A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a unique game with stunningly beautiful scenery and original gameplay. While this action game has lots of fighting, the presentation is essentially bloodless. Some enemies get chopped in half, but most are turned into flowers when they die. The game is cartoonish in appearance, but has some crude humor involving urination, references to breasts, and sexual innuendo. Some characters smoke, and sake drinking both figures into the story and provides powers to the main character. The story includes themes of duty and modesty.
What's it about?
OKAMI tells the tale of a mystical white wolf that protects the people of Nippon (a fantasy version of Japan) from evil. At its core, the game is a solid third-person adventure, with dozens of characters to meet, treasures to find, vast landscapes to explore, and plenty of baddies to fight. As players roam the game's magical landscape, they learn \"brush techniques\" that give them god-like powers -- activating these powers freezes the game and causes a giant ink brush to descend over the scene. Players can then paint and change the game world: Night can be turned to day by drawing a sun in the sky, or walls can be destroyed by painting a firework bomb over them.
Is it any good?
Okami is a magical, intoxicating adventure that beautifully captures the essence of fairy tales in game form. It is gorgeous, creative, and surprising -- and one of the best games available for the PlayStation 2. The graphics are the most immediately striking feature: The game is like a Japanese print come to life. The characters and environments create a three-dimensional world, but the bold colors and sharp outlines look like a drawing.
Yet, like many magical tales, the bright exterior hides some mature themes. Although enemies turn into flowers when killed, brush techniques can chop them in half. Some players may also be surprised to find humor about bodily functions, sexual innuendo, and story elements about powers that derive from drinking alcoholic sake.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about creativity in game design and the use of the celestial brush. Why do so few games stand out from the pack? Why are so many games similar to one another? Families can also discuss themes in this game, such as: Should people try to take credit for good deeds or let them speak for themselves?
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