I feel the need to rant about my latest gaming session with the Wii from yesterday. I had a rare moment of having the house to myself because everyone else went to see the new Dark Knight movie. So I decided to take advantage of it & get some play time on Okami. I love the game, but I rarely get to play anything on the Wii because, unlike my other gaming devices which are in my room, the Wii is in the livingroom so I have to share it. I could always steal TV time, but I prefer to play games in private… or at least not when my family is around. This is because when the frustration hits, as it usually does, there’s typically a lot of language, shouting & control-flailing. As gamers, we understand these moments & can even sympathize, but non-gamers aren’t so understanding. And being chastised that “it’s just a game” doesn’t usually help matters.
Anyways… everything was going fine. I’m past the boss fight with Blight & was exploring the various sidequests around Sei-an City. And aside from some minor gripes, I was enjoying myself. I really like this game. But then it happened. The fashion design sidequest.
If you haven’t played the game, this is a quest that’s optional but grants you a Stray Bead, which if you collect them all by the end grants you invulnerability, infinite ink & a power increase in New Game +. So obviously I wanted it. But oh my God, I’ve never been so frustrated with a game in my life! The idea is simple enough: draw the shown design on a kimono. Do this five times & you get the bead. The first four designs weren’t that tough — although my game did glitch at the first one & not show me the next design despite the dialogue changing, but this was fixed with a quick save & reload.
- Star – pretty easy & gave me no trouble
- Heart – took two tries
- V – another two tries
- Clover – surprisingly got it on the first try. I was surprised because the design is four circles in a box shape, but my bottom two circles looked more like flattened tires than proper circles, but the game accepted it anyway.
- Kanji for “heaven”
The kanji symbol, I’m not exaggerating, took me over an hour. And it’s not even a difficult word. Give me a pen & paper, or even a proper ink brush, & I wouldn’t have had any trouble. But no, apparently Okami couldn’t read my writing. There was much yelling, screaming, cussing & even threatening the fat clothing designer every time I had to listen to him again. I honestly don’t think I would’ve been so upset if the game just skipped the chatter & let me continue until I got it right. But no, the game insisted on me listening to his fat mouth every single time.
About the time I was contemplating throwing the Wii-mote through the TV set, I decided to take a break & look online to see if anyone else had the same trouble. And judging from the responses to videos on Youtube & Google, a lot of people share my frustration. The advice that helped me was to use the Z button to draw straight lines, despite the fact that the kanji clearly has curved lines. It only took me two tries using the Z button. And my kanji looked like crap, but apparently that’s what the game wanted.
What the kanji actually looks like is:
What mine looked like was:
It looks like I was trying to make a decapitated four-armed stick person.
Somehow I don’t think motion controls are advanced enough that writing should be included in games. Recognizing circles & squiggles are one thing, but foreign alphabets are a bit too advanced.