More Proof Japan is Awesome

12 May

     One of the things I’ve put on my bucket list is to travel around the world to various destinations, one of which is Tokyo. The culture of that island nation is fascinating. They have contributed greatly to the world in art, science, technology, and philosophy. I often find myself focusing on their technology, though. Example: Video Games.  What video game is that crazy Hunter thinking about now? Okami, a game for PS2 and Wii created by Capcom, CriWare, and ReadyAtDawn.
    Consider the storyline:  Long ago, in a peaceful village known as Kamiki, a ritual was held every year of sacrificing a young maiden to the great eight-headed serpent, Orochi. On the 100th year of this horrible rite, two brave souls stepped forward to put an end to Orochi’s reign: the great warrior Nagi and an enigmatic wolf known as Shiranui. They marched into Orochi’s lair and killed it by getting it drunk and cutting its heads off. Sadly, in the fight, Shiranui was killed. The heroic lupine fighter was immortalized as a statue in Kamiki Village. One hundred years have passed since then, and darkness is stirring again. The statue of Shiranui is brought to life as Okami Amaterasu, god of the sun. (That’s you.) Amaterasu, aka Ammy, must defeat the evil beings plaguing the earth once again, as well as restoring people’s faith in the gods.

Yeah, your dog can fetch, play dead, whatever. Can your dog perform exorcisms? I didn't think so!

     This game is, in every right, amazing. The graphics are like Japanese art.  It has, in fact, been featured in the Smithsonian’s recent “Art of Video Games” exhibit.  Link to  The music is beautiful. The story is magnificent, as well as being based on Japanese Shinto mythology. What really miffs me, though, is that none of my friends have heard of this game. (Then again, most of them have Xbox 360’s, but even the ones who do have a PS2 or Wii still have never heard of it.) It has received multiple awards and is designed for two popular, but different, systems.  However, it’s practically invisible. Most people just know it as “that game with the wolf on it.”
    Among the people of the Internet, the game has just recently sparked some popularity due to extremely well-known Youtube gamer Chuggaaconroy recording a 100% walkthrough with commentary.  It inspired me enough to buy the game, and I’m sure many other nerds got their copy as well. If you stumble upon this article, get the game, and love it as much as I do.  Please spread awareness. Thank you.
    Getting back to why this game is awesome, it has… (hmm, where to begin?) several minigames that involve fishing, digging, and destroying things–plus, sidequests galore.  Almost every NPC in the game has a sidequest-related purpose.  All these off-the-beaten-path missions net you “praise orbs” you can use to power up your health, money, and more. 

Meet Orochi. I have a feeling you're not going to like him.

    Now if you go up onto the upper-right hand corner of your browser and search images of Amaterasu, you’ll probably see a weird, fiery gadget on her back. That is what is known as a divine instrument.  It’s a weapon.  There are three types of weapons, each with its own delicious flavor of pain: 1) Reflectors – These mirrors are standard in power for attacking and can deflect enemy attacks. 2) Rosaries – Strings of beads are surprisingly good weapons, very fast, and capable of rapid fire bead blasting. 3) Glaives – They are swords. Enough said.
    Amaterasu’s arsenal of attacks doesn’t end there, though. The real deal that makes this game so awesome is the Celestial Brush. Once you cue it up, various symbols can be drawn to trigger a great many abilities. However, you only have one brush power from the start, you must find your fellow gods to reclaim the other techniques. Here are a few:

Sunrise – Mastered by Amaterasu, god of the sun.
Draw a circle in the sky to make the sun appear and make it the day’s beginning.

Rejuvenation – Mastered by Yomigami, god of restoration.
Scribble in something broken and watch it reappear!

Power Slash –  Mastered by Tachigami, god of rending.
A straight line becomes a sword that slashes through the hardest of obstacles.

There are more, but I wouldn’t want to give spoilers. Then again, you are on the Internet…

A city in the game settles down in the evening. I freakin' love the art direction in this game.

Recapping, this game is awesome. If it’s not a ten out of ten, it’s pretty darn close. So, the next time you want to rid a country of evil while looking at awesome graphics and listening to beautiful music, go find that game with the wolf on it.

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