restore the world back to its former glory, Amaterasu needs to revive the Guardian Saplings, a species of supernatural tree that has indoctrinated the land. Mixing Japanese folklore and a stunning traditional Japanese art style, players utilise the inventive control scheme to overcome the challenges and evil that awaits.

The game takes elements from a number of genres - action, adventure, platforming RPG - and fuses them together to create an addictive game that feels as though you’ve just starred in your own classic Japanese anime film. Okami is ambitious, bold, striking and an experience that we’re not going to forget in a long time.

The artwork in the game is on a par with the greatest Japanese anime films, but in Okami you also get to become the painter; using your celestial brush to draw on a canvas in order to solve puzzles and perform miracles. When holding down the R1 button you’re presented with a canvas that automatically freezes the screen and allows you to draw using the analogue stick on the in-game picture. Ultimately, this allows you to progress through the game through the etching of relevant lines, circles and pre-determined shapes on the environment. For example, you’ll come across a broken bridge which you can fix by painting the rest of the bridge on your canvas, turn night into day by drawing a picture of the sun, draw a horizontal slash across enemies to kill them, make dying plants bloom and trees grow by circling them and feed animals in order to gain EXP (or ‘praise’ as it’s known in the game).