Wrapping Up the Zelda/Okami Comparison

February 14th, 2010

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With most of the analysis pushed to one side we can finally get down to what you really want to see: a fight off, Okami Vs Zelda: Twilight Princess.

I’m afraid that Gordon Freeman has killed my faith in the democratic system, so instead I’m going to state my views and maybe you can leave a comment, if I let you. ^_^ (No seriously, if you’ve played both games then please do weigh in).

Over a month ago, I made the following statement about Zelda: Twilight Princess in my 2009 wrap-up:

“Zelda for the conservatives, the game you were hoping for was made by Capcom and called Okami, you should go play it. Otherwise, engaging in a familiar way, no one does it better than the best.”

And I definitely stand by my assertion. Zelda: Twilight Princess, whilst a standout game, innovates minutely, intentionally adhering to the traditional formula and visual style as requested by fans. By ditching the principles of the Wind Waker, Link and Nintendo ate their souls, their souls!!

And so I still feel crushed.

Okami is therefore something of a spiritual sequel to Wind Waker, while Twilight Princess is unashamedly the sequel to Ocarina of Time. Okami innovates in areas where one would’ve expected Twilight Princess to. Plus, Issun is my favourite video game character ever, a fact which I only last considered when I was 7 years old (and for reference, Wario was my former favourite character).

And yet “no one does it better than the best”.

It’s ironic then that I actually prefer Zelda: Twilight Princess. Ironic on many levels:

As great as Okami is, as I analysed in my prior post, Okami feels so lethargic that it drags the whole experience down. On top of that, Okami cut player morale early on with the confusing fake finale—we’re emotional creatures and Okami‘s “betrayl” soured my interest.

Despite my temperament, Zelda: Twilight Princess has only ever worked in win me over, it’s frankly a giant dose of well-iterated comfort food; 60hrs of the most refined and enjoyable adventuring this industry has come to know. Sure, I felt bothered by the tricky roadblocks, but I never felt discontent. Zelda: Twilight Princess is a meal that was both delicious and filling. Okami was also a great meal, but one that filled me up too quickly and burnt my lip.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikebrothers Mike Brothers

    After reading all of your Okami posts and now this, I have to say I completely agree. So many people dogged (no pun intended) on Twilight Princess for playing it safe, but there’s two things to remember here. One, we go YEARS between Zelda releases and two, the game was HUGE. We got a lot of top-shelf, time-tested material with TP. I loved nearly all of it, but it was also exactly what I was expected — and wanted at the time.

    I have yet to finish Okami but plan to go back and attempt a full run-through at some point.

  • Aaron

    I played both, and playing Okami first ruined Twilight princess for me. TP was dull and boring in comparison. Then again, I haven’t played any other Zelda games, but this game still doesn’t feel innovative in any area except that it uses motion controls. I don’t know what you mean by Okami cutting player moral early on. That “fake finale” if we are talking about the same part, for me, if the game ended there I would have been completely satisfied, but instead it was like: “Yay! more game!” If any game cut morale, it was TP halfway through when Zant appears at Lake Hylia.

    Okami is lethargic and drags on? Please! I actually had to make an effort to play TP. As beautiful as some parts were, the game gave me no incentive to progress. I had to push myself in order to play it. The dungeons in Okami, I didn’t even think of dungeons until I finished Okami and played TP. The dungeons in TP were so were so formulaic, plus they actually made me feel uncomfortable to play through. The Goron Mines made me feel claustrophobic, and the Zora Temple made me want to finish so I could stop listening to the annoying music. But the wonderous dungeons of Okami weren’t just dungeons, they were an experience. In short, a game should make you want to finish a dungeon by making it interesting, not by making you want to just so you can get out.

    Not only that, but in TP I often found myself wondering why I was going through a particular dungeon, or fighting a particular boss. The bosses in Okami, there was always a purpose for fighting them. What did the bosses in TP do to deserve being attacked? Why they’re a monster in a dungeon of course! Big deal. There is a more stark contrast when you look at the extremes. When I fought Ninetails, I was seeking vengence. When I was fighting Blizzetta, I felt sorry for her. Once again, Okami wins in the boss and story department.

    Although Okami is a Zelda based game, it is much more original and well done than TP.