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Change YoY: -3   My Rating: 9.0 / 10

Very few games have ever instantly caught my eye in a way that Okami did when I first saw it nearly 20 years ago now. There simply wasn't, and still really aren't, any other games that look quite like it. The Japanese watercolours-in-motion look was entirely its own, and an undeniably gorgeous one at that. Obviously, beautiful visuals aren't enough by themselves, but fortunately there's a great game to go along with them. As far as games of its kind go (ones inspired by The Legend of Zelda that is), Okami is easily one of the very best ever made. Outside of the game's beautiful visual style, the true standout element of the game is the Celestial Brush, essentially the ability for the player to draw things on top of the gameplay and make various items pop into existence and cause all kinds of other effect to occur. It's the one thing that truly makes Okami unique. In addition, the setting inspired by Japanese folklore is wonderful, not just in terms of its appearance but also in aspects like the music.

Of course, the game is not perfect, but the faults it has are relatively small all things considered. It is a very long game for one, perhaps a bit too long. The clearest example of this is how many of the bosses are repeated. If there was an element of challenge to these repeated encounters it wouldn't matter, but the bosses are in a lot of ways akin to puzzles for the player to solve, and once you've beaten a boss once it's literally the exact same thing again. Essentially, it become nothing but a time sink, and makes the final dungeon of the game particularly annoying. Otherwise, the game throws in interesting new locations, characters, and abilities at you frequently enough so that it never gets dull to play. The character voices can also get a bit grating at times, and some other minor aspects may not have aged without issue either, but overall this is still an excellent game. The positives basically far outweigh the negatives here.