Way Back When
The PlayStation 2 was home to a bevy of phenomenal games and has been considered by the gaming community to be one of the best consoles of all time. And with so many titles available to choose from, it makes sense that a few critically acclaimed games might not have gotten all of the attention they so clearly deserved. That’s exactly what happened with Clover Studio’s action-roleplaying title Okami, which was one of the final games ever to be released on Sony’s second console in the lead-up to the PlayStation 3.
Coming so late in the PS2’s lifecycle left Okami in a strange position. It was universally praised by critics and earned various Game of the Year awards, but it sold relatively poorly because of enthusiasts’ attention being diverted to the flashy new PS3. Nevertheless, that hasn’t kept the game from gaining momentum in the years after its release. Though it was originally a PS2 exclusive, it was later ported to the Wii before being fully remastered for the PS3 and subsequently ported to all modern platforms. Following the release of the game on more systems, it has become a much more well-known and appreciated title.
For good reason, too, as Okami was a hell of a game. Even when comparing it to modern standards, its gorgeous cel-shaded graphics and East Asian sumi-e aesthetic was a sight to behold – not to mention a stunning achievement for a game that came out in 2006 on aging hardware. Gameplay was similarly inventive, casting players as Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu in white wolf form, who used a celestial brush to fight enemies and paint magical spells that bloomed flowers, created wind gusts, or fixed bridges. It was both whimsical and engaging from beginning to end, consistently pushing the player toward new and exciting opportunities to test out the many unique abilities Amaterasu would obtain over its 30 or so hour campaign.
The development team didn’t shy away from admitting that they drew much of their inspiration for Okami from The Legend of Zelda, and it definitely showed. It featured an open world field full of secrets and puzzles that evoked memories of Hyrule, a compelling cast of quirky characters, dungeons inside volcanos, forest temples, and the bellies of a beast, and very familiar combat – Okami was no doubt an homage to Nintendo’s classic franchise. However, it was original in so many ways that set it apart from anything else at the time, and it’s for that reason, if you haven’t already, you should find and play it as soon as possible.
Where You Can Play It Now
In the years since the remastered version of Okami originally launched on the PS3, the game has gone on to become available on all major modern consoles and PC. It’s really a matter of preference from there. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll get the increased resolutions that make an already gorgeous game even more attractive.
Here’s the modern platforms on which you can access Okami:
- PlayStation 4
- PlayStation 5
- Xbox One
- Xbox Series X
- Nintendo Switch
Sadly, there hasn’t been a remaster of the charming Nintendo DS sequel Ōkamiden, but never say never. In the meantime, though, Amaterasu’s journey should keep you busy for at least 30 or 40 hours.