The Short Version:
Okami will be getting a Greatest Hits re-release.
BUY IT 'cause it's AWESOME.
(if it keeps in line with other GH titles)
Kindly, benevolet Kotaku
points out that Okami has turned into a PS2 Greatest Hits game on us. Fortunately, it seems actual sales don't equal the Greatest Hits label, and the powers that be have given the public a third chance
to appreciate one of the best games the PS2 ever saw. If 'Okami' is an unknown word to you, or if you're curious as to what the title's about, stick around and I'll explain. First off, here's some dates and numbers to get you all fired up...
Released on April 20, 2006, Ōkami sold 200,000 copies in North America in 2006. By March of 2007, the total sales of the PlayStation 2 version were near 270,000. By comparison, Ōkami sold 66,000 copies in Japan for 2006.
Released April 15, 2008, the Wii version of Ōkami sold approximately 280,000 copies in North America and Europe by July 30, essentially putting it on par with the PS2 version's sales in the same time frame.
By those numbers, this game isn't very good at all, is it? But remember, if sales equaled quality Ico would have sold a helluva lot more than its (relatively paltry) 700,000 copies. Great games don't mean great sales, but goddamnit I want that to change! I want you people to get angry.
I want you to get angry with your wallets
, and I want you to throw
those bulging leather pouches at the next fellow who offers you a copy of this game! Why?
Why would I ask such a thing?
Because Okami is awesome and win with a chewy nougat center.
But don't take my
word for it. Let's instead turn to the professionals and see what they thought of Okami. Ready for a shitload of quotes and a lot of 90s and 100's? And I do mean a shitload. As in whole bunches
. If you don't feel like readin' all 20 of 'em, here's the gist: "Awesome!" Ripped from Metacritic
and spoiler'd for size, here we go...
Okami developer Clover obviously put a lot of love into its creation and, as you travel the countryside, painting barren landscapes into bloom, that love radiates from the screen.
A game that any self-respecting PlayStation 2 owner should pick up simply because you've never played anything like it before.
Cribbing the best of Zelda and mashing it with a killer aesthetic thatâ€™s both justified and gorgeous, yields a lengthy, legendary quest.
Okami doesnâ€™t just successfully follow Zeldaâ€™s structural template and tone â€“ a rare feat â€“ it makes it its own, toeing that line with grace, ingenuity and a strongly individual style. Thatâ€™s not only rare, itâ€™s unique.
Okami's stunning good looks give it the appearance of a cross between a cartoon and a traditional Japanese ink-and-watercolor painting, and perhaps best of all, the game keeps going and going for much longer than most other games like it.
The entire production is treated with reverence and class, and this goes to show that you definitely do not always need the latest and greatest hardware for great gaming experiences. What you need is a dedicated development team, a distinct sense of style independent of processing power, and polished execution and interpretations of proven ideas.
Okami shames them simply by being the genuine article: A stunningly gorgeous and unique masterpiece that effortlessly blends art and storytelling with puzzles and amusement. Miss this landmark effort at your peril.
It's one of the best-looking, most creative 3D action adventures in recent memory, and every PS2 owner out there owes it to themselves to snap up a copy to enjoy immediately. Truly magical stuff.
The fighting is so nuanced and altogether joyous it never gets old for a second, and the bosses are simply stunning. Like I said, Zelda only better.
The game manages to achieve near perfection on every level, from technical to story to gameplay, and presents the player with an enticing world that is impossible to ignore. Even after completing the adventure, you'll be drawn back if only to take in the world.
The game's music is enchanting, combat is simple but a blast, and it all comes with a full cast of endearingly kooky characters.
It's an epic quest of rejuvenation, elemental and ornate, in the context of an extended action/RPG/platformer. Itâ€™s built from artwork that upstages anything you've seen on a next-gen console. Not since Shadow of the Colossus has a game world been presented so lovingly and evocatively.
Simply one of the best games of the generation and Iâ€™d even wager to put it up with some of the best of all time.
Okamiâ€™s single player campaign is one of the most ambitious weâ€™ve ever seen, and with its score of collectible items, trees to save and animals to feed as well as characters you like and a story youâ€™ll want to revisit, this is a game you could easily wind up playing twice or thrice.
A true epic. It's a dog-eat-dog world in the games industry, and Okami buries the opposition like a load of old bones.
Okami has elements of many genresâ€”platforming, adventure, RPG and action all apply. But there's more to it than that. There's something so ... joyous about it, in Amaterasu's happy barks, in her running, her jumping, her digging of holes. I found myself ignoring the game for stretches, just doing these things. I don't know if it's the way the controls handle, or the graphics, or what, but it's there. Okami is the video game version of Professor Dumbledore, managing somehow to be both gleeful and august.
Eurogamer hates everything, right? Well, dig this:
Right from the start it conjures an atmosphere of being something special, but to keep that level of quality up consistently over 60 hours ensures that this will be a game that will be talked about for years to come...A work of art, you might say.
The game is epic in scale and length, but its fascinating plot, characters and dialogue (impeccably translated from Japanese) ensures players will devour every second.
All in all, after playing this game I'm speechless. You've got to hand it to the good old PS2; just as the PS3 is coming out, the PS2 is producing some of the finest games ever seen.
A beautiful experience and a real must-have title. Possibly the last great game on PS2.
I think the term for that is "uniform praise".
Don't like 'official' reviews? Want the perspective of a fellow gamer? Well, I like to think of myself as a gamer, and I have a rather passionate perspective on Okami. So here it is, in a handy-dandy compact format...
What's Okami got that's awesome and unique? Plenty.
- You play as a white wolf. Oh, and you're the God of the Sun.
- Hey, Listen! I'm sorry Navi, but Issun is just better. He's awesome, we love him, and there has never been a bouncing, glowing bug so many young men were able to relate to so easily.
- The art direction and presentation are really incomparable to anything else. I'm not saying there aren't other games out there with exceptional art direction, but Okami is in a league of its own, visually. It gets all the big things right, and the little touches are simply boggling... Or perhaps there's another game where the touch of your feet causes flowers to bloom as you dash across the land...
- No one's tried anything like this particular mechanic. There have been games where you can affect your surroundings, certainly, and sometimes it could have been easier served in classic Link style - say, throwing a Bomb where you need it instead of drawing it. But it just works so well. The slashes for combat, the blowing wind, the rain, the healing of trees, the ability to turn day into night!
the Celestial Brush!
- Video games can very often be regarded as a meditation on the subject matter. More often than not, you plunk yourself down and meditate on violence or evil or darkness for a few hours before flipping it off. Okami turns this tradition on its head. It is unabashedly optimistic, and it's amazingly refreshing to plunk myself down and 'meditate' on bringing life and happiness to the world.
What's Okami got that we expect - nay - require of our adventure games?
- Epic. Huge. The creators of Okami took a bunch of old Japanese folk tales and myths and wound them into and around the story of Okami. The legend of Orochi and Susano-O is merely the base for a huge, sweeping story that takes you through...
-A Huge World
- across fields, through forests and valleys, to the tops of windy towers, to the bottom of the ocean, to the icy crown of the world. You have a massive world to explore, and everything is gorgeous, or gorgeously dead and waiting for you to breathe beautiful life back into it with your divine powers.
- Games like this need people we want
to help. I'm not about to list every endearing person you'll meet, but if you play through at least the first area and don't want
or even need
to make sure Mr. Orange succeeds in his Konohana Shuffle, I have to suggest you get off the internet and proceed immediately to a local hospital, for you are dead inside.
- Never a component to be underestimated, Okami's soundtrack is as gorgeous as the visuals. At times elegant, intense, and even funny, the music never disappoints.
- From the grace of the white wolf haulin' ass across the countryside to little touches like a weary yawn before resting her head, it's clear someone spent a long, long time making sure Amaterasu moves with canine credibility. I also particularly like the haughty strut of the little boy playing Samurai. At its best, animation is an expression of character, and Okami is a showcase for it.
- If a game doesn't control well, we don't like it. We can't forgive shitty controls, period. Fortunately, Okami (for PS2) controls perfectly. Not once did I ever have a complaint about camera or responsiveness. The platforming and combat and brushwork all come together perfectly, which may in fact be the reason for one of the complaints...
Let's be honest, it can't be perfect. Why's it suck?
- The puzzles you'll need a walkthrough for are few and far between, and for the most part combat is a walk in the park. Keep your gear and abilities up-to-date and you'll show the demons of Nippon who's a God and who's about to explode into a shower of flower petals! Give me your Fangs, scum! ...though I must admit, the last Wall-Man puzzle nailed me so hard I ended up actually drawing on my TV with magic marker so I could get the locations right. Yes the combat is usually quite easy - but it's always gorgeous and very stylish.
- Can't read? Don't buy Okami. There's a lot to do, and a lot of people to tell you what (and why, and how, and when) to do. (And their own personal history, complete with credit report). But, if the first half-hour doesn't have you walking away in disgust at the walls of text, you'll find it never gets that bad again.
So, in closing...
Okami will be getting a Greatest Hits re-release.