25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A stunning display of what the Playstation 2 can still do,
This review is from: Okami (PS2) (Video Game)
Okami is very similar to Zelda, gameplay-wise. You solve puzzles, help people and use an array of nifty combat and transport abilities which are obtained progressively throughout the game. Like Zelda, the game has a fantastic, mythological plot with its own legends and ancient characters. All the main characters in Okami are reincarnations of ancient, legendary heroes and villains. However, what's so brilliant about Okami is that these legends are genuine Japanese cultural stories, hundreds of years old and steeped in the elemental, natural mythology of Japan. The art style complements this Japanese feel perfectly, with Kanji script all over the place and calligraphic brush strokes used to draw every object in the game.
Okami's real gimmick is the way that you can draw onto the world yourself, as the player. With a touch of the button, the world is transformed into a parchment version which can be painted onto directly to solve puzzles or destroy enemies. It's a novel touch which works well and, along with the distinctive graphical style and characters, goes a long way to differentiating Okami from Zelda, the series it clearly owes so much to.
My only criticism of Okami is that it is a very long game and can feel overwhelming at times as there are so many subquests to keep in mind and characters to remember. This is why I have not given it the full five stars for "fun" - because at times the gameplay is more like a good book or film, you wouldn't really say you're having "fun", more that you're very engrossed. The game is not needlessly long, no sections feel like filler, and there's no denying that it's excellent value for money. I just felt that I was spending so much time appreciating the environments and experimenting with each new skill and ability that my progress through the game was rather slow and I didn't have much time to play or do anything else! Like all truly great titles, Okami monopolises your gaming time until you're really through to the end. Just as it should be.
As a final word, I should just return to the title of this review and repeat that the game does look incredible for a PS2 title. Although it's tempting to think the Xbox360 and Playstation 3 make the original PS2's graphics obsolete, Okami shows just how much more important style is than mere hardware, polygon-pushing power. Stunning.