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Reviews Comments: How could something so obscure be so overrated? Okami whole series review by Guest Of Dishonour

Before I start, I'd like to say that Okami is not a bad game. It is competently made, there are no serious bugs, the gameplay is decent and the Celestial Brush is fun to use. Yet at the end of the day I found Okami to be simply average, not terrible, but not really amazing.

However if you listened to Okami's fanbase they'd say that it's an underappreciated masterpiece and one of the best games ever made.

Are we talking about the same Okami here?

The gameplay works well, but apart from a few fun puzzles 'works well' is the best it ever gets. The story, aside from a few awesome/heartwarming moments (mostly near the end), is just your incredibly generic "good guys vs evil villains" plot with equally generic characters, with a few Shinto terms sprinkled over to keep things 'fresh'.

About the characters, all of the more noteworthy ones feel almost completely identical, especially aggravating is how dull the female cast is. Sakuya, Kushi, Otohime, Fuse, Himiko, any of them could say anything and, unless it was referring to a specific object, it could easily come from any other's mouth. When the Heroic Mime has more personailty than they do, you know you have a problem. Waka, Oki, Ammy and that paperslip-thing are probably the only characters in the whole game that feel unique, including the bad guys. Not to mention Issun's lechery started to feel really degrading after a while.

The art style is certainly colourful, unique and pretty, but it is nowhere near the best graphics seen in videogaming. I'd say Rayman 3 probably looks better than this (although R3's graphics were pretty good back then, so I'm not insulting it).

I'll say it again: Okami is not a bad game, it is certainly not horribly broken or highly offensive, I had no problem with the environmentalist message, and there's fun to be had here. But after playing it I feel like maybe there's a very good reason this game wasn't a gigantic hit. Put simply, I found Okami to be the very definition of So Okay Its Average. I probably had more fun with Twilight Princess (despite it adding nothing new to its franchise), and Shinto mythology has been handled and incorporated a lot better in other games/books/anime.

Speaking of Shintoism, why is Tsukuyomi a friggin' sword in this game?!


  • Penguin 4 Senate
  • 26th Sep 09
I think you missed the part where you should have realized that the game isn't taking itself seriously, and you aren't supposed to either. And in a genre dominated by Zelda - which, aside from Midna and Majora's Mask, utterly fails to deliver decent characters and plots - Okami does feel refreshing.
  • Guest Of Dishonour
  • 26th Sep 09
I know the game isn't taking itself seriously, all the more reason for people not to go on about it so much. Games that don't take themselves seriously do have their place, just not in the 'Best Game Nobody Played' section.

Besides, 'not taking itself seriously' doesn't excuse overall dullness.
  • Someguy
  • 27th Sep 09
I haven't played the game (So I can't really comment on the review proper) but isn't "obscure" misused here? Okami may not have been a smashing commercial success, but it won a lot of awards and has a dedicated fanbase. Metamorphic Force is obscure. GI. Joe Extreme is obscure. Okami sure as hell isn't obscure.
  • Silverevilchao
  • 5th Feb 10
Asking why Tsukuyomi is a sword in this game is like asking why Amaterasu is a wolf.

Personally, I myself loved the game, it was easily THE best adventure game I've ever played, topping the likes of Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda. For once, it was an adventure game whose entire plot didn't revolve around collecting doodads (and the Brush Gods felt far more like actual characters than merely tools that you obtained during the game) and was instead very elaborate, had memorable and well-developed characters, didn't have ridiculously complicated dungeons with convoluted level design, great art direction, smart pacing, and a great main game mechanic. Oh, and the awesome soundtrack.

Then again, you're talking to the person who has a Love It Or Hate It relationship with the Zelda series and whose favorite game in said series was Majora's Mask, and comes close to outright hating Twilight Princess (all those things I said about Okami? Take the opposite of those and you know how I feel about Twilight Princess). *shrug*
  • 7th Mar 10
Honestly, I played Okami without any background, references, biases, ect. I found it to be most likely my #1 game. Sure, the art wasn't the best. But it was supposed to look that way. The whole game looked like it was a pop-up storybook, but it was meant to look like that and they pulled it off miraculously. The music is just too amazing to describe in words, I'm not kidding you. You CAN'T say Reset (Thank You) wasn't super tear-jerking. Also, the characters weren't as one-sided as many video-games tend to do. When you think of a hero, you think of a strong, brave person who stands up and always does what's right, with a sword made of the finest material. Susano... not so much. You certainly don't think of a lazy bum that loves to drink sake and has a sword made of wood. This really gives the characters dimension, and makes you wonder, "What if heroes really were like this? Would they be able to come off as awesome in the end?" Tobi ("that paperslip-thing", as you described it) had to be my favorite character, and he only got a few minutes of playtime. That's admirable, don't you think?
  • 18th May 10
The artwork isn't perfect, but it's really beautiful and I personally adore japanese art. And what do you mean the female cast is dull?? Kushi doesn't seem very dull, in my opinion. And this game isn't dull, just has a lot of words and easy battles. But to people like me, I prefer trying to avoid battles to go on with the more important things, and I have a tough time beating hard enemies. Also, it was done wuite realistically, and it isn't just "good vs evil." Take Susano, who released Orochi, and is both a coward and lazy. Also Tobi, who is a demon but is really one of my favorite characters. Also the text is interesting, and gets you caught up with the scenario, along giving you clear mental images. For some, it's dull, or average. But to others (Namely fanbase) It's an epic adventure. And it's a game. If everything goes EXACTLY to mythology, japanese people would be bored. A Nd besides, everyone has there own opinion. In mine, Okami isn't for everybody, but for people that enjoy vivid colors and has a wonderful imagination, along with a taste for adventure. It isn't for people who like hard enemies, or people who like a horror-air that make you wary and cautious and looking around in fright.
  • 19th Oct 10
Graah! I can't believe one could classify a game so unconventionally awesome as Okami as nothing more than "simply average"? You've attacked the graphics, gameplay, mythology, and characters of Okami, and conveniently avoided the music and the storyline; only these TWO elements make the game more interesting than Twilight Princess, but many people feel Okami surpassed TP in every aspect. Your supporting examples were weak and you never even designated whom you were referring to in you ONE trope. I'm not one to frequent internet sites, and you won't find any links to trope webpages, but this review was as offensive in content as it was in execution. Okami was a marvelous game, and it hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves because people such as yourself can't appreciate, nor even express a solid opinion about an amazing video game.

After reading your review, I asked myself the same question you asked in your introduction: are you playing a different Okami? Because you reference all of the same characters and droolingly overzealous fanbase, you have played the same game. But another question comes to mind...did you actually play Okami? Based on your shallow, vague analysis of the game from general to specific, I'd say not. Your approach relies heavily on references and comparisons to other games that appear to be much more familiar to you than the game you're supposedly reviewing. Beyond that, you list off random characters and say, "Waddayaknow, they're random!" Then you rail about the "generic plot" of the game and mumble out "Shinto Mythology" without ever actually giving any examples. I'm completely inclined this review is based on a few game reviews off Youtube and a quick scan of Okami Wiki for character names. I wouldn't be surprised if half of this review was ripped from another, possibly BETTER, negative review you found on Google.

Jumping into the meat of your paper, you first insult the gameplay of Okami, saying that other than a few puzzles it feels generic. Okami is one of the least generic games of this era, particularly because A) You play as a wolf. Before yo say "Twilight Pricess blah blah blah" I should point out that TP came out AFTER Okami; in fact, a large portion of TP can be directly attributed to Okami (Clover Studios was dissolved after Okami was made, so the Legend of Zelda crew never got sued). B) The game is based almost entirely off an enormous array of Shinto legends and stories. The only time I've ever seen so many fairy-tales incorporated into a single body of work is "Witches Abroad," a book by Terry Pratchett (who is credited with many of the tropes found throughout this website). The sheer volume of mythology that was connected in Okami is only highlighted by the fact that Shintoism is one of the least organized systems of belief (and is therefor harder to put together). C)Okami is the only game to ingrain such a long, flowing storyline into the action and emotion of the game. The game itself can take up to 60 hours of innovative and continually interesting storyline. Compared side by side with any Zelda Game Okami can be twice as long; Okami has more weapons; Okami has more attacks; Okami has a bigger overworld; and Okami has a balanced experience system. Okami has - overall - a greater gameplay value than most unoriginal ("canonical") Zelda Games. The Good Guy/Evil Villain plot that you say predominates the game is completely altered or upset by characters like Tobi and Susano, who redefine and give new depth to Evil and Good. In fact, because many people consider Shiranui evil, the complexity of who and what are Good or Evil is tenfold the typical Good vs. Evil plot of typical adventure games.

Getting back to Characters, you say that "Sakuya, Kushi, Otohime, Fuse, Himiko, any of them," represent a dull female cast. All of these characters are different, and only one of them plays the stereotypical "Damsel" that saturates the video game industry. As a matter of fact, all of these women are strong and upright in the face of Evil and Danger. Kushi willingly goes to the Moon Cave to fight Orochi IN PLACE OF Susano. Sakuya brings you back to life, initiating the entire game. Both Sakuya and Queen Himiko sacrifice themselves in order to defeat evil. In fact, THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THE GAME IS FEMALE! Okami Amaterasu was a female sun goddess who actively participates in the destruction of evil (that means the PC: you). As for the "Heroic Mime" having a greater personality than the other characters, no shit! In the Legend of Zelda, Link serves the same purpose, and Ammy has more personality than him! As for Ammy's annoying sidekick, Issun insults everyone; he spends more game time talking about how Susano is a lazy slob or Waka is a half-baked twink (both of which are proven untrue) than he does goggling any female character or even making dirty comments about them. How much of this game did you play again?

You're criticism of the graphics is also twisted and blown out of proportion. Rayman 3 had a graphic style no different than that of any other pathetic platformer anywhere on the N64 or PS 2; it looks no better than Banjo-Kazooie (which I have enjoyed more than any game in the Rayman series). Okami surpassed them both by transforming simple graphics from a 2Gen engine into works of art. Simply stopping to look at the scenery in Okami is more fun than hopping around bashing in the lums (lol Captain Hammer) of a game that over-Lampshades itself! Not only were Okami's graphics more artistic, they reflected the overall theme of the game. The Celestial brush involves painting (in case you didn't see this in any of the Review Videos you must've watched) and the graphics for the game LOOK PAINTED. This continuity has yet to be outdone (although the vigor and color of Skyward Sword could very well take this title...fingers crossed...). I'd like to point out that the amazing music in Okami is also yet-to-be-surpassed. The number of emotional, exciting songs in Okami have me playing the game just for the music (sound test woot)! In fact, the cheapest price for the Okami Soundtrack is more than $70, more than twice the cost of the game! Both the audio and visual delivery of Okami far surpass anything else in the gaming world.

There's a line in your conlclusion (I think that's what it's hard to tell in such a sloppy review) where you say, "I'll say it again: Okami is not a bad game, it is certainly not horribly broken or highly offensive, I had no problem with the environmentalist message, and there's fun to be had here." NO PROBLEM with the ENVIRONMENTALIST MESSAGE? What are you come kind of demoniacal planet-hater? Do you not care for the environment? Was it hard for you to play this game after throwing that pop bottle out on the side of the road? How can you say those words without feeling some kind of sour taste in your mouth? 'Oh, no the games alright, but that environmentally conscientious feeling gets kinda gross after a while.' You make me so sick I want to pick up other people's litter on the side of the road.

"But after playing it I feel like maybe there's a very good reason this game wasn't a gigantic hit. Put simply, I found Okami to be the very definition of So Okay Its Average." " For starters, you shouldn't say anything so generally negative after not supporting any of your opinions. Heck, I'm not saying your review is bad, I'm stating why I think it's bad and exactly why, where, and how, as well as countering all of your arguments with descriptive-detail supported arguments. I hate people who hate for no [supported] reason (by the way, my reason is that you've unreasonably insulted my favorite game in the ONLY review on an equally amazing website. Screw you).

"I probably had more fun with Twilight Princess (despite it adding nothing new to its franchise), and Shinto mythology has been handled and incorporated a lot better in other games/books/anime." As a closing statement, just mumbling out some gobbledygook about Twilight Princes and Shintoism is pathetic, especially when you're talking about Okami, a game steeped in Shinto Mythology that later became the Go To source for Lo Z:TP. How can you end a review by skipping the TOPIC and pointing at other examples!? Your entire review of this game was BS. If you did actually play through Okami in its entirety then how could you be so shallow as to discount it as every other "OK so its Average" game out there? I hope you read this, because your review SUCKS in complete contrast to Okami (which is still the best game in the Inception).

PS: By the way, there aren't any swords in Okami named Tsukuyomi. Tsukuyomi is a moon god in Shinto belief. The sword you're thinking of is Tsumugari, also known as Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi: the blade wielded by none other than Nagi from the Stable Time Warp (trope) who seals Orochi away 100 years in the past. The legend holds that his sword is given to Amaterasu by Susanoo after he slays Orochi, hence why you get the blade after truly killing Orochi in the present. Know your mythology before you bring Shintoism into a discussion about Okami!
  • 20th Oct 10
It's rated high probably because lots of other games these days suck in comparison.
  • TeraChimera
  • 25th Oct 10
Um... the main reason he didn't explain any more is probably because reviews have to be less than 400 words, which isn't a lot. He's pushing the upper end of the word count.

When he says "I had no problem with the environmentalist message", he most likely means the Green Aesop was handled well - which, as mentioned on this wiki, can get hard to do when we hear the same thing again and again. It's very easy to mishandle that (hi, there, Avatar!). It doesn't mean he's anti-environmental.

The review is not generally negative - the gameplay is fine, and he likes the art style. He even calls it "fun" shortly after mentioning the Green Aesop. "OK" and "average" do not equate to "bad".

Finally, you don't like his review? Get Known and write your own review summarizing how awesome Okami is in less than 400 words. I tried to do that with Mass Effect 2 and had to significantly trim it, so I just focused on a few points. If that's too hard, don't spend your time writing rebuttals that go over four times the word limit.
  • KlarkKentThe3rd
  • 27th Jan 11
What? A long, creative, innovative, beautifully-looking game with great story and interesting characters?

Let's find faults in it! (If there aren't any, let's make them up)

^pretty much sums up everything above
  • 28th Jan 11
Finding faults is the line between being a fan and being a fanatic.
  • MosquitoMan
  • 3rd May 11
I actually like that this review isn't singing the game's praises, but it's not trashing the game either. And I think I can say why it's so overrated (your word not mine). It's because a very popular Lets Player who loves this game recently started playing and a lot of people you've met online were probably fanboys of his or something. That's my best guess.

Though one thing did bother me with your review, saying it's a problem that the Heroic Mime has more personality than some characters. Sure it's bad when the NP Cs have no personality, but it's not a bad thing if the hero who can't talk does have more than them- it means they've found a way to make a protagonist entertaining (or at least tolerable) while still not talking. Other than that I'm good.
  • Scardoll
  • 3rd May 11
It's rated high probably because lots of other games these days suck in comparison.

Yeah, and so have lots of games in other times. Your point?
  • GigaHand
  • 16th Aug 11
Just to let you know, I'm pretty darn sure you're in the minority in not loving Okami. It did receive highly positive reviews and several awards, on top of the adoring fanbase. I'm not trying to say Reviews Are The Gospel, what I'm trying to say is "reviewers are people with opinions and these people happened to all love the game". Well, I'm not trying to say that, who knows if I succeeded.
  • GigaHand
  • 16th Aug 11

  • anonymous738
  • 9th Oct 11
"Finally, you don't like his review? Get Known and write your own review summarizing how awesome Okami is in less than 400 words. I tried to do that with Mass Effect 2 and had to significantly trim it, so I just focused on a few points. If that's too hard, don't spend your time writing rebuttals that go over four times the word limit."

What, so you are telling other people not to write rebuttals because it's too long? Why do you think they have a comment section without a word limit?
  • Alucard
  • 11th Nov 11
Like, I'm convinced you rented this game and beat it as quickly as possible. The game-play is nowhere near the class of "decent". It may be simple, but its inner complexities (even without the brush) are worth mastering. Certain sub Rosary fire like shotguns while others shoot rapidly; some sub-Glaive weapons activate a chasing stab while others are used to continue combos by sending the target into the air (preventing them from dashing away). To make it clear that the battle-system is tight as a drum, these are the same minds behind Devil May Cry, God Hand and Bayonetta; taking that into account, "decent" is pretty offensive.

Overall, the game is meant to be savored as a long experience. A weekend rental doesn't do it justice.

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