ZeldaBlog

Okami. Not Zelda, But Close Enough

October 30th, 2006 at 12:33 am by lord-of-shadow

[TML: Before you comment about this not being a Nintendo-related article, please read my thoughts about this article. My decision on this matter is considered final.]

Ah, it’s been awhile, ZeldaBlog. You probably don’t remember me, at least not from here. It’s amazing how much this place has grown since it’s release. I feel bad about not contributing much… Although Dave and all the rest seem to have gotten by just fine without me.

Anyways, with Dave in the process of his lengthy move and subsequent lack of internet access, I feel compelled to help keep the blog active. It is not strictly Zelda, so to speak, but as I said, it is close enough. Anyone who’s checked out my site recently has probably read this already. What I have for you today is a review/article for a Playstation 2 game called Okami. It borrows very heavily from the Zelda series, but manages to retain a very strong sense of originality and quality at the same time. A long-lost sibling to the Zelda series, rather then a copycat. And I love it. If I could get away with it, I’d adopt it as an honorary Zelda game and cover it on my site.

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Okami is a work of art. Those of you who have read my “reviews,” if such visceral unorganized things can really be called that, have probably noticed that I am always praising games, and that I rarely have anything bad to say. The reason is simple: I only write about games that I love, games that were such phenomenal experiences that I have to sit down immediately after finishing them and try to convey and preserve the feelings they evoked by writing about them. I tend to be pretty melodramatic about it, too.

Okami is just such a case. I have not been affected by a game like this in roughly a year – perhaps more, I cannot recall exactly… these things tend to fade in memory, unless you do something to keep them alive. Like start a fansite, and rant and rave about them for years on end.

To put it simply, if you like Zelda, then you should like Okami. Okami borrows very, very heavily from some of the best in the Zelda series. It has similar gameplay, a similar feel, a similar sense of humor, and a similar quality. There were many moments in Okami where I felt like I was playing a Zelda game – or rather, what a Zelda game could be if Nintendo decided to allow itself to experiment with the franchise and give us radically new twists on the same core elements. When it comes to the Zelda series, I am and always have been a strict traditionalist – I am open to new things in the series, but only those that fit my very narrow and limited view of what is Zelda. No game outside of the Zelda series had ever felt quite like them, or approached them in any category. They were in a genre unto themselves, in my mind. More then that – they were the Holy Grail of the gaming world, on a level above all else, the thing other games aspired to be but could never even begin to touch. I still believe that, to an extent, but there is now one vital change: here at last is a game that is not of the Zelda series that approaches the greatness of games like Ocarina of Time, Link’s Awakening, and even A Link to the Past.

But even more amazing to me, Okami managed to take the feel of a Zelda game and give it its own twist. It does not leave the bad taste of a copycat. I would label it a tribute or maybe another game in that elite Zelda genre. But enough about Zelda. Okami may have been inspired by the series, but it is not of it, and it is fully capable of standing on its own.

The first thing that anyone notices when seeing or playing Okami is the graphics, so it is these I will cover first. To put it simply, Okami’s graphical style is unique, beautiful, and I will never tire of it. It is based off of classical Japanese art, and heavily laden with stylized kanji characters and images from Japanese legend. And it is all rendered in beautifully done, vibrant celshading - which puts even The Wind Waker, the biggest name in celshaded games, to shame. To give an example of the ancient Japanese feel of the game and the graphics, let’s look at a bomb. The bomb itself is different right from the start, because instead of being a black sphere, it resembles a firework or firecracker in coloring and feel. When it explodes, there is smoke, but it is joined by bright pieces of cloth fluttering in the explosion, and, if you look closely, there are little kanji characters that blend in with the smoke. The same sort of touch can be seen everywhere in the game – the world may look relatively stable taken as whole, but if you look closely, kanji symbols can be found almost anywhere. Whether it is in the walls, smoke, sky, fire, the graphics of the game are constantly in motion, and filled with Japanese symbols.

Truly, the game has to be seen in motion to be appreciated. A common problem with celshaded games is that they rarely look very good in still screenshots, and that is especially apparent here. Everything is in motion; grass swaying in the breeze, clouds moving in the sky, and it is this movement that gives the game a large part of its beauty. This is especially apparent in your own main character. Wherever you walk, you trail bits of life behind you. If you’re walking on fertile ground, grass shoots up in your wake. On water, lily pads. If you jump in midair, there is a little burst of brightly colored leaves as the wolf shoots forward. If you run for extended periods of time, you start to gain speed, as you do so, the effects of your footfalls grow more impressive. At first, you just have grass sprouting from under your feet. As you gain speed, you start leaving behind a trail of flowers. By the time you’ve reached full speed, you are leaving behind this huge wake of brightly colored flowers, leaves, and grass… and the sensation of speed is amazing. The graphical effects, coupled with the nice subtle sound effects that accompany it, make running fun in of itself. Even now, forty hours into the game, I can still get immense enjoyment from going out into the landscapes of the game and just running around the hills and fields, without any specific goal in mind. And that is a precious thing; any game that creates a world you can enjoy being in even when you’re not working towards any goal is a game to be treasured.

You play as Amaterasu, the god of the sun, reincarnated in the body of a majestic white wolf. Being a god, the gender and exact nature of this main character are left rather vague. And I must say, I love the design of this character. Being a wolf, it cannot talk, but it’s extremely expressive nonetheless, with growls, howls, moans, barks, panting, every other dog expression on the planet, and its movement. The motion that the developers gave this wolf is amazing; there are little touches, changes, and exaggerations that make it’s movements look very lithe, agile, and powerful, more so then you would expect, all the while retaining the look and feel of a wolf.

We all know and respect the reasoning behind a silent hero, but these days the industry expects dialogue from its games. The developers fulfilled this by giving Amaterasu a miniature companion in the form of Issun, a little fairy sort of guy that hangs around and is responsible for a lot of the dialogue with NPCs. At first I thought he was just going to fulfill the same role that Navi played in Ocarina of Time, but I was very wrong. He plays a role in almost every situation that your character finds itself in. So much so that I would say he’s almost as important as the wolf itself. He’s integrated so much with everything that happens story wise that I’d say it would be a completely different story and game without him.

The story is another thing that impressed me. Aside from the intro of the game, which was painfully and unnecessarily long and drawn out, it is integrated with the adventure style gameplay very nicely. It is definitely present and important, but you won’t find yourself buried beneath walls of text or big cutscenes or anything of the sort. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously, either. It’s filled with humor, and little quirks and touches that give it a nice feel. The story is conveyed through atmosphere and actions as much as dialogue or cutscenes, and the game definitely benefits from that approach. Make no mistake; there is definitely a story here, complete with surprises and lots of characters, but it doesn’t try to bludgeon its way into a prominent role. Rather, it flows so nicely with the gameplay and atmosphere that it’s hard to separate it and examine it as a standalone part.

Actually, the same is true for everything in this game. It is put together so nicely that I actually have a very hard time singling out specific pieces of it to talk about. The ancient Japanese influence? It is integral to the story, style, atmosphere, and music. The atmosphere is a vital part of the story and the style. The gameplay? It has a huge effect on the way the developers handled the story, and a lot of the atmosphere is evoked by things done while playing. This is definitely a case where the game really has to be taken as a whole, if you truly want to grasp it. It has to be played, which I think is at the core of things.

Which brings me to gameplay. I have been mentioning it throughout all this, touching on it oh-so-briefly and then shying away to some other subject. But it definitely deserves some attention.

At its core, it is, as I said earlier, very similar to the Zelda games. You have dungeons, you have overworld areas to explore, you gain new abilities that open up new pathways and new venues of exploration. You have towns filled with NPCs, many of whom have little problems you can fix or tasks you can do, the occasional shop, story events, and everything else under the sun.

The most important and interesting part of Okami’s gameplay is the brush system. Basically, the main character, Amaterasu, possesses a “celestial brush” (which, if you look closely, resembles the wolf’s tail, heh), and most of your special moves and spells are done by drawing them with the brush. When you hold down one of the shoulder buttons, the whole game pauses, the brush appears, and you are free to draw to your heart’s content. Let’s say you want to repair a bridge using your divine powers. You’d use the brush to fill in the missing pieces of the broken bridge, and voila, it’s fixed. Want to turn night to day? Draw a circle in the sky, and the sun will rise. A straight line is a basic slash. A little loop-de-loop will give you a gust of wind. You can make trees bloom, conjure lily pads, start fires, channel water, and a host of other things using the brush. These brush techniques are to Okami as dungeon items are to Zelda. They are how you solve all your puzzles, open your pathways, get where you want to go, flip your switches. And it is very nice. Instead of having to go to a selection screen every time you want to use a new item, you just have one button to press, and suddenly you have your celestial brush – and all of your abilities – at your fingertips. It’s a very natural method of using your abilities, and one that works out fabulously. There are plenty of different abilities to choose from, and all of them can be applied in different ways. One might worry that the brush strokes for the different abilities would be easy to forget, but rest assured. They are all very simple and intuitive, and, although the game gives you a subscreen to look-up the brush strokes you have learned, I never had to use it.

Combat is… Not really something I can categorize very well, heh. Basically, when you’re running around dungeons or outside or whatever, they have these little markers floating around. They’re big, pretty obvious, surrounded by colored flames and evil smoke, the whole nine yards. If you touch one, you enter combat. It does not take you to a new screen, it simply encloses a small part of the overworld in a big circle. It’s actually done pretty nicely. It doesn’t jar you and harm the immersive qualities of the game by taking you to a wholly separate arena or screen just to fight, but it still limits the playing field to a manageable area. A few seconds into this, whatever enemies you’re fighting will appear in puffs of smoke (and kanji, of course), and then you lay into each other. The combat itself it nothing special… Until you figure the celestial brush into the equation, and then things get fresh and interesting. Let’s say you have an enemy that breathes fire at you. Instead of resorting to dodging around or getting toasted to a crisp, you’d summon a sudden gust of wind and blow the flames away. Or maybe you’re fighting an ice-based and a fire-based enemy. You could channel the flames from the fire based one to melt the ice, then blow the fires out and lay into them both with your physical attacks. An enemy with a flower bud on it’s back? Make the flower bloom and see what happens. There are things you can do with the brush to every enemy in the game, and it makes for very interesting combat.

Normally I’d lump bosses in with all the rest of the battles, but the bosses in this game deserve a special mention, because they are exceptionally well done. Every developer in the industry should stop and examine these, because they are how bosses should be. You always know when you’re fighting a boss, because they are huge, impressive, and often require imaginative use of the brush to defeat. Some of them are truly epic, in their own Okami fashion. And the atmospheres in some of these fights are amazing. In most games, when a boss uses its attacks at you, you dodge, right? That’s the basic strategy. In this game, when a boss uses an attack you can counter it with a gust of wind, or your own ice and fire, or by slowing down time, or reflecting it back at the boss… It really gives the boss fights a cool new feel. Instead of being at a disadvantage and dodging constantly, running in at the right moment to get a few hits in, you are actually pitting your divine powers against their attacks in a toe-to-toe battle against these big imposing monsters. When you’re interacting with NPCs, you’re a nice, cute, friendly wolf, but when you’re fighting this bosses, you get to see the wolf unveiled as the god it is. I exaggerate a little bit, here; you still have to dodge and take advantage of specific weak moments. But that subtle difference in the way the fights work really made a big difference to me. And even when you ARE dodging, you look awesome doing it, as you run around with a blooming trail of flowers in your wake, or little bursts of autumn leaves as you jump.

The game is not difficult. I was stuck exactly twice, and not for long either time. And I only died twice. But I don’t mind, really. It is not a game that I would enjoy as much if I was dying a lot; it’s not meant to be interrupted by game over screens and having to reload. Besides, even when I was breezing through everything – and having the time of my life in the process – I still managed to pack in just under 40 hours of play time. And that without doing all the side quests.

There is one final aspect of this game I would like to touch on. I have not mentioned it much, but I feel it is as important to this game’s overall presentation as all the rest: The music. The game’s music is, unsurprisingly, filled with touches of old Japanese music and flair, not to mention instruments. But it definitely possesses its own unique style. You won’t mistake it for music from the latest kung fu movie, or Jade Empire. I have saved it for last because nothing I can say could possibly do it justice; I don’t have the words to describe it adequately. Suffice to say, it is amazing. I’m listening to it right now, and have been almost exclusively since I got the game on its release day a couple weeks back. A large part of the atmosphere I keep mentioning is due to the music. The four composers who worked on this game are now on my watch list, because they did amazing work here, and the music complements the rest of the game extremely well. And there is so MUCH of it. The OST spans five discs, and 218 different tracks. Some of those are small little things, almost sound effects, and others are variations of similar themes, but that still leaves a very large collection of music. I divide music into three categories: stuff I don’t really need to hear again, stuff I want to hear again someday, and stuff that is good enough to make my iPod. Tracks have to really impress me to make that last group… and Okami has 18 tracks that have earned their place on my iPod. More then any other single game. Ever. Even beating out the mighty Chrono Cross and Xenogears.

I could go on forever, I think, but I’ve probably already lost the attention of most of you, so I may as well wrap this up. If you have a Playstation 2, and an even remote appreciation of adventure games, cool art styles, or great music, then you owe it to yourself to at least try this game out. If nothing else, you’ll have fun running around watching flowers bloom behind you. And really, what more do you need?

Filed under Games, Editorials

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44 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “Okami. Not Zelda, But Close Enough”

    Comments

    Hmmm “borrows very heavily” dont you mean rip off, SONY saw how sucessful the Zelda franchise was and decided they wanted a Zelda game of their own. All SONY has ever done is copy and rip off Nintendo’s ideas and then claimed that all of Nintendo’s ideas were for kids and that nobody would want to play their games, Ken Kutsuragi is a major league *Navi*.

    Sony had nothing to do with the development of this game. Blind fanboys like yourself disgust me. Perhaps you should play the game, read my review, and at least make a small attempt to know what you’re talking about before coming in here and attacking it.

    i really wish i had a PS2. i think instead of getting PS3 this christmas (i am going to wait until next year) i’m going to get a PS2 and pick up the games i missed out on. no matter how much sony sucks there are still a lot of great games for playstation.

    lord-of-shadow said:

    Sony had nothing to do with the development of this game. Blind fanboys like yourself disgust me. Perhaps you should play the game, read my review, and at least make a small attempt to know what you’re talking about before coming in here and attacking it.

    And SONY players like you disgust us. Couldn’t have said it better myself Rob.

    Light Link 007 said:

    And SONY players like you disgust us. Couldn’t have said it better myself Rob.

    Hello! This is Zelda Blog, People! Here, We stick with Zelda and Nintendo. We don’t Promote Zelda Wanabe Games. I agree with Light Link 007 and Robert UK.

    heh heh, i like play station, zelda site or not :P

    Alright. I registered just to say this.

    It might be like Zelda, but it isn’t Zelda. Sony might have borrowed themes from Zelda, but those themes are not all there is to the games. There’s all the familiar characters and stories and stuff. Sony can make a game like Zelda if they want, and the game might be good, yes, but you don’t need to get defensive. Probably we feel defensive because we’re afraid of this Okami game taking over our Zelda, but that’s just not going to happen. It’s like comparing generic brand soda to Pepsi.

    Don’t get upset because there’s a game like Zelda out there. The fact is…People descibe it as being like Zelda, so it’s like someone famous being described as being like their predecesor, like a younger actor that comes in after an older actor that’s been working for a long time. People would describe the new one as being like the older one.

    I hope that made sense. :)

    First things first, I want to point out that I am the webmaster of the second largest Zelda fansite on the internet. I think that qualifies me as a full-fledged Zelda fan, not a Sony lobbyist like some of you seem to believe. But just because you are a fan of something doesn’t mean you can’t like other things as well. That is why fanboyism does not make sense to me - there are always good games on other systems, and blindly hating them because they’re not on your system of choice only limits your ability to enjoy a wider range of quality games.

    Thank you, Ella, and those of you who reacted with something other then blind Nintendo fanboyism. I am glad to see that ZeldaBlog’s readership is anot a completely lost cause. I must say, I am dissapointing in you people. ZeldaBlog is the fruit of Dave’s labors, and it’s contributors are open-minded, intelligent and nice people one and all. It is a place designed to bring together the leaders of the Zelda fandom and promote understanding and goodwill between Zelda communities. I would have expected that such a place would attract readers of a more open and accepting mindset. Instead, I find the worst case of blind, venomous fanboyism I have seen in years, a terrible disgrace to the community that I and others have helped build up over the years. I might have expected something like this from Zelda Universe’s community, but instead, Zelda Universe’s people reacted with more understanding… and I find the nest of vicious fanboys at ZeldaBlog.

    Now. I am going to delete any more outbursts of groundless bias like Robert’s or Light Link’s. If you must continue attacking Okami and Sony - or myself - then put more thought into your posts and actually present an argument that makes sense - AND is relevant to this post. Which rules out Sony bashing, since Sony had nothing to do with the development of Okami. Okami was developed by Clover, and published by Capcom.

    Ella, thank you again for understanding. That is exactly what I was getting at. Okami borrows heavily from the Zelda series, but does so in a way that does not demean it. It’s more of a tribute to the Zelda series then a ripoff, a game that was inspired by Zelda.

    lord-of-shadow said:
    But just because you are a fan of something doesn’t mean you can’t like other things as well.

    thats just what i think too! gamers who cant try other games arent really gamers after all…

    Ugh, all you people attacking Okami simply becasue its on Playstation 2? That’s rediculous. First, this game wasn’t even MADE by Sony. It was Made by Clover Studios, a development studio that was part of Capcom before they were disolved. These are the guys who made Viewtiful Joe, so I really don’t see how you can get away with all this “Sony is copying Zelda!” crap. The reason it is on PS2 is the same reason a lot of games are on PS2, PS2 has a bigger userbase.

    If any of you would have read lord-of-shadow’s review, you would notice that he talks about how it has similar qualites to Zelda, but it is not a straight one for one copy-cat. An example of this is the brush system. It’s a new take on some of the great gameplay ideas in Zelda.

    Furthermore, why is it bad to take good ideas of one game, and find a way to incorporate them in a new way? I’m sure there are quite a few people who would be upset had Konami never decided to add some Metroid elements to Castlevania: SotN.

    Also on the rampant fanboyism: Since when did liking a game that’s on PS2 automatically turn someone into a Sony fanboy? What would I be? I like some games on Gamecube, as well as some games on PS2. Does that make me both a Sony and a Nintendo fanboy? No, that just means that I like to play games, and I will try to play a good game no matter what system it on, as long as it is finacially feasible for me to do so, and I have the time to do so.

    Now, I know someone will probably come back with “But this is a ZELDA fansite, Duh!” Well, let me say something. How many people here EXCLUSIVELY play Zelda? I’m sure that number is 0, or if not, very close to it. If you play Zelda, you play other video games, and if you love Zelda games, you will most likely enjoy other games like it. Metroid is often mentioned when talking about SotN, becasue they have similar styles. It makes sense. Okami has a similar style to Zelda. It MAKES SENSE for a Zelda fansite to talk about it, especially since it is such a good game, and reaffirms that the gameplay style of Zelda is truely great.

    Sorry for the ranting. Everyone needs to realize though, that if you like a certian game system, you do not need to villianize another to validate your choice! Why do I have a Gamecube? Becasue I love to play Nintendo games! Why do I have a PS2? Because there were a number of games on the system I wanted to play, enough that I felt they validated my purchase. Why don’t I have an Xbox/360? Because of a combination of not having enough cash, enough time, and not seeing enough games I would want to buy to validate my purchase. NOT BECAUSE Microsoft “iz da evilz!”

    If you don’t like Sony and don’t have a PS2 because you don’t like the games on the system, then that is fine. No problem there. But I think it is flawed logic to turn that around say “I think this game stinks because its on a Sony system”. To parody some R&J, “A game, on any other system would be just as fun!”

    Ahhh, nothing like an overly long rant.

    This game looks amazing! Too bad I don’t have a PS2 though.

    Wait I do! I inherited one from my friend who moved away… I just need a memory card and I’m good to go.

    I like nintendo, but I am not afraid of trying out new games. I visited your site yesterday, los, and read the article. It interest me so much that I actually visited the offical site! Thank you for showing us other good games, even on other consoles!

    SS4 Kurama said:

    lord-of-shadow said:
    But just because you are a fan of something doesn’t mean you can’t like other things as well.

    thats just what i think too! gamers who cant try other games arent really gamers after all…

    i agree i am a big fan of zelda but i like other games to and if they are on a dif system then so be it i will play on those systems

    sounds like a good game.ill probably look into it.im a bit surprised at some of the responses though.rather disapointing,then again I should have seen it coming.I like nintendos games and sonys games (note that I like nintendos games,not nintendo ;) ).I play games to have fun,not to promote companys.anyways,good article lord-of-shadow,one of the better ones ive seen so far.

    Wow, L-o-s, that was a really inspiring review, thanks for writing it.

    I’ve only ever truly regretted not having a PS2, and that’s when I played GTA: Vice City, and when I read about Okami. The thought immdeiately comes to mind that this game would be perfect for the Wii, with the Celestial brush control. I do remember seeing shots of this a year and a half ago, and even then I was impressed with the art style. Make sure you keep posting things this interesting!

    Hehe, this games on my Christmas wishlist! Yay for having a Playstation 2! Muahaha!

    Anyways, I’ve heard ‘everyone’ mentioning the similarites between Okami and Zelda. Which just makes me want to play it more. What would be REALLY cool is if it were on the Wii! Can you imagine doing those brush strokes with the Wiimote!

    PLAYSTATION!!??!!11onequestionmark MORE LIKE…… GAYSTATION!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG SONY IS LIKE TEH SUK! HAHAHAHA!

    I wish I had a Playstation. That’s where all the good RPGs are. But monies don’t allow. Awww…

    this is so *navi* its not even worth arguing bout but here goes. This sight is a ZELDA SITE Playstation things really dont belong here . second the purpose of this site is to unite the zelda comunity this site was made not for war, but peace. before irationally flaming eachother , think what would TML do bicker or actually look at both sides and make a proper statement And for all your information I own a Cube a PS2 and an X-Box yet you dont see me bickering

    Mike said:

    this is so *navi* its not even worth arguing bout but here goes. This sight is a ZELDA SITE Playstation things really dont belong here .

    it was posted for its similarities to the zelda series.

    Great Lord Ephraim said:

    Mike said:

    this is so *navi* its not even worth arguing bout but here goes. This sight is a ZELDA SITE Playstation things really dont belong here .

    it was posted for its similarities to the zelda series.

    Ok, lets have posts about every third person platformer out there. Hey why not write about Baldurs Gate, or Sword of Mana, or any of a thousand others, its zeldablog, thus it should stay Zelda and Nintendoonly. And only Nintendo as far as sytems go.

    Also, I’m not a blind fanboy. I happen to like several Xbox games. I just despise SONY for everything they try to do, plus the fact that they have the most popular system currently. I know it sounds dumb, but that’s how I am. If everyone likes it, I generally hate it, unless i liked it before everyone else liked it then its still good. But Sony has yet to do anything but rip-off every one else, so until they can innovate, they suck *Navi*.

    Ouch. :P

    Anyways, Okami is a game I’ve had my eye on for a while, actually, I’ve yet to see a game that you’ve recommended that hasn’t looked amazing. I am, however, somewhat hampered by my lack of a PS2. as soon as I remedy that situation, however, rest assured that Okami, Shadows of the Colossus, and every other title you’ve ever praised will be gracing it, even if I have to comb flea-markets.

    For you rabid Anti-Sony fanboys: Grow up. I’ve never owned a Sony console in my life, nor have I ever played any Sony-Exclusive titles. I’m one of the biggest Nintendo fans for miles around, yet I’m not blinded by some need to prove that The big N is superior by attacking the character of anyone who feels that not everything Sony does is wrong or a cheap copy. L-o-S is one of, if not the, most respected members of the Zelda community, claiming that he is some kind of shill for Sony is laughable and ignorant.

    …And my inexperience at using wordpress shows. That first line was supposed to be in reply to the comment

    lord-of-shadow said:

    I might have expected something like this from Zelda Universe’s community

    Light Link 007 said:

    Great Lord Ephraim said:

    Mike said:

    this is so *navi* its not even worth arguing bout but here goes. This sight is a ZELDA SITE Playstation things really dont belong here .

    it was posted for its similarities to the zelda series.

    Ok, lets have posts about every third person platformer out there. Hey why not write about Baldurs Gate, or Sword of Mana, or any of a thousand others.

    if you were the one making the articles,then by all means you could ;) .I have no grudge against any company/unit out there,I find it immature.unless sonys actually made you buy one of their games by force,theres no reason for you to “despise” them.btw,just because its zelda blog,dosnt mean their cant be other games talked about here.believe it or not,there are alot of gamers here and not just zelda fans.

    Alright. I don’t know if the argument has been quelled up above in the comments, but I’m going to put it to an end now.

    This site IS predominantly about Nintendo and Zelda, true. However, just because that something isn’t directly related to either of the two is flat out prohibited… so long as it is at least somehow related to either of the two.

    I dare anyone who disbelieves me to go to the Search box on the main page of the ‘Blog and do a search for “Sony”. Go ahead. You’ll find topics here that cover things that are exclusively about Sony…. but they are relevant here because of how they affect or play into all things Nintendo and/or Zelda. (You’ll actually find, even more, that I wrote both of the aforementioned articles.)

    Now I own Okami. (Yes, this means I own a PlayStation 2. And an Xbox, while we’re counting.) I actually took an entire evening out of my packing to play the game. I have enjoyed Okami. I look forward to actually getting in depth into the game when I (and my stuff!) arrives at my new home. Would I have written about Okami? Probably not, but that’s partially because I didn’t see the parallels. But do I expect all of you to respect Lord-of-Shadow’s opinion presented in this article? Absolutely, unquestionably YES. You may disagree, of course, but I expect to see people responding to this topic in a calm and rational manner. It is this very thing that has caused me to prefer ZeldaBlog to any other forum for conversation in the community.

    Long and short, accept this article for what it is. And LoS, thank you for writing stuff on the ‘Blog during my absence. It is well appreciated! :)

    Light Link 007 said:

    And SONY players like you disgust us. Couldn’t have said it better myself Rob.

    I guess you hate me then, too, eh? ;)

    To bloggers in the vein of Robert-UK and Light Link 007: this blog, as best to my knowledge, was created in relatiation of comments such as yours. I, as a lowly commentor, don’t have a moral high-horse to shout down from, but I can say, from fellow human being to human being, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Up until now, I have never read comments like yours on the blog, and I have been commenting since the start. I would go on, but like-minded persons have already summed up every condemnation I could think of.

    To Lord-of-Shadow: Thank you sir, for bringing a little diversity to the ‘blog. While already having sworn a blood pact to never purchase a sony product, I still enjoy and play several PS2 games. It looks like I will have another to pester my friends about. And please, keep in mind that they are the minority here, and because of that, strangely, they seem louder than they actually are.

    And to TML: you can’t leave us alone for 2 minutes, huh? it seems that no matter how hard you try, there will always be a couple of Ingo’s around.

    Wow, Okami sounds like a game I would play but I don’t feel like getting a PS2. Is there a Okami game on a Nintendo system? I heard there is one for Nintendo DS? Is there?

    Firstly, Master of Volvagia: What you said couldn’t have been said better. I hope that as time passes people will remember and respect the foundation that this blog was built on.

    Also how can someone blame Sony for coping when Sony wasn’t even the one to make the game?

    Secondly, L-o-s: Great article. Sounds like a good game, but I’ll probaly never play it due to a lack of a PS2(although I am condsidering to buy one some day…) Hopefully, you don’t think all of us here are rabid fan boys on the rampage. And I look forward to any other articles you write in the future.

    Yeah, I heard about Okami a while ago, and it sounds and looks awesome. I play games on my brother’s PS2, so I might be able to play it. And you fanboys leave Sony alone, they have made some great games! Ico and Shadow of the Colossus anyone?

    I saw my brother play Ico and Shadow of the Colossus! They look really fun, and there are also some other fun PS2 games out there. Just because it’s on a PS dosn’t mean it’s a bad game. HOWEVER……if, nay, WHEN Sony goes bankrupt, it means that the producers will have to more of these type of games for either Nintendo or Microsoft…ok, truthfullly, I’d LIKE to say that they’ll definitely choose Wii “because of it’s superior motion sensor controllers” but they could also choose the Xbox360…BUT one can always cling onto hope, eh? (Please God, make them choose Nontendo!) But, also on a realistic side, Sony might not go bankrupt! So, if is actually much more accurate than when…but, let’s just hope Ico, SotC, Okami, Bujingai Swordmaster and much more good games, including future ones, will come to the Wii! NOT the PS3…For this purpose, let’s ALL stop buying Sony and Microsoft products! You might think “Oh, but it’s just one system!” But just think about how many people there are, thinking like that…it disgusts me! Happy Halloween!

    Master of Volvagia said:

    And to TML: you can’t leave us alone for 2 minutes, huh? it seems that no matter how hard you try, there will always be a couple of Ingo’s around.

    There will always be Ingos, my friend. What is important is that there will always be Links around to defeat them silly and make them turn away from their horse-stealing ways. :D

    The Missing Link said:There will always be Ingos, my friend. What is important is that there will always be Links around to defeat them silly and make them turn away from their horse-stealing ways. :D

    unless the ingo has lackys and hides behind a desk -_-’ (dont ask).

    …anyways…I just looked the game up,it looks pretty cool.not sure I would be able to get it though (I have a PS2,the ratings just a little too high for my brother :? ).

    Lord-of-shadow, your review really makes me want to play the game, but I don’t own a PS2. Anyway, I really like the review

    The Missing Link said:

    Master of Volvagia said:

    And to TML: you can’t leave us alone for 2 minutes, huh? it seems that no matter how hard you try, there will always be a couple of Ingo’s around.

    There will always be Ingos, my friend. What is important is that there will always be Links around to defeat them silly and make them turn away from their horse-stealing ways. :D

    Does this mean… TML’s name is more than just a title?! :x

    ella said:

    Alright. I registered just to say this.

    It might be like Zelda, but it isn’t Zelda. Sony might have borrowed themes from Zelda, but those themes are not all there is to the games. There’s all the familiar characters and stories and stuff. Sony can make a game like Zelda if they want, and the game might be good, yes, but you don’t need to get defensive. Probably we feel defensive because we’re afraid of this Okami game taking over our Zelda, but that’s just not going to happen. It’s like comparing generic brand soda to Pepsi.

    Don’t get upset because there’s a game like Zelda out there. The fact is…People descibe it as being like Zelda, so it’s like someone famous being described as being like their predecesor, like a younger actor that comes in after an older actor that’s been working for a long time. People would describe the new one as being like the older one.

    I hope that made sense. :)

    I completely agree with ella even though I don’t have a Sony system.

    [TML: You may have free speech, but that doesn’t preclude me the right to obliterate your comment. Take your soap box elsewhere, good sir. As I said, my decision on the matter is final, and I don’t care if you like it or not. Get in line or get off the ‘Blog.

    Lord-of-Shadow, next time feel free to delete any like comments.]

    I explained why your free speech argument was flawed in the email I sent you, Josephina. I deleted your post because it was offtopic and trying to cause more arguments.

    US citizens have the right to free speech. This means that anyone can write a book, have it published, or start a newspaper, or stuff like that. They have the right to speak their mind without the government coming in and censoring them.

    But, for example, it does not mean that I can go into my neighbor’s yard and give speeches in their space. I can’t write an article and then get mad when the newspaper doesn’t publish it - the newspaper is privately owned and has the right to moderate itself. Movie theatres have the right to throw out people using celphones or having discussions while a movie is going on. I have the right to free speech, but in my own time and space.

    This blog is privately owned and run by TML, and, at least in the case of this post, moderated by myself. I am not violating someone’s right to free speech by deleting a post here. I am throwing out the troublemakers. They are still free to go somewhere else and rant against Sony all they want.

    As for your last quote and comment… taking things out of context to twist the meanings of someone’s words is bad practice. It’s also a very low rabble-rousing tactic. Common in politicians.

    boy,these posts just keep getting more ridiculous.the article isint about sony vs. nintendo or political freedom,its cleatly about okami.I dont see why that subject is so hard to maintain,even after lord-of-shadow and the missing link gave a reminder.

    see im curious,how can a cel shaded game be rated T for blood and gore :P ? im sure its nothing like TWW,but still…its cel shaded,right?

    yeah, things did get kind of side tracked a bit.

    I haven’t yet played Okami, but I really want to. I just don’t have the time. So much college work too do, too little time for a 40 hour epic game!

    Not to steal comments from LOS’s aritcal, but I think everything that needs to be said, from all sides of whatever argument you’re having, has been said. I call for a movment to stop piggybacking on others comments, and to consider all points made done. If you truly have something new to say regarding Okami, please do. But if you’re going to comment in favor of TML, or Robert, or anyone else, just don’t. we’ve gotten past that now.

    once again, I’m not in any position to say this, so feel free to just ignore me. But I truly belive we can all be grown-ups here.

    I played Okami and loved every minute of it. I’m currently on a second playthrough, and I still love it to bits.

    If any game can keep the Zelda gamer occupied until Twilight Princess, this is the one.

    OK, well being geeky as I’ am my fav sites consiste of more than zelda (although god knows i hav more zelda related sites in my bookmarks than any other)and so i hav also already had a look at this game, and its times like this i wish i had money to get a ps2, or at least the game so i can play it at a friends. Okami looks very Beatiful indeed and all though I do hate sony and the ps2 (oh god how i hate (oh godess how i hate them)as a company and hardware (but everyone i know does so to some degree) but that dosent mean i hate the games on the ps2, i could name some realy good ones but, well im lazy. Soo ye, to those who are getting all worked up and stuff about this not realy being about zelda (although LoS made some gd points) all I have to say is…..lol, one simple yet resonding lol in its truest meaning.

    Fantastic writeup, I can clearly understand your passion for this game. Unfortunately, I recently packed up all of my worldly posessions to move overseas - and left out my PS2. I only had 2 or 3 games for it, and didn’t see myself making any grand additions to that collection in the near future. Perhaps with the arrival of the PS3, a PS2 purchase might be in line. I’m sure we’ll see a sizeable pricedrop sometime soon.

    I got a PS2, so maybe I can give this game a try out. Lord-of-Shadows, do you know where we can see some screenshots. Also, I could be wrong, but isn’t Amaterasu the Japanese Goddess of the sun? I don’t have the money for it, but I’ll go look for it long after Christmas. I’m sure by the way you decribed it, it sounds just as addicting as Zelda.