Okami is a game I've been hearing about for years. It was originally released in 2006 on the Wii, and just a couple years after that had already achieved a sort of cult following. And of course so had Clover Studios - a development team who would eventually morph into Platinum Games. Big time stuff.
Anyway, in the fourteen years (woah!) since its release I just kept hearing about how this is one of the best Zelda clones out there. Which was of course a selling point in my book. But for some reason I never got around to playing it. Then a couple of years ago my wife bought me a copy of the HD port for Xbox One for Christmas. She had been flipping through one of my gaming magazines and it caught her eye as something she thought I'd like. Bless her heart. But for whatever reason, I still didn't get around to playing it and eventually sold off my Xbox collection. Out of a bit of guilt that I hadn't played the gift that she picked out for me, I went ahead and imported the Switch version of that HD port and then - AGAIN - sat on it for another year.
I don't know. Sometimes I think I was waiting for the hype to wear off. There's no way this game could live up to what it had built up to in my head. But I finally figured I should play it, so fired it up today since I had the day off. I ended up playing for about an hour and I regret to say that... I kind of really don't like this game.
Look, Okami is a beautiful looking game. That sort of cell-shaded paint brush look is awesome. But as a Zelda clone... not so good for me. And I had had fair warning that the start was slow going. Which it is. But here's the bigger problem... I kind of hated EVERYTHING going on here. Like, seriously everything.
The camera is crap. I tried every camera setting and nothing could make it feel good. In fact, inverting the Y-axis seemed to do NOTHING. And it's kind of moot anyway as the camera control is often pulled away from you anyway.
The combat feels awful. It's just mostly mashing Y. And beyond that you can do the paintbrush stuff. My goodness, the paint brush stuff. I don't even. Alright so that's the big hook in this game. You have to paint characters to do certain attacks or spells or whatever. I hate it. The options are motion controls via the Joycons (using them like Wii remotes), which is not my bag. Or you can just use the analog sticks which feels super clunky. Plus, it feels like it's always slowing the momentum.
On that same note - O... M... G... the opening IS really painful. There's this little fairy or bug or something who's y'know, the "tutorial giver," and every thirty seconds or so the action stops so I can read way too much text. It's brutal. So add that to the pile. I hate the controls, I hate the camera, I hate the action, and now I'm subjected to WAY more text than feels needed in such a game.
Look, MAYBE this game does turn into the greatest Zelda clone ever. But all I can think is that there is already a fairly long list of great Zelda games out there that I could just play again. And I'd much rather do that.