Okami is one of those games that receives more recognition than copies sold, and that trend continues thanks to its latest award.
Earlier today, at the tail end of the New York Comic Con Capcom panel, the Guinness World Records recognized Okami as the “most critically acclaimed video game starring an animal character.” Granted, the list of critically acclaimed games that star an animal character is kind of short, but that does not make the game any less deserving of its praise. And it certainly did not lessen the surprise and elation attendees felt when they witnessed this prestigious occasion.
This award marks the second time Okami has entered into the Guinness World Records. The first was in 2006 when the game received the title of “least commercially successful winner of a Game of the Year award.”
Okami was Clover Studio’s last attempt to make a successful title before the company shut its doors. Obviously, the studio didn’t succeed and closed down, and several key members eventually founded PlatinumGames. But, that didn’t stop Okami from wowing audiences. The game won several awards, including the Game Developers Choice Award for character design and BAFTA Games Awards for artistic achievement and best original score.
While Okami originally launched on the PlayStation 2, it was ported to Nintendo Wii and has found new life on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC —thanks to an HD remaster. The game also received a sequel on the Nintendo DS in the form of Okamiden, but that game is nowhere near as acclaimed. It isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, just disappointing given its pedigree.
While this new Guinness award might sound weird given its overly verbose title and niche subject matter, any excuse to celebrate Okami is a worthwhile one. The game is a masterpiece that has stayed in the hearts and minds of gamers thanks to its characters and story (that introduce classic Japanese folklore to Western audiences), as well as a unique, diegetic art style that intertwines with the game mechanics. Long live Okami, the greatest game you’ve probably never played.