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Okami first impressions

posted on September 28th, 2006 by pat

I bought Okami yesterday and played the first 90 or so minutes while I should have been unpacking after my recent move into Manhattan. After reading all the previews and then reviews praising this game I couldn’t let it collect any dust.

The game is not about to end world hunger, but it is definitely an experience worth $40. So far it has been mostly story and tutorial stuff, but the game has already left an impression – mostly in the graphics department. Several times already I have stopped in my tracks, zoomed out and looked around just because I wanted to savor every view I could get of some scenes (similar to previous experiences in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, actually).

The game (like all games) is not without a few problems though. Mainly, the game seems to value the impact it can make through graphics over intuitive or useful controls. When running around a bend the camera will zoom awkwardly in a way that looks pretty, but makes control difficult or obscures something the player needs to see. When converting the screen to a canvas for the use of your celestial brush your wolf is frequently in the way of whatever you are trying to paint. Something I like, but I could see being a complaint, is that the language used for the voiceover is nonsense. I prefer this since voice acting is generally terrible, and the nonsense fits the overall aesthetic, but as I said, a potential drawback.

Any complaints (so far) are strongly countered by the other aspects of the game. The graphics are beautiful enough that occasionally missing your spot (should be rare in battle, since the angles and field change) is a small price to pay. The NPCs are well done, with interesting things to say and favors to ask. And as has been argued before, almost any game can be made better with the addition of experience (praise) points.

3 Comments

  1. Matt said on September 28, 2006:

    Where did you move into? I work in Manhattan, on 28th St, between Fifth and Broadway. We should meet up one day. 

  2. Niahak said on September 29, 2006:

    I just got this game in the mail today and it is pretty nice.  The blabbering of random people is occasionally funny, but usually a bit annoying.  The game sort of reminds me of Zelda in some ways, maybe it’s the way NPCs are done and the adventure system.

  3. PraxisLoki said on September 30, 2006:

    Any game where peeing on my enemies is a special move gets 5 stars.  11 hours in and I’m having a great time so far.  I just need more time to play it.  

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