Video Game Review: Ōkami: A Criminally Underplayed Masterpiece


Screenshot taken from Okami

Angela Carlton, Entertainment Editor

Originally released on April 20, 2006, Ōkami is an action-adventure, Zelda-esque video game based on Japanese mythology. The player explores the land of Nippon as the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, who takes the form of a white wolf. With the return of great evils, the land has been plunged into darkness and misery. The player must go through various obstacles and battles to defeat the enemy and restore peace to the land.

Ōkami comes in a relatively unique style. It is reminiscent of Japanese ink wash paintings, known as Sumi-e, which gives the game charming, traditional, and aesthetically pleasing to many players. These 2D, stylized visuals also make it stand out from more recently released games that strive for realism. The game also has incredible music, each piece suiting the scenes they were made for. H. Smith, a player from Australia, says that in her opinion, “It’s easily one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a game.” Smith and many other players agree when saying that the soundtrack is worth listening to by itself.

But most importantly, for any adventure video game, is Ōkami’s engaging story. Ōkami is filled with a lot of depth to its story and characters. Even the background characters have their own personality demonstrated by the small interactions that they have with Amaterasu. That, combined with the humor and side quests, make the game worth playing multiple times. The only notable complaint that many players have is the cutscenes. While the cutscenes are beautiful, they are long and can be somewhat tedious to get through. This can make the game a struggle to finish for some.

Overall, Ōkami is an incredible game that does not get enough recognition in many gaming communities. If one doesn’t mind the long cutscenes, the game is worth well over the $20 it costs to play. As of now, Ōkami has been released on seven platforms, with its most recent HD port being for the Nintendo Switch.