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.]