Have you ever used a paintbrush to attack enemies? And we don't mean using it to whack them on the head: we mean actually painting on the screen and creating bombs, vines, and sword slashes out of thin air. If the answer is yes, then you've probably sampled the incredible Okami. If the answer is no, then you need to sample the incredible Okami. It's that simple. Telling the tale of a goddess in a wolf's body, she uses a paintbrush to defeat the evil taking over Nippon. Originally released in 2006, it's now re-released in the form of Okami HD for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And trust us: it's a must-have.
If all you needed to hear was "Okami on modern platforms for $20" to be sold on the idea then here: It's gonna be Okami on modern platforms for $20. For the rest of you, wondering why you should pick up an 11-year old game about a wolf and a paintbrush, let me lay it out for you:
Clover Studio housed some of the industry's best talent
Before it was dissolved, Clover was home to some of the most highly-regarded developers in the industry. Both Shinji Mikami (director of Resident Evil and The Evil Within) and Hideki Kamiya (director of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta) called the studio home, and went on to found other, successful companies when it was shuttered (Tango Gameworks and PlatinumGames, respectively). If you're a fan of games like Viewtiful Joe, Vanquish, or God Hand, you should see what else these creatives were capable of.
It'll keep you busy
Tired of games with short adventures that peter out before you do? Okami looks like a fairly straightforward action game, but it's more of a Zelda-style RPG. There are tons of sidequests and collectibles to find. The site How Long to Beat puts the main story at just shy of 37 hours (with 136 players weighing in), and the completionist run at just over 57 hours (with 73 players polled). According to the site, a "leisure"-paced completionist run will eat up nearly 80 hours of your life.
You can actually learn a bit of Japanese culture
Now, this isn't to say that Okami is a 100% accurate representation of the Shinto religion or Japanese customs, much like Metal Gear Solid should not be the basis for your US History report. But there are nuggets of truth in there, like Amaterasu, Orochi, and Susano all being inspired by real-life folklore. And since you'll sometimes need to use the magic paintbrush to create Kanji, you can even learn a few words and symbols. If you like Japanese culture, Okami is very true to its heritage.
This version supports 4K and widescreen
The PS3 HD re-release also supported widescreen, but Okami HD for PS4, Xbox One, and PC adds in the extra-nifty feature of 4K resolution support. If you couldn't tell from the trailer alone, this is a game hailed for its visuals, so popping it up onto a 4K television should only make it prettier.
It's $20 / £16