Amaterasu, the sun goddess, has descended to Earth in the guise of a white wolf in order to drive evil from the land of Nippon and restore the country to its former tranquil state. She will be assisted in her quest by various characters she meets along the way, including her ever-present companion, Issun; Susano, the descendant of a mighty warrior and Kokari, a small child who is very good at fishing. Needless to say, you play the part of Amaterasu in the game, a part that involves exploring, fighting, trading and wielding the celestial brush.
The celestial brush is the unique game play element that sets Okami aside from the rest of the adventure RPG genre. As you progress through the game, you will collect the 13 brush techniques that will allow you to alter the world around you. From slicing melons to creating waterspouts and from creating winds to making trees and flowers bloom, the celestial brush techniques are central to the way the game is played. When you access the brush pad, time stops to allow you to consider your strokes, but you must be aware of your supply of ink. Use the brush to frequently, and your ink is used up, not only preventing you from using the brush until it replenishes itself, but also preventing you from using your weaponry.
The game is presented in a style of cel-shading that is reminiscent of Japanese sumi-e ink and wash paintings. This sets the scene for the adventure, which is based on traditional Japanese myths and legends, and ties in nicely with the celestial brush. The visual style is very striking and makes for a beautiful game. Some of the sequences when you have restored life to an area are truly breathtaking.
Okami is an involving game, with around 40 hours of gameplay and a captivating story, so it will keep you playing for a very long time.
Okami is one of the most celebrated games ever made, and for good reason. This is the original PS2 version of the game, pure from its first release. The game has been ported to the Wii, but that version is not as good as the PS2 original. If you call yourself a gamer, you need to make sure that you play through this game at least once. It is one of the pantheon of games that will go down in history.
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