9.4

Open your eyes, and breathe in the creativity...

Okami manifests itself as a mix of The Legend of Zelda, Japanese mythology, and a painting. A very, very, beautiful painting that is hard to take your eyes off of. The artistic direction in this game is so unique, I dare say that you'll find a game with a better visual design. Adding on to the art is the gameplay: You use a paintbrush to defeat your enemies, create bridges, and bring vegetation to life. Sure, that might "seem" like a dumb idea, but the execution and ingenious ways in which the Celestial Paintbrush is used makes Okami stand out like a sore thumb (I mean that in a good way).

The story is something that you should expect: the ultimate battle of good versus evil, with the you playing the role of a god incarnate that must regain and use painting techniques to bring life back to a cursed world. But, it's the Japanese influence on this game that gives the plot an edge where other games would become cliched.

The music is also a welcome addition as it is pleasing and reminds me of Japanese folklore.

Games like these only come once in a while. The flaws are so small, that it's easy to overlook them. Shame to anyone who passes up this shining gem of the PS2's final days. Too bad that Clover Studios (the people who made this, the Viewtiful Joe series, and God Hand) will be closing down this month.

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