So, I’m willing to bet many of you readers are familiar with Capcom right? Well, if for ever reason you aren’t; They’re the ones behind Mega Man, Resident Evil, Street Fighter and several other quality titles. These games are all great in their own right, however one stands above the rest in my opinion. This game would be Okami, if it wasn’t obvious enough from the title and the picture. Before we go into why this is my favorite Capcom game; let’s go over it, for the kids at home who don’t know much about it.
Okami is a game released on the PS2, PS3 and Wii in 2006. It was developed by the now defunct, Clover Studios and published by Capcom. The game uses several Japanese legends, folktales and myths to tell the story of how Amaterasu (nicknamed “Ammy” by your Navi-like partner, Issun); The Japanese god of the sun who took the form of a white wolf,who saved the land from enteral darkness. There’s a boatload more story than described here. I could go into more detail, but one; I’m lazy, two; I haven’t completed the game yet, and three; I want you to play the game yourself. The game isn’t your standard action-adventure journey either. Sure, you defeat baddies, solve some puzzles, see an old man with an orange on his head dance to keep a tree healthy; the usual affair. However there are somethings that set it apart from other games. For one; the Celestial Brush. You can use the brush in order to draw on the screen to do all sorts of things! It’s a fun feature and it is integrated really well into the combat system. Two, which I find really neat; the experience system. You see; if people don’t really believe in the gods; they are powerless. So in order to believe in you, you need do things like sidequests, restore nature, and feed the local wildlife. This is called praise and you need it to increase your life, ink for your brush, and other things. Sure it sounds basic, but it’s how it’s presented is what makes it special for me. There’s so much to talk about, however I feel like that would damper the experience for others if I told you everything.
Well that’s enough about the game itself; let’s talk why it’s my favorite Capcom game. For one it’s a joy to play. The puzzle are fun (besides those blasted ball rolling puzzles), the combats great, the colorful cast of characters (quite a few based on actual Japanese myths); it’s just an all around great time. Two, it’s absolutely stunning to look at; even today. I’ve always prefer a more stylized look to a realistic one; mainly because it just ages better, and Okami is a prime example of this. This game was released in 2006, and it looks better than quite a few games now (Then again I’ve always been a sucker for cel-shading). Finally, this is the game that got me interested in Japanese culture. Before Okami, I really didn’t know much about this place called “Japan”. Then one day while ‘surfing the net’, I came across a Let’s Play of the game (Like I do with 95 percent of the games I’ve ever played). Since I was bored and it looked pretty, I decide to watch. I was blown away. After twenty or so parts of that LP; I knew I had to buy it for myself. So I did, and now five-ish years later, I’m learning how to speak Japanese, I have a very, very strong interest in their culture, heck; I’m going to Japan sometime soon. I could of learned the more infinitely useful language of Spanish (especially since I live in California), but I chose Japanese, because of video games. So yeah, that’s おかみ, I mean Okami. If you haven’t had the joy of playing this game, I recommend you buy it. Immediately. It’s really great if you like swordsmen who chug an entire bottle of sake before going out chopping a boulder the size of two-story house in half with a wooden sword. This game is weird. It’s Japanese after all, what did you expect?