Latest Game Reviews

Okami Review - PS2

9.5
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 10 stars 10
Audio: 8 stars 8
Innovation: 9 stars 9
Share |
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full

Introduction


Clover Studios, respected by many for their unique and gorgeous Viewtiful Joe series, bring us their latest offering, Okami. As Clover was recently shut down by parent company Capcom, Okami is their swan song, a brilliant title that shows just why Clover deserved their acclaim and has us all shaking our heads as to the workings of big business. Make no mistake, Okami is one of the best offerings delivered in a long time...

Gameplay


Okami kicks off with the Japanese tale of the legendary white wolf, Amaterasu who slew Orochi, an eight-headed serpent who had cursed the fair lands of Nippon. Your adventure begins 100 years later, as the legendary sword used to cut down the beast is disturbed, unleashing the plague and awaking Orochi. The people summon the goddess Amaterasu once more to finally put an end to the plague and restore the lands of Nippon to its peaceful tranquillity. Sounds like another day in the office to me…

An action adventure, Okami sees you take control of Amaterasu, who is joined by a bug-like wisecracking companion, Issun. Issun acts as your mouthpiece, conversing with the numerous characters you meet and dishing out tips and objectives along the way. A great deal of humour is found in Okami and the majority of it is funnelled through Issun and his unique handlings of situations. Amaterasu also manages a few laughs with her physical reactions to certain situations like lying down an acting bored when a long-winded response is given. These slight nuances give the game and its characters a lot of depth and personality.

Combat in Okami is a combination of simple combos and ingenious design. Amaterasu is initially armed with a circular shield that magically sits on the middle of her back and is used to dish out the justice. As you progress through the game you’ll be able to buy or find new weapons as well as learn new combos from a Mr Miyagi-type dojo owner. You have access to two variants of weapons - primary and secondary. Each weapon has alternative benefits for primary and secondary use.

Where Okami kicks up a gear is in the simple yet fascinating Celestial Brush technique. The multiple brush techniques are usually unlocked by freeing a god, or helping them when they’re in trouble. These moves are needed to break open new areas as well as to kick some enemy ass. Holding down the R1 shoulder takes a snapshot of the screen and by using the square (thick brush stroke) or triangle (thin brush stroke) you paint various shapes that directly affect the surrounding environment/characters. For example, changing night into day is a matter of drawing a circle (to represent the sun) in the sky. Drawing a circle on water creates a lily pad. These powers can also be combined - that lily pad can also be pushed along with a drawn gust of wind. The options to what can be affected are ... (continued next page)