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The Great Wolf God

October 7, 2010

While going through my mp3s, I had stumbled across my old “Okami” Soundtrack, and thought of this post. Okami is an old Playstation 2 video game, released back in 2007. My sister was the one who suggested the game to me, but when I bought it, I didn’t think it was going to be much. It was not heavily advertised or talked about on video gaming sites… not at first, anyways. But this game turned out to be the most unique video gaming experience ever! :-)

Okami literally means, “great god” and it’s Kanji spelling (Japanese characters) also stand for “wolf”. So, it’s a double meaning title, when put together it means “great wolf god”. And the main character of this story is Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, in the form of a wolf. But,  it’s not only the title and main character that makes this game unique, it gets even better!

Most of the gaming story is set in classic Japanese history, legends, and lore. Also the graphic style is in Sumi-e, an East Asian type of brush painting, otherwise known as “wash painting”. So, it’s like playing a video game through ancient Japanese art! And the music is also in traditional Japanese style, so while playing the game, you do feel like you’re back in time, in Olde Japan.

Another cool feature is, the “Celestial Brush” which allows you – the player-, to draw things into the game, in order to finish quests or advance to new levels.

And with these unique features, Okami became a cult-classic. But many fans urged it to be expanded to the newer gaming systems. At first the makers of Okami and Capcom (a popular video gaming company) ignored the cries on message boards. But then an version of Okami was created for the Nintendo Wii and a sequel to the game was created for Nintendo DS. I haven’t gotten the sequel yet… but soon! It will be released in 2011. ;-)

If you are a fan of all things Japan, then Okami is a must have! Or if you’re into quest gaming (like The Legend Of Zelda) and enjoy foreign cultures, this game is for you also. It is heavy in Japanese references and history, some of it is explained in the game, while other hints will encourage you to go searching for that information in Google, on your own. Either way, it’s not a boring game, with TONS of quests and side-quests, which means lots of fun. :-)

-D

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4 comments

  1. That sounds real interesting.Actually I suggested in the anime magazine I read own forum when discussing alterations they were thinking of have more stuff on Japanese culture because so much of the manga and anime has reference that you may not get otherwise.


  2. Yep, I actually get a little annoyed, when anime or manga change their references to fit American culture. Like in anime dubs/subs, or when an manga is translated into English and they change pop-references to fit our own. It’s annoying, because I spend MORE time trying to figure out the original dialoge, then I would spend to simply look up the Japanese one. :-/

    Though, Okami proved that keeping the Japanese references in and leaving it up to the player to research it, for an Western audience, can and does work! If they had Americanized this game and it’s story, it would have lost all of it’s magic. ;-)


  3. I have this game, but I haven’t really made it that far yet. I love all things asian pretty much and drawing so of course this was a game I had to have. I just don’t have as much free time as I used to and I have so many things that I love to do. I might have to start this one up again though. It really is fun.


  4. Yep, I understand about not having as much free time. When I was younger, i could play any video game for hours on end, only stopping to eat and use the bathroom… and sleeping rarely. But, I’ve gotten old now! I only spend about three hours per week on any video game, including this one. :-p

    But yes, this game ROCKS! :-)



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