Life

Games: Okami back for third re-release – and it's a wolf well worth having at the door

2006's Okami, the swansong of defunct Japanese outfit Clover Studio (now Capcom), gets Neil all misty-eyed the most
Neil McGreevy

Okami HD (Multi)

By: Capcom

I'M OFTEN asked what my favourite game of all time is. Or rather, I'm never asked but bore anyone who cares to listen anyway. And despite the grunt of modern gaming rigs, 2006's Okami gets me all misty-eyed the most.

Clover Studios' swansong originally landed around the same as Zelda's Twilight Princess – and I can tell you, Okami was the best adventure released that year. The water-coloured tale of a she-wolf was a calligraphy-fuelled adventure through Shinto legend, using Japanese folklore as its setting and gameplay aggressively influenced by Zelda. But despite critical acclaim, Okami flopped at the cash registers.

Now the bitch is back for a third re-release, following appearances on the Wii and PS3, with updated visuals and 4K support on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. The best Zelda Nintendo never made, Okami's remaster proves there's life in the old wolf yet as Ameterasu saves the land accompanied by a pervy flea.

Proving the brush is mightier than the sword, players can call up a virtual canvas to slash through obstacles, restore bridges and tinker with reality over 30-odd hours of lupine larks that haven't dated a second. And at a mere £20, you could do a lot worse than having this wolf at your door.

Resident Evil 7 – Not a Hero/End of Zoe (Multi)

By: Capcom

CAPCOM'S reinvention of the survival horror was one of this year's highlights and remains the best experience behind Sony's VR headset. Ending the year with a fitting epilogue, Capcom's final content drop kicks off with Not a Hero, starring series mainstay Chris Redfield.

Set in the main game's mine section, Not a Hero delivers three hours of solid gunplay, with new enemies, ammo types and a neat Metroid-style structure as Chris tracks down country-fried villain Lucas Baker amid the dank.

But if Not a Hero is all about shooting, there's nary a piece in sight with End of Zoe, where the calcified body of Zoe Baker is discovered by her gloriously fisty uncle Joe. Rather than lodging bullets in undead brains, you're now punching their lights out in a ridiculous display of hick heroics. Joe fights like a hobo and munches on grubs for sustenance, with light stealth and some of Louisiana's meanest alligators spicing up the bushtucker trials, leading to an oh-so Resident Evil final showdown.

With both episodes fully playable in PSVR, it's lights off, nappies on again for one final dose of southern hospitality in Capcom's hillbilly horror.

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