Category Archives: Capcom

Podcast 19: Resident Evil 2 (#92)

Format: Playstation Genre: Survival Horror Released: 1998 Developer: Capcom

It’s been quite a journey for this podcast. Way back in early 2008, right at the very beginning of the blog, Ian decided he was going to write a post about a Resident Evil game. Problem was he couldn’t decide which one. Do you go with the original? Or Resident Evil 2, the game of the series he probably played the most? What about Resident Evil 4? Arguably the best of the series… Although saying that Resident Evil 3 has its moments as well.

Welcome to Raccoon City!

So rather than make a decision Ian did what he has done so many times with this blog. He didn’t bother. Flash forward to early 2011 and there are less than 10 posts left to do. Time is running out so he knuckles down and chooses Resident Evil 2. Ian finds it difficult to write though. What’s his ‘hook’? Can he restrict himself to just talking about Resident Evil 2? What can he say that’s not been said a thousand times before? So, again, he doesn’t bother starting. Eventually Lewis suggests ‘Let’s just do it as a podcast’.

I don't care what people say, anything called 'Licker' must be friendly.

So welcome to the 19th 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better podcast. A testament to Ian’s laziness and Lewis’s limitless patience. Enjoy!

Click below to listen directly through this site:

Or download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

Podcast 19 Resident Evil 2

OR subscribe to our podcasts through iTunes by clicking the link below:

Oh, and before we go here’s a clip from ‘Spaced’. Other than the cheap speed and the fact the bean bag was green not blue, this is pretty much Ian at University.

Ian & Lewis

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Filed under 1998, Capcom, Playstation, Podcast, Survival Horror

#75: Resident Evil CODE: Veronica

Format: Dreamcast Genre: Survival Horror Released: 2000 Developer: Capcom/Nextech

I have a love/hate relationship with this game. Love because it’s one of the best Resident Evil games out there, with some of the most memorable characters and storylines of the series. Hate because some IDIOTIC PUZZLE with an EMPTY FIRE EXTINGUISHER meant that I WAS UNABLE TO FINISH THE F**KING GAME. The memory still haunts me now, hence the extravagant use of capitals and self-censored swearing. I’ll explain…

In our student house at uni we’d often play through games together, or we’d play the same game but using different saves. Not long after I started playing Code Veronica, Paul, my housemate, began playing through it too. We’d swap stories about good bits in the game, and I’d drop excited hints about what was coming up next. All was fine and dandy until right near the end of the game, when I inadvertently uncovered a bug that made finishing the game all but impossible.

Tense, nervous headache?

Earlier in the game, Claire uses a fire extinguisher to retrieve a briefcase that’s stuck inside a flaming room, but for some reason she keeps hold of the empty extinguisher. This either means that Claire is a compulsive hoarder, or the game is subtly trying to tell you that there may just possibly be a puzzle later on that might – just might – require an empty fire extinguisher. Seeing as Claire generally isn’t the type to push around a shopping trolley filled to the brim with carrier bags full of knick knacks and shiny things she finds in the street, I placed my bets on the latter option, and kept the extinguisher to hand.

This guy was very creepy. Despite having his hands tied behind his back, he was still able to attack you using the organic broomhandles sticking out of his back. As you do.

A bit later on, Claire and her hapless companion Steve come across the chap in the pic above, who goes by the name of Nosferatu. History doesn’t relate how he came to bear this moniker – I’m imagining the label was thrust upon him after his unfortunate transformation, before which he was probably called Alan or Dave or Alfonse. Anyway, Claire makes no bones about swiftly dispatching poor Alan (or Dave or Alfonse) and we’re treated to a cut scene in which Alexia, the sister of antagonist Alfred Ashford, awakes from her long hibernation and unleashes the full force of the T-Veronica virus on Steve and Claire’s smiling, unknowing faces – the truck they’re driving is destroyed by one of Alexia’s handy new tentacles, and  control switches to Chris, who’s just pitched up in Antarctica on the hunt for Claire.

Alfred's twisted relationship with his sister Alexia was one of the most memorable parts of the game. Here the newly regenerated Alexia emerges for the first time.

I just want to jump in here for a second to say what a fantastic character Alfred is – definitely my favourite character of the series. Wesker is always held up as the series’  ultimate villain, but he’s so incredibly one-dimensional – there’s nothing really beneath the implausible hair and the Johnny Cash sunglasses. Alfred, on the other hand, has an interesting backstory, which the game goes to great pains to relate – from his possibly incestuous relationship with his twin sister to his penchant for dressing up in women’s clothing. You almost end up feeling sorry for him in a way – through no fault of his own he was born into an incredibly screwed-up family, was ruthlessly used by Umbrella and then ended up losing his mind. Having said that, I’d have a lot more sympathy for him if he stopped trying to kill me all the time.

Claire and Steve admire a digger. Whatever you do Claire, remember to take that fire extinguisher out of your pocket before you get in...

OK, back to the story. After the fight with Alan*, control switches to Chris, and the difficulty steps up a notch. The Antarctic facility is infested with various horrors, including a giant spider that has somehow managed to survive the freezing temperatures, and these fiends quickly take their toll on Chris’s ammo supply. As I limped to the final showdown with Alexia, I was down to just a few assault rifle rounds and a couple of clips for my handgun, but I was finding plenty of ammo for the magnum. So where could the magnum itself be hiding? Wait, there it is, behind that wall of flame. No problem, I’ll just fill up my empty fire extinguisher with that handy extinguishant refill device nearby… Hold on, the extinguisher isn’t in the space/time defying inventory box. Wait a sec, didn’t Claire have it in her personal inventory when she got whacked by that tentacle?

Bugger.

Don't worry, he's 'armless.

With no access to fresh weaponry, it was impossible for me to defeat the final boss, and instead I watched impotently as Paul went on to finish the game. I suppose I could have used one of his save games to go and fight the final boss for myself, but by that point I was so rankled by the whole fire extinguisher thing that I couldn’t bring myself to do it. And anyway, I would have been finishing his game, not mine.

Yet, like a middle-aged man trapped in a loving but turbulent marriage, I still have a soft spot for Code Veronica, despite all of the seething resentment bubbling below the surface. It was denied the suffix ‘4’ by its creators, but in my mind the game stands proudly with its numbered brethren, and possibly slightly above them.

Lewis

*I’ve just found out that Nosferatu was actually Alfred’s father, who went by the name of Alexander, not Alan (or Dave or Alfonse). This is slightly disappointing in some ways (I would have preferred Alan), although I’d forgotten just how convoluted the backstory to Code Veronica is, particularly the history of the Ashfords. You can read about Alfred Ashford’s creepy upbringing here: http://residentevil.wikia.com/Alfred_Ashford.

(Screenshots from http://uk.gamespot.com)

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Filed under 2000, Capcom, Dreamcast, Nextech, Survival Horror

#41: Power Stone 2

Format: Dreamcast Genre: Fighting Released: 2000 Developer: Capcom

It was a tough call deciding between Power Stone and Power Stone 2. In the end I went for the sequel – perhaps Power Stone is the better game (it’s much more finely balanced than Power Stone 2), but the sheer mayhem of Power Stone’s second incarnation never failed to bring a smile to my boat race.

The original Power Stone was almost unique – a 3D fighting game in which the environment was just as important as the actual fighting. The focus was less on punching your opponent than on trapping them under collapsing walls or gunning them down with the assorted weaponry that materialises on the level. In this sense the game shares many similarities with Super Smash Bros., but I’m surprised that the Power Stone template hasn’t been used more often since the original was released back in 1999 – considering it was such a breath of fresh air in the generally stale world of fighting games, it’s spawned remarkably few imitators (I can only recall two – Kung Fu Chaos and a Naruto game I played in Japan).

Power Stone 2 was Power Stone with all the dials turned up to 11. The game switched from being two player to being four player – a move that was both its triumph and its downfall. The utter chaos of playing against three human opponents was a delight, but the major difficulty was persuading anyone to play against me for longer than about ten minutes. The game was so intense and so much was going on at the same time that most people I played with just couldn’t work out what they were doing – or even where they were on the screen. Full-on four-player Power Stone 2 – with all its diving  submarines, deadly gun turrets, screen-filling special moves and overpowered laser guns – had roughly the same effect on novice players as that Japanese cartoon that induced epileptic fits.

One of the best aspects of the game was the item shop. As well as letting you purchase new items, the shop allowed you to ‘mix’ two items together to create totally new weapons, which would then appear during the game. For example, mixing a kitten with a leg trap produced a panther (natch), and mixing the soap-bubble gun with a trumpet produced a loud speaker (which could knock down opponents). Trying out all of the various bizarre combinations was hugely addictive, and it gave you a big incentive to keep playing through the single-player game in order to find some of the rarer items.

Of course, Power Stone 2 was not without its flaws. I’ve already mentioned the confusing multiplayer mode, but there was also the character line-up – some of the new characters brought in for the sequel didn’t quite fit the art style of the originals, or the supposed Victorian setting of the game (Jack – presumably ‘The Ripper’ – was one of the original characters). I particularly disliked Gourmand the chef, who looked a little bit like an early Mickey Mouse villain.

However, the sheer explosion of imagination contained within this game more than makes up for its shortcomings – any game in which you can whack someone with an umbrella before setting a kitten on them has the thumbs up from me.

Lewis

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Filed under 2000, Capcom, Dreamcast, Fighting

#31: Steel Battalion

Format: Xbox Genre: Mech Game* Released: 2003 Developer: Capcom

I saw the controller for this game before I knew anything else about it. I was doing work experience at CVG at the time, and a leaked internet photo of the extravagant twin joystick/pedal interface (see photo below) caused everyone in the office to gather round and gawp like idiots. Initially I thought it was some sort of joke, but an official press release from Capcom quickly followed – apparently they were serious about releasing a peripheral approximately half the size of the average Japanese living room**.

Steel_Battalion_Coverart

It’s obvious that the control system was dreamt up by some seriously nuts mech fanboys who wanted to take the mech game experience to its logical extreme – i.e. by recreating an actual mech cockpit***. But this is just what makes the game so appealing and refreshing – it’s fantastic to see someone coming up with such a frankly bonkers idea and then just running with it. I’d love to have seen the looks on the faces of the Capcom execs when the developers were pitching this idea, but huge kudos to the Capcom bigwigs for going with it – most companies would have run a mile when they found out how much the controller would cost. (The controller and game retailed for $200 in the US, and this was in the days before  expensive guitar and drum controllers were commonplace. Apparently the game broke even though, and they even made a sequel.)

steel battalion controller

The array of options on the controller is staggering – it features over 40 buttons, the most notorious of which was the ‘eject’ button, housed underneath a plastic cover on the top right of the console. If your mech (sorry, VT****) takes critical damage, the eject button starts flashing and you have only a few seconds to hit it before your VT explodes in a rain of fiery death. Failure to hit the button in time results in the death of your character and your save game being erased. Yep, there are no second chances in Steel Battalion – this game takes the notion of hardcore gaming to worrying extremes. I’m just surprised that the controller doesn’t give you electric shocks every time you get hit.

steel battalion screenshot 1

As you’d expect from the dazzlingly complicated array of buttons (you can read a full list of what they all do here), there’s a bit more to Steel Battalion than simple arcade-style shooting and dodging. The attention to detail is frankly ludicrous – there’s even a button that washes the camera on the front of the VT if it gets dirty during a fight (yes, that’s right, there’s a button for windscreen washers). Not to mention a fire extinguisher button and no less than 8 buttons that are used solely for starting up your VT (see video below).  Admittedly, going through all the rigmarole of pressing these various switches just to get your VT walking is quite entertaining the first time you do it, and adds to the experience enormously. However, I imagine that by the 50th time you play the game, this extended start-up sequence might start to lose some of its lustre… “Come on you bloody machine, start will you! I just want to shoot things!!!”

steel battalion screenshot 2

I say ‘I imagine’ because in fact I only ever played Steel Battalion once, at a friend’s house. (A friend with a very understanding wife who didn’t mind the fact that most of the living room had disappeared underneath shiny black plastic and flashing buttons. Having said that, he didn’t have it for very long, so maybe she put her foot down.)

“What?!”, I hear you cry, “How can you include a game that you only ever played once?!”

Well, I reply, for a number of reasons, chief of which is that this is my blog and I’ll do exactly what I like thank you very much. Hem hem. [Clears throat]

steel battalion screenshot 3

But more to the point, the whole ethos around this game probably gave me more enjoyment than my short time playing the game itself – from the buzz of excitement generated by the first pictures in the CVG office, right through to my friend excitedly telling me that he’d actually bought it. Laying my hands on that fantastically ridiculous controller for the first (and last) time was just the icing on the cake.

If you look at the shelves in any game shop you’ll see they’re heaving with ‘me too’ software – myriad copycat first-person shooters or film-licenced rubbish – so it’s good to know that there are some game companies out there with a bit of imagination and the conviction to try something new. Nice one Capcom.

Lewis

*I’ve listed this one as a ‘Mech Game’ – I was going to just put it down as ‘Action’ or ‘Vehicle Simulation’, but they’re such vague definitions as to be almost useless. I think mech games occupy a special genre of their own – a heady mix of cinematic action and unbelievably anal stat fiddling. See Armored Core For Answer for a recent example (incredibly, this is the thirteenth game in the Armored Core series – there must be a factory somewhere just churning them out).

**From an eBay listing of Steel Battalion:

I haven’t got the space for this – I only bought it a couple of days ago and my wife won’t let me keep it =(

I can just imagine the look on his wife’s face as he came through the door lugging a controller the size of a fridge. Priceless.

***I just found out that the controller was developed before they even started making the game (see here), which makes sense.

****Curiously, the two-legged metal behemoths are referred to as ‘Vertical Tanks’ or ‘VTs’ in the game rather than mechs.

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Filed under 2003, Capcom, Mech Game, Xbox

#30: Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Format: Dreamcast Genre: Fighting Released: 2000 Developer: Capcom

[It’s a Saturday morning in the year 2000. The scene: Ian and Lewis’s student house in Southampton. Lewis picks his way through the detritus of the living room, which consists mostly of discarded curry and beer cans.  After thumbing the Dreamcast ‘on’ switch, he groggily slumps into the hideous paisley settee and waits for the ancient television to warm up. Ian steams into the room with two mugs of tea. They are both in dressing gowns.]

<I’M GONNA TAKE YOU FOR A RI-I-IDE!!>

[The impossibly jaunty, oddly inappropriate pseudo-jazz soundtrack of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 blares from tinny speakers. Lewis and Ian prepare to choose their characters.]

marvel-vs-capcom-2-cover-art

Lewis: Right, no Cable, OK? Or Iron Man or War Machine.

[Choosing Cable is expressly forbidden under House Law. This is because he has a gun – several in fact – and this somewhat contravenes good practice when it comes to one-on-one fighting. Unless you’re Indiana Jones.]

[Lewis, ever the Capcom devotee, picks Jill Valentine, Ryu and Captain Commando. Ian, a Marvel zealot, picks Spider-Man, Venom and Hulk.]

Bring it on.

Bring it on.

[The first round begins. Ian immediately launches Spider-Man’s web attack, but Lewis has already used Jill’s ‘summon’ move, and the attack collides harmlessly with a shuffling zombie. Lewis quickly follows this up by summoning a crow, which hits Spider-Man in mid-leap.]

Ian: Why do you think this game is so compelling? Could it be something to do with the enormous range of 54 playable characters, sourced from an impressively diverse selection of Capcom games and Marvel comics? Admittedly, some of them are particularly obscure…

Lewis: The obscure ones are some of the best! As you know, my particular favourite is Captain Commando, who originally started out as a fictional cartoon spokesman for Capcom back in the eighties before appearing in his own arcade game in 1991. Ouch!

[Ian has switched to Hulk and quickly begins to gain the upper hand. Jill’s energy bar plummets alarmingly as she’s hit by wave after wave of Hulk’s ferocious attacks, which see him literally rip up the ground and throw it at her head.]

This is the exact reason why Cable is banned.

This is the exact reason why Cable is banned.

Lewis: Right, now taste the wrath of the Captain!

[Lewis switches to Captain Commando, whose flying kicks and lightning quick fireballs are no match for the sluggish Hulk.]

Ian: C’mon Hulk! Anyway, you have to admit that despite the generally excellent character design throughout, the game falls down heavily in terms of the final boss, Abyss, who’s by far the most poorly imagined and least interesting character in the entire game.

Lewis: Agreed!

Ian: Yet even so, the lure of unlocking extra characters and costumes is so great that it keeps us coming back to the single-player game again and again, even if it means facing the drudgery of Abyss.

[Ian changes to Venom and the fight starts to even up. The ‘Venom Fang’ special move proves particularly effective against Captain Commando’s flying kick, and the tide of battle slowly begins to turn. Lewis begins running low on energy and taps the shoulder button to bring on Jill for a heal assist. But disaster ensues – Ian pulls both triggers on his joypad to launch a super move. All three of Ian’s characters bound onto the screen to unleash a screen-filling ultimate combo that does for both Captain Commando and the unlucky Jill, who gets caught in the onslaught. Lewis is down to one character – Ryu.]

HULK SMASH!!!

HULK SMASH!!!

Lewis: Well played old boy! But I’m afraid you underestimate my skill with this old Street Fighter stalwart!

[Venom is caught in a hurricane kick, followed by a massive blue fireball, which takes him out. Hulk comes back on.]

Lewis: Going back to your original question, I think the secret to this game’s success is its sheer delight in being utterly ludicrous. Everything is just brilliantly over the top, from the enormous sprites, to the outrageous special moves, right down to the funk-jazz theme tune.

Ian: It’s almost as if the designers just thought, “Ah, to hell with it, let’s just put everything in!”

Lewis: Yes! It’s just so refreshing to see a game that doesn’t even attempt to take itself seriously – it’s just all-out fun.

Ian: And with so many characters and unlockables, it’s very hard to get bored. Damn!

[Lewis finishes off Hulk with a dragon punch and it’s down to Spider-Man versus Ryu. Both characters have just over half an energy bar each.]

The humiliation of being pounded by Tron Bonne.

The humiliation of being pounded by Tron Bonne.

Ian: This is it my friend, to the death!

[Lewis unleashes repeated fireballs, all of which are either blocked or neutralised by Spidey’s web attacks. Seeing his long-range attacks foiled, Lewis sends Ryu in for the old jump kick-sweep kick combo, a perennial favourite of all Street Fighter veterans, but ends up jumping into Spider-Man’s ‘Web Swing’ special move. Lewis recovers quickly and manages to pin down Ian in the corner with two successive hurricane kicks, but Ryu is running low on energy. Just then, Ian unleashes Spider-Man’s super combo, which sees the Marvel hero dart around the screen, inflicting kick after kick on the hapless Ryu as the background explodes into blue light and the announcer intones ‘SUPER COMBO FINISH!” It’s all over.]

Lewis: Good show sir! Didn’t see that one coming!

[The pair shake hands, then reach for their mugs of tea. Ian takes a sip and turns to Lewis.]

Ian: Best 2D beat ’em up ever?

[Lewis gulps down a mouthful of delicious tea, lets out a satisfied ‘Aaah!’ and reclines luxuriously onto the paisley settee.]

Lewis: Undoubtedly.

[After a brief pause, Lewis puts down his tea and leans forward expectently…]

Lewis: Fancy another go?

Lewis and Ian

(Screenshots from ign.com)

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Filed under 2000, Capcom, Dreamcast, Fighting

#28: 1942

Format: Coin-Op Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up Released: 1984 Developer: Capcom

Every time we went to holiday parks or the seaside when I was a kid, I would beg to be taken to the arcade. I think at first my mum thought I had a gambling problem, but in actual fact I didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to the fruit machines  – I only had eyes for all those wonderful arcade games.

Although having said that I’ve always quite liked those machines with the sliding racks of 10 pence pieces – does that still count as gambling?

1942-arcade-cabinet

Anyway, going to the arcade was a real treat when I was young. There was a huge gap between the quality of games in the arcade and the quality of games for home systems, so seeing the latest coin-ops was like taking a glimpse into the future. It’s completely different now of course – if anything, home systems are actually slightly ahead of most arcade machines, and most arcades are completely dominated by the same old shooting and driving games. Add to that the fact that the cost of console games has come down while the cost of arcade credits has gone up (or at least stayed the same), and there suddenly seems to be little point in visiting the arcade anymore.

Still, back in the eighties it was all different, because a trip to the arcade meant you could play something mind-bogglingly amazing… like Out Run, Double Dragon, Shinobi, Chase HQ or 1942.

1942_screenshot

I always made a beeline straight for the 1942 cabinet whenever I went into an arcade. The other games I mentioned are all excellent in their own right, but for some reason I was totally hooked on this shoot ’em up.

I don’t even know what it is that I like about it so much – maybe it’s the simplicity, or maybe it’s the well-balanced gameplay. It’s a hard game, but it’s never unfair, so every time you die you know you could do better next time if you just moved that little bit quicker, or tapped the loop-the-loop (evade) button a tiny bit faster. The risk/reward ratio is just right as well – diving for the power ups is always worth it, even if it might end in a fiery death (and the loss of a 20p credit).

1942_screenshot-2

Having said that, it looks incredibly dated now. The graphics could be generously described as ‘dull’… I mean, just look at it – you spend most of the game staring at what looks like stippled blue wallpaper flecked with bits of green snot. Also, there’s hardly any variation in the enemies  – some planes are red instead of green (whoo) and sometimes a slightly bigger plane turns up (although these planes are usually green as well). Understandably, the gameplay gets pretty repetitive quite quickly. Also, the music was pretty damn awful, even by the standards of the time (just listen to the video below to see what I mean).

1942_screenshot-3

I haven’t played the original in years, but I found a remake (1942: Joint Strike) on Xbox Live Arcade that looked promising. It has the same repetitive gamplay but it’s still somehow compelling: I think this game – in all its forms – must generate some kind of Pavlovian response deep in the cerebellum that keeps your trigger finger twitching long after your conscious brain has entirely disengaged.

1942 – a flawed classic. But I’d still happily bypass all the Time Crisis and House of the Dead cabinets to play on it if I saw it in an arcade now. Especially if it still cost 20p.

Lewis

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Filed under 1984, Capcom, Coin-Op, Shoot 'Em Up

#21: Okami

Format: Playstation 2 Genre: RPG Released: 2007 Developer: Clover Studio (Capcom)

I’ve just finished Okami, after playing it for an astonishing 40 hours. The developers have obviously done something right, because games that can hold my attention for that length of time are very few and far between (thankfully, otherwise I doubt I’d get much done). Wow, 40 hours. When you write it down like that it seems like an enormous amount of time – nearly two whole days of gaming… And considering I only bought the game for a tenner, that’s some seriously good value for money.

Okami PS2 box

Without a doubt, Okami is one of the best games I have ever played. The production standards are amazing throughout, and the artwork is just stunning. The game is presented in the Japanese ‘sumi-e‘ style of ink painting, so each character has a bold, black outline that is juxtaposed to great effect against the dreamy watercolours of the scenery. However, the screenshots on this post really don’t do this game justice – in motion, the stylised art and fluid animation looks truly astonishing. Having said that, some of the static storyboard screens you are presented with, such as the dramatic image below, also manage to be breathtaking.

okami artwork

In fact, the game’s artwork is so good, its been immortalised in a coffee table book, and there can’t be many games that can claim that accolade.

The game itself plays a lot like The Legend of Zelda: the real-time action and simple combat makes the game instantly accessible but belies iceberg-esque hidden depths. Just when you think you’ve got the game licked, it throws out another twist, and the plethora of quests, sub-quests and collectibles provided me with hours of entertainment – and even after 40 hours playtime, there were still plenty of quests I had yet to complete and combat moves I had yet to unlock.

Okami Amaterasu

Speaking of combat moves, I have to mention my delight at unlocking the legendary ‘Golden Fury’ technique, which involves humiliating your opponent by – wait for it – cocking your leg and urinating on them (accompanied by a ‘tinkling’ sound effect). As of the time of writing, I have yet to amass the 2,000,000 yen needed to unlock the ‘Brown Rage’ technique, although I’ve got a fairly good idea as to what it involves.

Okami black tree

Whilst on the subject of the game’s humour, I have to mention the excellent localisation. All too often, the European localisation of Japanese RPGs falls a bit flat, with any nuances or humour in the dialogue either being totally bulldozed or sounding utterly ridiculous. Happily, the script for Okami is a delight, and Issun, your ‘wandering artist’ companion, gets some genuinely funny lines that still work despite the Japanese-mythology-oriented setting and characters (incidentally, the enemy characters in Okami have to be some of the most brilliantly realised and unforgettable baddies yet seen in a video game – my favourite being the Igloo Turtle).

Okami brush

The most memorable feature of Okami is your ability to affect the world around you by pausing the action and using your tail to draw sumi-e-style patterns. These patterns, or ‘brush techniques’ (which are unlocked as the game progresses), allow you to slice enemies in twain with a simple flick or conjure up a gust of wind at will, to name just two. As you unlock more and more techniques, the game throws up more and more ingenious uses for them, leading to some brilliant ‘Aha!’ moments as you finally figure out a tricky puzzle or use a new technique to access a hidden area in a previously explored realm.

Okami Battle with Orochi

For all these reasons, I cannot recommend Okami enough – it really is one of the best games I’ve ever played. The only downside is that with the demise of Clover Studio, a sequel seems highly unlikely… 

Lewis

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Filed under 2007, Capcom, Clover Studio, Playstation 2, RPG