18 months ago Okami appeared on the PS2. The arrival of Okami was a quiet one despite it being a game to rival any Zelda release and having great visuals and game design. As well as running around as a sun god that’s now taken the form of a wolf, you also got to paint parts of the scenery to solve puzzles and fight enemies and this did feel a bit clunky with an analogue stick. Thankfully you never run in to Kevin Costner in the game and now it’s found its rightful home on the Wii – it’s an almost perfect game now it’s on Nintendo’s machine.
Your task in Okami is to restore light to the world after it’s been covered in darkness. In a very similar way to Twilight Princess you do this by fighting monsters and helping villagers in forests and townships and by exploring dungeons and fighting big bosses. As you move through the game you get rewarded with more powers and items to help you further if you seek out extras hidden around the maps.
You now fight by flicking your wrist which takes a bit of time to get the timing right, but the most satisfying thing is using your paint brush to great effect. At the touch of a button you can freeze the action into a sepia painting and paint stars in the sky to awaken gods, paint the sun to brighten the sky, add objects to the world to help villagers and even plant trees to block enemies chasing you. You can even draw through objects to cut them in half.
Visually the game looks even better thanks to its 480p widescreen output and there are times where the visual style is breathtaking – it’s like playing through a living oil painting. However I don’t know if it’s just my eyes or the style they’re going for but the game does seem to look a bit blurry at times as if the colours are bleeding into each other. Am I being too picky here? You have a look and make your own minds up.
On its surface you could mistake Okami for a gorgeous-looking 3d platformer but to do this would be a grave mistake to make. It’s easily up there with other role-playing greats and also nods to other Capcom greats such as Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry.
If you missed Okami on the PS2 then you should really hunt this one down on the Wii. Okami gets an almost perfect 9 out of 10.