A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game might look like a kids' game with its cute cel-shaded graphics, but it features some content not appropriate for children, including violence and blood (slash a creature using your "celestial brush" and you chop them down, and see some animated blood) and characters in the village who smoke and drink. It's not excessive, nor is it out of context, but this game was designed with teenagers in mind, and not younger kids. This is a revival of the 2006 PlayStation 2 version.
What's it about?
In an industry where innovation often takes a back seat to sequels, movie tie-ins, and \"me too\" clones, it's refreshing when a video game breaks convention to deliver a fresh interactive experience. Such is the case with Capcom's OKAMI, a Japanese-made adventure originally released on the PlayStation 2, and now available – and perfectly suited -- for the Wii. You take on the role of a sun god named Amaterasu, in the form of a wolf, who must help restore world peace and beauty by defeating the eight-headed dragon, Orochi. While traveling to dozens of regions to regain her \"Celestial Brush\" powers, Amaterasu quickly learns how to paint onto the world itself and the effect is immediate: paint a bridge to traverse rapid rivers; draw a horizontal line through rocks and trees and the obstacles are cut in half; slash an enemy with a paint stroke through its body; or add a sun to the sky with a painted circle. These moves are now handled intuitively with the motion-sensing and wireless Wii remote.
Okami, which means \"wolf\" in Japanese, also lets you master combat moves during fighting sequences. This includes head butting, jumping, tackling and springing off adjacent walls. Weapons will be acquired over time, divided into three categories: Reflectors (magical mirrors), Rosaries (special beads) and Glaives (mythical swords). You will eventually learn new skills from the Grand Master at the Dojo, such as a \"Holy Eagle\" (jump and kick at the same time), \"Fleetfoot\" (quickly sidestep to avoid a monster attack) and \"Digging Champ\" (dig through rocky surfaces).
Is it any good?
Okami and its paint scheme is much more than a gimmick; this clever game-play mechanic lets players tackle puzzles and fighting in a new and innovative way and helps separate this action-adventure hybrid from the hundreds of others in the market. That, and the game's interesting story, memorable characters, and clever visual style all help to make "Okami" a fresh and fun addition to your Wii library. This immersive, intuitive, and visually impressive adventure is well worth your time and money unless you have already played the 2006 PlayStation 2 version. With the exception of revamped controls which take advantage of the Wii Remote, the two games are virtually identical.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how games like Okami take full advantage of the Wii Remote to create a unique and intuitive interactive entertainment experience. But does it make these games more immersive? Are you drawn into the adventure more as a participant because the controls are more natural? On the flipside, does "killing" creatures by performing the movements desensitize you to real-world violence more than simply pressing buttons?
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