Okamina of Time

Now that I’ve finished MGS3 (reviewed here), finally managing to enjoy it, I’ve switched focus to Okami. As I’m sure you’re aware by now it’s to be one of the last titles to emerge from the brilliant-but-moribund Clover Studio, but, sad as it is, that’s not what I want to talk about.

Okami lets you play as a wolf. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess lets you play in the form of a wolf. Coincidence? More than likely, but I’m really noticing the similarities between this game and Zelda. I expected something more like a straight-up action game and, I suppose, if you’re going to make more of an open-ended adventure like Clover has, Zelda is the obvious template to borrow from. What has surprised me is how I’m finding myself enjoying it more than any recent Zelda.

Maybe it’s just the tremendous amount of personality that the stunning visuals give it, or maybe that in eight years Zelda arguably hasn’t matched the sheer quality of its first 3D outing. It might even be that the trend of giving Link a magical instrument with which to manipulate the world (ocarina, masks, rod, baton, talking hat, etc) is echoed and superseded in Amaterasu’s infinitely more versatile paintbrush. Whatever it is, Ammy is certainly an able rival to Link. And she, too, has an annoying sprite for a sidekick.

Whether it actually manages to top Zelda at its own game or not, Okami deserves your money. Sales haven’t met expectations, so make it a big seller and show Capcom the error of its ways. RIP Clover.

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