[intro]“Okami’s a bit out there. It’s not trying to be hip. It’s trying to push the boundaries and that moves me.” [/intro]
It’s rare that I am moved by a game. Excited, frightened, elated, frustrated, disappointed – I’ve felt all these emotions but rarely moved. In the case of Okami I’m not only moved but moved in several ways. First of all there’s the plain fact of its beauty. Okami is a world entirely depicted in water colours and calligraphy as though painted on ancient Japanese scrolls and it is absolutely eye-meltingly lovely. Screenshots can not even begin to convey the subtle swells of colour, flashes of shimmering light, the style, the gentle caressing movement of watery incandescence. It brings tears to your eyes.
Then there’s the actual gameplay. It’s brilliant. The controls are utterly intuitive. Your character - a god in the form of a beautiful white wolf - runs, leaps, pounces and pads around at the touch of a button, never clumsy, never un-godlike. The camera follows you. It never gets stuck, it never drags and you have complete 360 degree control of it. You can paint on screen. You paint in bridges to cross, the sun for light, the blossoms on the trees.
Have I gushed enough? No, not yet. NO ONE in this country is going to buy it. You cannot bludgeon prostitutes to death nor bling up your character with gold teeth. You cannot pimp your ride or do a wall plant. No wait, you can do a wall plant actually. You get my point.
Okami’s a bit out there. It’s not trying to be hip. It’s trying to push the boundaries and that moves me. In its old age, the PS2 has become mature, distinguished and majestic in its abilities. There has never been a better time to buy one or pull the old fatty out the attic. Okami may not sell well but then most masterpieces didn’t sell well in the lifetime of their creators.