I have an inherent love for beautiful games. So, it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that Okami is quick becoming one of the most beautiful and inspiring games I have ever played. I only wish I had played it sooner.
That said one of the first things that struck me about this game was its simplicity. After many hours of play, I have yet to run into any lengthy and over-the-top cut scenes, unnecessary and tiring dialogues, or obscenely long battles. Instead, I have been presented with a classic story of good versus evil, light against darkness, placed in a fairy tale-like setting where the main protagonist is a sun goddess-turned-wolf. The lack of voice acting, which is instead replaced with strange grumbling and squeaking noises, adds to the sense that instead of playing a game, I am reading a story from a beautifully illustrated picture book.
The most powerful aspect of this game, hands down, is the graphics. The sumi-e inspired style of the game, paired with the bold lines and colors, is enough to make me want to hang it on my wall. The fact that I get to gaze upon this while having the opportunity to actively participate in this painting-come-to-life world adds pleasure to every moment I spend doing little side quests. When I first set out to play the game, I was afraid that the addition of the brushstrokes would become tiresome or detract from the overall feeling of the game. Fortunately, while I do have some trouble making the right lines with my PS2 controller, I have yet to find myself put-off by it.
All in all, Okami has been a breathtaking experience and I look forward to completing the game.