Platform(s): Nintendo Wii
Developer: Ready at Dawn
In a journey back to 2006 we often choose to forget the Pittsburgh Referees, I mean Steelers winning the Super Bowl, the unfortunate passing of Steve Irwin, the unfortunate release of Windows Vista, the Zidane Headbutt, and the release of Okami for the PlayStation 2. Wait. Okami? If you’re one of the unlucky to have missed this artistic Capcom release, you now have a second chance. Nintendo’s version of Okami does not disappoint.
Okami for the Wii is a direct port of the PS2 title so veteran players who caught the original will not be exposed to anything new. But if it’s not broken, why fix it? The artistic design and innovative combat that brought Okami to the dance remains true, while the Wii-Remote offers a unique way to play the game.
Okami’s story is basically a tale of mythology and heroism. Playing as the Goddess Amaterasu, who has taken the form of a white wolf, your quest is to save the world from darkness created by an evil eight-headed serpant called Orochi. Amaterasu journeys with a buglike partner, Issun, who happens to be the Jay to your Silent Bob. The gibberish dialogue that surrounds the game subdues you to a lot of reading but you can skip past it and get back to the action. However, you’ll be missing out on the many humorous exchanges the Japanese Sun Goddess encounters.
Amaterasu’s weapon of choice is the Celestial Brush, a magic paint brush that can be used to create assisting objects and destroy obstacles and enemies. The brush is controlled via the Wii-Remote and despite a learning curve that accompanies almost all Wii titles, Okami’s controls feel natural. As the game progresses, Amaterasu acquires more powers for the Celestial Brush that requires greater skill and patience. So the brush strokes that created simple bridges and rivers in the beginning of the game evolve into warfare slices that need finesse and practice.
All these collective elements brew into an artistic action title that is a must-play. Okami is still the same forgotten gem in the last years of the PS2 and it has been renovated just enough for the likes of the next-gen war. Sometimes we get more caught up in hype, online multi-players, and life-like graphics and we overlook brilliance. If you missed the game the first time around, don’t let the Wii’s version pass you up as well.