"Capcom/Clover Studios, $29.99 (Available for the Playstation 2)
Drawing heavily on the events of Japanese mythology, and boasting some of the best graphics available on any system, Okami is an instant classic that will be treasured for years and years.
It’s hard to compare this game to any other, because it really has no parallels. You play as a white wolf who is the living incarnation of Amaterasu, the sun goddess of ancient Shinto legend, and your mission is to defeat various demons and to dispel curses placed against the people of Nippon, thereby healing the land and ushering in an era of tranquility.
Part mythology lesson and part adventure, Okami is a marathon quest that will take even the best players 40 or more hours to complete. Its graphics are beautifully rendered in the style of Japanese ink illustration, making it the rare game that is as much fun to watch someone else play as it is to take the helm yourself.
Besides being an addictive and engaging game, it also attempts to bestow a sense of nobility and grace by teaching gentle bits of philosophy. You’re rewarded for helping flowers and trees rebloom and you’ll earn praise by feeding animals and helping other characters achieve greatness.
While not the most challenging game in terms of difficulty, it’s hard to imagine a game with such sweetness, wisdom and character, not to mention originality.
Okami deserves all the awards and praise it’s received from critics. Few other games aspire to the heights it does, and even fewer achieve it. Okami meets its ambitions, and then some, and is easily the best game of the past year.