Cue the Sun

Another post-midnight post… but I have an excuse this time! Around 2 pm this afternoon, when I was trawling for subjects to write about, my internet sputtered out on me. I didn’t like it any more than you did, but hey, I can’t help what I can’t help.

I spent the downtime playing Okami instead. I bought the Wii version about two years ago, a few months after first getting my Wii. I played about two hours of it, then got distracted and replayed Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance again, then got partway through a second playthrough of Radiant Dawn, and by that point I was buying other games and had relegated Okami to the backburner. It was on my to-do list for most of last year, but I was never in the mood to pick it up again. In all seriousness, I made more progress in this one evening than I have in the whole other two years the game’s been in my possession.

I feel a little guilty about that, really, because the game seems fine, at least from what little I’ve played with it. It’s basically Zelda, except with Japanese mythology and a spiffier art style, and I love me some Zelda. I’m told that the game drags in its latter stages, being about twice as long as it needs to be, but… I’m not there yet, so I can’t comment.

Wii-mote controls seem clumsy, though. I must not have the hang of the Celestrial Brush strokes yet, because whether or not the game is registering my skills seems essentially random — especially with regards to reviving trees. Drawing circles seems harder than it needs to be. Combat is also finnicky… you can’t just waggle like a maniac, which is what I’m used to doing in games that require waggle. There’s a rhythm there, or else Amaterasu just kind of stands there and stares blankly. I must practice more.

My word is this game slow, though. It seems bizarre to me that people can chastise Twilight Princess for its overlong introductory sequences while still embracing this game. Talk about holding your hand! And it wouldn’t be so bad, except that dialogue takes approximately two years per line to spit out, complete with Banjo-Kazooie-esque “bleh bleh bleh” faux-voice acting. I could have learned acupuncture in the time it took for Issun and Sakuya to tell me what’s what with the evil juju infecting the Japanese countryside, and the camerawork tends to give away all the puzzle solutions with long, lingering shots. Maybe this is just a consequence of the tutorial section of the game. I hope so.

Art style is charming and unique, of course. Passing back and forth between this game and Kirby’s Epic Yarn (as I plan to do if/when I get burnt out on Okami) should be easy on the eyes, if nothing else.

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