Friday, October 26, 2012

Okami Chapter 1: Back to the Drawing Board (ha!)

Hello and welcome to the start of what I hope is a successful playthrough of Okami. As always, I make no promises as to post regularity, but considering this is really the only thing I'm doing that makes use of my college degree, well...Look over there! Is that a squirrel?!

Okay, anyway.

Okami was first released for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. Since that was basically at the end of the PS2's life cycle, however, the game was retooled for the Wii (with a slightly different look) and released on that platform in 2008. This was made somewhat difficult by the fact that the studio that originally released the game had gone bankrupt, and a lot of the assets for the game had to be recreated by the new studio doing the re-release.

Fortunately, everything went smoothly (aside from the American game box art containing an image lifted from IGN, hilariously), and at some point in the summer of 2008 I acquired the game and proceeded to play the shit out of it. I haven't played regularly since then. But in my defense, it's basically a Zelda game with different characters, and I love Zelda games. And the game is pretty much long enough for two games, so one playthrough provided plenty of replay value. And boy, is there replay value. I went through the game's areas with my new abilities over and over and over...

So, here we are. Let's get started, shall we?

in a galaxy far, far away....

One thing I noticed while taking photos is that the game designers didn't exactly try to make as much text fit on the screen as possible, which is going to be annoying, I can tell.

Hmm, I didn't get a picture of the next part of that. I'm going to assume it had something to do with trees.

One thing I like about games that have been translated from Japanese is the Engrish that occasionally pops up. If it's a game with high production values, like Zelda, you don't see it very often. But every now and then, something like "burg" will pop up, which is totally how I would describe this miniscule village, rather than, say..."village."

Oh! Oh! Somebody's wrestling with a crippling addiction to Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Please tell me I'm right!

That looks friendly...


Were the Kardashian sisters part of the sacrifice? My...friend wants to know.

Blah blah something about scary red eyes...

And then, a savior appeared! But it wasn't Kris Humphries.

But no one recognized the wolf for who she was, because villagers are dumb.

So they named the wolf Shiranui, and it patrolled the streets of the village at night and hung around on the outskirts during the day, probably eating rats and lounging around, as you do. For this, the villagers decided the wolf was a familiar of Orochi. You know, the eight-headed monster from earlier, who totally looks like he would have a wolf as a familiar.

Kick his ass, Seabass Shiranui!

But the wolf wouldn't fight him. Surprise! They still thought it was a bad wolf. Whatever, dumb villagers.

Call me crazy, but...why wouldn't they just cancel the festival? I mean, sure, you wouldn't have the festival anymore, but on the other hand, would Orochi still do his thing without a festival to interrupt?

Anyway, Orochi's "signal" about which beautiful maiden got to be sacrificed was to shoot a white arrow into the doorway of the house where the unfortunate beauty lived. That year, the arrow hit the house where Nagi's girlfriend lived, which understandably pissed Nagi off.

So, he set off to rescue the maiden.

...the monster's lair, or hiding place, or whatever you want to call it. So Nagi confronted the beast!

Why does it have eight heads? That's what I want to know.

Yeah! Swing that blade!

I like their choice of "sliced" there. Sounds like he's chopping vegetables for dinner or something. Except, instead of vegetables, he's chopping heads. Hiyah!

Swing! Swing! Swing! Slice! Slice! Slice! Chop! Chop! Chop! Run away! Run away! Run away!

Oh noes! Is it going to help Orochi eat Nagi?

NO! It's protecting him! OMG, the villagers were wrong!

Mysterious and terrifying? Hmm, I don't know. Puny wolf vs. giant eight-headed and apparently fire-breathing monster. Who do you think is going to win here?

Let's skip ahead a little bit. Nagi had fought the monster until he was too tired. Then Shiranui fought the monster until she was too tired. Then the monster decided it was time to deliver the death blow. But Nagi, who'd been hiding in the shadows, jumped out of nowhere and brandished his sword. The wolf howled triumphantly, or something.

Woo! Let's do this thing! Nagi's all pumped up now!

So Nagi activated Hero's Leap!

And then he sliced off all of Orochi's heads!

But wait! What happened to the wolf?

Let's skip ahead some more, because this is taking too long. Nagi carried the wolf back to the village, where the villagers immediately assumed she was dead. But then they did something, I forget what, and the wolf gave one last pitiful bark before dying. So the villagers built a shrine to the wolf.

They built a shrine to Nagi too, but his was a lot bigger, despite the fact that the wolf was the one who saved the day. Well, whatever. Peace returned to the village, and everything was hunky dory up until the present day.

Ooh, everything's in color now!

But then...a shadowy figure sneaked into the Moon Cave! What's going on here?

Who could the shadowy person be? Well, I'm sure we'll find out when the game wants us to, and not a moment sooner.

Playing this game reminded me of watching Inuyasha with all the goofy sword names. Wait. Did I just say I watched Inuyasha? I mean...I never watched Inuyasha.

Somehow I doubt that. You know, since they already showed us all that exposition.

So then he pulled the sword out of the pedestal and got sent forward in time seven years things started happening and there were a lot of eyes, but everything moved so fast I couldn't get a non-blurry picture. Okay, this one isn't too bad.

Scary eyes!

So the shadowy guy tried to run away, but tripped over the plot and fell.

You know, if all it takes to free Orochi is for someone to pull a sword out of a pedestal, you'd think there would be some guards at the Moon Cave. But, as has previously been established, villagers are dumb. So they probably never suspected Orochi could be released. Well, hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

Don't do it, guy! You're better than that, I know it!

Aww, shadowy guy needs a hug! Well, he could probably get a hug from the monster, if "hug" actually means "lethal mauling."

And here we first see the use of the Plot Roar, which is a device that's utilized whenever the story takes a detour and meanders too long. Get used to it!

So the shadowy guy ran away in terror..

...and then Orochi proceeded to blow everything up real good. And I mean everything.

Nooooo! Not the trees!

It even blocked out the sun! We're doomed, I tell you!

But somehow, one village escaped the destruction. The little burg of Kamiki. Coincidence? I think not. The village was being protected by a sacred tree, you see.

And who's this? The spirit of the sacred tree?

So that's a wood sprite, huh? I didn't know wood sprites had such generous...assets.

I should mention that there is "voice acting" in this game, although it's more like the way Midna and Fi were voiced. It's either gibberish or the voice actors were on speed. The only intelligible word in the whole thing is some girl going "O-kami!" when you first start the game.

Blah, blah, blah, do your thing already.

Apparently people in this game don't have mouths. Weird.

So she conjured up a sparkly shield and gave a little spiel about needing Amaterasu's power and shining light on the broken, polluted world. Oh, this quest is going to be just peachy.

And then she threw the shield at the wolf statue, and it came to life!

Ooh, fancy.

Exactly what I was thinking, I guess...

So she started talking about how the world had been taken over by an evil force, but suddenly she was interrupted.


Well, let's see whatever it was that giggled its way out of Sakuya's, uh, assets, then.

It's a...little green thing?

Who's he calling little? She looks normal-sized to me...


Issun, eh? Nice to meet you, I guess. Oh, wait, he has his own title card.

While he was trying to explain how great of an artist he is, he whipped out a scroll and threw it on Amaterasu's face, which would have been a hilarious picture if I'd been able to get it. Alas, I had to settle for a picture of the scroll's contents.

Wow, that painting makes Sakuya's...assets look even bigger, if that's possible. Truly the mark of a great painter.

If you say so...

So then he noticed the giant wolf standing right behind him.

But apparently the wolf goddess doesn't like having tiny people bounce on her nose, so she tried to eat him.

Does that mean you're a slippery little bugger? Ahh, I crack myself up.

Another goofy sword name! These people and their swords...


Dammit, Issun, we're supposed to get back on-topic! Do you want the Plot Roar to eat us?!

See, Sakuya gets it.

Your...fruit? Please don't be something dirty...please don't be something dirty...

Thanks for the awesome pep talk. Gee, look at that red sky and dead tree! Can I go hide in a corner now?

Yes, that's what she just said...

Okay, but she didn't say how to cut it down. Um...

Wait a second, the prologue is over! Does this mean I get to actually play now?

Cool! But I still don't know how to cut the fruit down, and I can't really go anywhere except through the glowy white doorway in front of me. Guess I'll go in there.

Of course it did. So, what is this place exactly...?

That's an awfully big moon. Other than that, I've got nothing. Well, let's explore.

Uh oh? Is this what I think it is?

Yep. This is the tutorial section, and Issun's being the Navi to my Link. Well, I'll just continue on with this in another blog post, once I've learned how to play. You know how it is. One minute you're breaking pots, then you're learning how to jump and...oh, I don't want to spoil anything. Catch up with me next time once I've learned how to not fall on my face in front of a bunch of people.

Until next time, heroes!