Sorry, I Don't Like Okami

I don’t like Okami. It’s taken me 11 years to admit that. I captured the confession in this video, which I present for your watching.


Okami is one of the most breathtaking visual experiences yet committed to video game graphics, and a new version, Okami HD was just released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam on December 12. I pounced on the occasion to revisit it in this, its newest, shiniest form.

I had paid for Okami’s beautiful graphics three times in the past—on PlayStation 2, Wii, and PlayStation 3. All three times, I drifted away from the game after about 10 lazy hours.

This week, the spell was broken. I finally admitted to myself that maybe I don’t like this gorgeous game. This is a different feeling from “I wanted to like it.” This is more like “I thought I did like it.”

It occurs to me that Okami is the prototype form of what I now call a “Kickstarter Game”—a game you see in GIFs with 2,000 retweets before you click the link, watch a trailer, and say “Heck yeah.” Two years later, you fondly glance at its name in your Steam library list, and you think, “Heck yeah.” I’ve been doing that to Okami for eleven years.

Now I am honor-bound to shout out God Hand. People always talk about Okami, and how it was one of the last games Clover Studio made. Too many people forget to lament God Hand: released five months after Okami in 2006, it was truly Clover’s last and greatest game, and the true masterpiece of the year 2006. Capcom has lovingly remastered Okami three times since its initial release. All God Hand gets is a lethargic rollout as a “PS2 Classic.” Come on, Capcom: give us a 16:9, 4K, 60fps remaster of God Hand already. I’d buy four copies.

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[Disclosure: I worked with God Hand director / Clover Studio co-founder Shinji Mikami on a game from 2007 to 2010. Yes, we talked a lot about how IGN gave God Hand a 3 out of 10.]

I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!


I, uh . . . I kinda want to take this one step further.

I don’t like Zelda games. Okami is basically just a very pretty Legend of Zelda, and I never got into it either. I’ve played every single one prior to Twilight Princess, and I always just find myself annoyed at the feeling that I’m constantly missing things. When a game is linear, I’m focused on the story. When it’s open-world, I’m focused on exploring and roleplaying. When it’s half-way between like these games, I’m just constantly anxious that I’m going to miss something important, and then have to put hours into backtracking.

Maybe it’s because the first Zelda game I ever played was Wind Waker. I was having a blast, enjoying myself immensely, when I sailed to an island I was certain was the next step - only to be told I’d missed an item that was clear on the other side of the world, something that would have taken me hours to hunt down. I just quit straight out.