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?!