Okami is an action-adventure video game released on Playstation 2 and Wii. And this is not a game guide; it doesn't show you how to take on enemies.
Okami features the most unique art direction I've seen for any computer game. It is heavily inspired by Japanese watercolour painting and wood carving art of the Ukiyo-e style. It's an amazing concept to combine watercolour in computer game art, moreover, use it in the actual game itself.
This thick 288-page art book is filled to the brim with content. There are official character art including the concept sketches, storyboards, paintings created by by Issun the Celestial Envoy while on journey with Okami Amaterasu and even some music sheets at the end. The application of watercolour to create cute character design is very refreshing.
Everything in the book is captioned. Characters have their introductions. The character designs are explained to the detail of why they wear what they wear. Concept sketches come with artists' reflection. And then there's the journal of Issun, which is a whole big section by itself. There's so much stuff to read, so much information and stories into background of the characters and places.
This book is highly recommended and worth taking a look even if you have no idea what the game Okami is about.
There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
I loved the art style used within the game and was happy when I came across the art book. Even before you open it you get the feeling that you are in for a special treat, it reads in traditional Japanese way, meaning from left to right. It is crammed with images, from character design (ones used in the game and ones left out) to set designs. There is very little technical stuff in the book which was what I was expecting seeing as this was a game. Reading the book you get the feeling that you are looking through somebodies sketchbook with comments written next to the drawings, you can feel the designers excitement and passion about the project. Unlike most art books I've read the images are presented on a textured paper reminiscent of the game itself.
This would be a great book for people who played the game and fell in love with the art style that was used. People who have not played the game will still find it enjoyable yet don't expect there to be any variations of style used. The style of the game was kept through out the whole design process.
As a collector of video game artbooks, I couldn't pass up the Okami Complete Works. After dithering about buying it for ages, I finally bought it a few weeks back. I expected it to be amazing, being a huge fan of the game, but it went beyond that. The first thing I noticed was the size - I'm usually not expecting a lot when buying artbooks, but this was a great suprise. The sheer amount of pages is enough, and had I known this sooner, it wouldn't have taken me so long to buy. The second thing I loved instantly was the cover. It has a beautiful shimmery pattern across it, and it's even in the traditional right-to-left Japanese reading style, which was a definite plus in my opinion. Then the artwork...simply wow. For a game so beautiful, seeing the artwork was a great pleasure. To see how the concept artists transferred their style over to the game was amazing! As far as I can see, each character in the game has a place in this book, and all the major bosses have their own page. It's not just final designs and renders, either, like some dissapointing artbooks these days: there's tons of sketches in there, and to see them so nicely printed is a great thing. All in all, this is an amazing purchase, and I would have paid a lot more for it had I seen it sooner. I've paid double as much for thinner artbooks, so this is an amazing buy in my opinion. If, like I was, you're not sure, and are still on the fence, I highly recommend there is nothing in here that could disappoint, and that it's well worth the money.
If you loved Okami as much as I did, then you really should buy this book. It gives you all the artwork that was used throughout the game as well as details of all the characters too. I especially like it because it gives you more information on the ancient Japanese tales that were used for the storyline.
If you like Okami and have an interest in art, buy it! it's gorgeous.
Ages ago I bought the Japanese copy and with all the Japanese characters it looked the part. Finally its in English and I can understand it! This book is jam packed with drawings and the quality is brilliant. It goes into lots of detail with pictures of every character, every scene and enemy plus story artwork and concepts. If you love this style and love this game this book is a must! and a bargain too!
~ With 288 pages and a visual design that lays most game art books you have ever seen to dust, the Okami Official Complete Works book is a winner, just like the game it represents. ~ This book which wonderfully detailed cover surrounds, talks about nearly every single aspect of the game you could think about, with big, very detailed pages, full of art and interesting facts. It includes many of the authors thoughts about the game, the characters and the places, such as about what they were thinking about doing in the past and what made them opt for other options instead, and includes many scenarious and characters that didn't make it to the final stages. It also refers to the legends and mithology the team studied to make the game. ~ There are even other things that this book covers besides the game design and art, such as representations of the past history before the game, comics made during development, notes with songs to play while you read (if you own the Okami Original Soundtrack), among other unexpected surprises! ~ As to the overall quality of the book, the ink is of very good quality and the pages are fully printed to the last corner and flawless. The only minor issues I can point to this book are that the pages get curvy easily due to air moisture (specially if you live near the sea), and that opening the book completely while reading may cause it to fold on the side, which isn't a very big problem since the cover art resambles an old and special book, and the folding actually contributes to a more realistic feeling to that idea (and gives you the handsome bonus that this book might just never look bad for many decades to come!). ~ If you, like me and many others, have fallen in love with the wonderful work of art that Okami is, and just can't get enough of it, I couldn't recommend this book more! It is a great investiment which will leave you entertained for many hours, and will never let you forget about this utterly astonishing game that everyone should play at least once in their lives, no matter how many years have passed! As a side-note, make sure that you finish Okami before you start reading this book, otherwise it will spoil the ending and other nice stuff intended for you to discover by playing it.
If you are a fan of Okami and enjoyed the great art of the game, then this is a must buy. It's a great deal at this price (currently around £25) and more than worth it. If you are unsure whether it's worth the asking price, then I assure you that it is, and then some. I also implore you to pick it up while you can at this price. The price of this book can shoot up to many times this asking price if you don't take the chance while you have it.
But as for the book itself, it's brilliant. Seeing all the art up close and in print is great, and it feels right to see in in an analogue setting, instead of on a TV screen. Earlier parts of the book aren't that insightful though. There's a lot of gorgeous art, including a full version of the bestiary, but it doesn't really tell you anything that the game doesn't already. Most of it is just blurbs describing characters and what not, much of it lifted directly from the game.
Later in the book when you get to concept work things get a lot more interesting though. There's some cool insight in to unused ideas from development, and what influenced character designs. There's a lot of very surprising stuff in there. Apart from just showing character concepts and ideas that were eventually cut, it shows a lot of depth behind how characters were conceived, with some explanations that are sure to raise an eyebrow. It also shows a lot of very early concept work, long before the game took a shape anything like the final product. It's all really fascinating, and even brings out a chuckle or two in some places.
Overall it's a gorgeous and brilliantly presented piece of work, that has clearly had a lot of love put in to it. If Okami has captivated you like it has many others who have played it, then this book will surely enthral you. Have no hesitation in picking it up!
this is a 285 concept art book of the game Okami, it is in full color including ideas for characters and designs that never made it into the final game. it gives a brief background of each character and early design ideas. it's a paper back but quite firm and weighs quite a lot. the designers kept the book in a traditional Japanese style, starting from the back, very different from the western style books. it also has some notes from the creators and what inspired them to create a game about rejuvenation and Japanese myths. it has rough sketches of different characters and the final design which is quite interesting. also throughout the game, during interludes after a big battle, the narrator describes what happens after with lovely, colorful Japanese art also in the back of the book. it has pages of enemies you encounter in good detail, and pages of God's you revive from hiding and has their speech they give to Amaterasu after you free them and they offer their spirit, giving you the ability to- rejuvenate, vine, cherry bomb, create a Gail storm and and even control fire and water! it is a lovely book for art lovers and Japan lovers, and I'll keep mine for a long time since this is now a collectors item.
I purchased the videogame for Playstation 2 on day 1 of release and absolutely loved it; it is, as far as i know, the one PS2 game I didn't trade in when I bought my Xbox 360. And so when I saw this book I knew I had to buy it, and I wasn't disappointed at all. Not only does it contain artwork for every single character, minor and major, as well as all the enemies; it also contains footnotes from the game developer, describing why they look the way they do, as well as early designs etc. It also shows designs for each area of the game, also accompanied by notes and early designs, as well as characters who didn't make it into the final product. As well as this it also contains early concept arts, which are accompanied by interesting facts; for example: did you know that Okami was originally going to be a game about dinosaurs? To conclude, if you are loved the game then you will definately love this book, it contains all of the above and more, a brilliant read, five stars!