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penrose orange



cat /var/log/stephen >/dev/eyes

Cherry blossom everywhere
penrose orange
I'm only a few hours in, but so far, Ōkami is astonishingly good. This goodness is a combination of the visuals, sound, and just how well it plays.

The graphics are just magnificent, apparently inspired by traditional Japanese artwork. The thick black outlines around everything give the graphics a hand-drawn quality. The texture-like pattern in the sky (which remains static as the scenery moves on top of it) makes the graphics look painted-on. The engine seems to be a combination of cel-shaded 3D (for Ōkami/Amaterasu herself, for example) and 2D sprites (for fixed objects such as trees which look the same from all directions). The explosion of colour which occurs when Ōkami/Amaterasu restores life to a barren patch of landscape is suitably satisfying.

The soundtrack is unmistakably Eastern in flavour (bamboo pipes and damped-sounding strings all over the place), and sounds generally very "full". While none of the tunes are particularly memorable (not yet, anyway; plus, it takes a lot of listens for my brain to absorb something non-earwormy. My memory for music is not the greatest), they're all pleasant to listen to, and just sound different from the norm. The musical sting that occurs when unearthing a secret makes me think of the Zelda one, which was probably the intention.

The Celestial Brush isn't particularly revolutionary — it's just an example of a gestural interface. Howeber, it's surprisingly well done. It manages to interpret my ludicrous scribbles as the intended gestures most of the time. I imagine that the Wii version of the game feels completely intuitive.

The game just handles so nicely. Even when running at full pelt, Ōkami/Amaterasu is easy to control. The platform jumping bits aren't too fiddly (though I keep expecting a Zelda-like automatic jump). The battles are a bit button-mashy, but I haven't lost one (or, indeed, taken much damage) yet. It's so obviously a Zelda clone, yet is polished enough and different enough not to feel like a Zelda rip-off.

Issun appears to be channelling Tatl.