'Okami', A Capcom, Clover Studios game for the PS2, is what I believe to be one of the most unappreciated games of the decade. At the time of it's release, in 2006, it was dwarfed by the prospects of incoming games such as 'Final Fantasy XII', 'Gears of War' and 'The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess'. Against such anticipated titles 'Okami', which had even achieved several awards for best concept, had little chance of making itself known. It took me until 2008 before I discovered the amazing game. Later that year it was brought to the Nintendo Wii where it should have stood in the limelight against smaller, movie based releases, but still managed to be pushed back into the wings, possibly due to the previous November's releases such as 'Mass Effect' and 'Assasin's Creed'.
Finally after four years it was given another chance. An excellent remastered edition of the game was released on the PlayStation Network October 30 of this year. This excellent edition came with both controller and Move function-ability. With the update in graphics that pulls the player even more into the beauty of the Japanese woodblock painting style, 'Okami' has shown even brighter than it has before. But not quite bright enough. 'Halo 4', 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II', 'Assassin's Creed III', all pushed their way passed the wonderful game onto center stage, once again leaving little 'Okami' to fall onto the back burner.
'Okami' is a wonderful action adventure game with gameplay right out of the story books of Japan. You play mother goddess Amaterasu, goddess of the sun and creator of Japan, reincarnated into the body of a wolf. The quest is to destroy a great evil that plagues the world by bringing Nippon back to life with Celestial Brush strokes, painting abilities that control nature and are bestowed upon Amaterasu by the many gods of nature. These brush strokes are the highlight of the game. Not only can the players destroy their enemies by plenty of awesome attacks but also through well timed brush abilities such as ink bullets, defensive trees, and the ability to slow down time. The game's wonderful mix of genres, including RPG like elements as well as platforming, keeps you on your toes in an incredibly enjoyable way!
So why is this game so unappreciated? In my opinion too many gamers now days anticipate games packed with ongoing action and a diverse difficulty meter. There are those who refuse to play anything less than the Legendary in 'Halo 4' and those who wish for the almost immortality of Recruit in 'Call of Duty'. 'Okami' is not by any means action packed. Its neither extremely difficult nor is it a breeze to get through, for everyone anyway. 'Okami' is just a calming, beautiful old style game with a mix of game play including an action RPG style based attack system, an in-depth story and plethora of side quests, and a unique problem solving approach to exploration as well as battle. I would say that perhaps that gaming style is getting out of date but that would be like saying 'The Legend of Zelda' is getting old and we all know that I would have several thousand fans coming down on me if I said something like that.
Overall I think the game is absolutely amazing and do not quite understand the lack of overwhelming support which it deserves. Though it was able to spawn a small sequel for the Nintendo DS, 'Okamiden', I still feel like we should be seeing much more of this magnificent game than we are. I don't know if its just high hopes but I can see a future where people suddenly discover the game and I am the hipster in the background saying 'I told you so!'