Because it is simply that good.
Perhaps it was due to underexposure on my part. When I first played this game, I'd had no experience with Zelda or its ilk (and even now, I don't have much and was severely disappointed with the experience I did have
), so this was a completely new for me, and to say I was pleased would be putting lightly.
The setup is rather simple. You're the main goddess of the Shinto pantheon (in the form of a wolf). Japan is plagued by evil spirits that bring suffering to its inhabitants. Destroy them. Only thing is, without help, no one seems to have faith anymore, and as a result you start off pretty weak
. Give the people a reason to believe and you'll gain back the power you were said to have in the legends.
As a goddess, you have access to certain powers (though you will have to work to get them), implemented through the Celestial Brush. You press a button, the game pauses, you draw the requiste line or shape, release the button and watch as your power comes into play. Annoying enemies? Draw a line through them to cut them in half. Want to slow down time
? Just add an extra line. I especially like that you continue to use all your powers throughout the game, instead of dropping the old ones in favor of the new like so many other games.
You have limited ink (even though it does auto-refill), so you may find it more efficient to attack enemies physically. It's a bit more complex than a simple waggle-fest/button masher, as it requires a rhythm (which is different for each weapon class). It's not too hard to pick up, and works well enough for me.
There's an RPG element as well. No grinding required, but doing sidequests nets you praise, which feeds into your health, ink, extra lives, and purse size. The game is quite easy, so don't worry too much about missing anything though.
The game's biggest triumph, however, is its presentation. Par for the course with CAPCOM, the music is stellar. Listen for yourself
. But the gorgeous art style is the real draw here. No matter if it's the subdued PS 2
version or the colourful Wii version, be prepared for the prettiest game you've ever seen.
Bottom line: Best game I've ever played. Cheap statement? Sure. Play the game yourself to see the weight it holds.