Calligraphy & the Wii Don’t Mix

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.

  1. Star – pretty easy & gave me no trouble
  2. Heart – took two tries
  3. V – another two tries
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

– GamerDame

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