Author: Capcom | Illustrator: Various | Page Count: 288
‘As my evangelical work, I do record herein the various events to which I bore witness during my long travels with Ōkami Amaterasu.’
~Issun, Celestial Envoy.
It seems like every cash-grabbing, whoring video game developer or publisher these days is producing special editions of their biggest titles that require fans to dig deep into their pockets to acquire. Most include some kind of plastic figurine with little or no articulation; they’re for display purposes only and that’s fine as long as you know beforehand what you’re getting.
The lazier developers don’t bother with any kind of plastic tat. They throw in an A5 art book with shiny paper and minimal content and think it'll suffice. The Ōkami Complete Works is like that except it’s on a bigger, grander and more beautiful scale. Another difference is that it wasn't part of a game bundle. It’s a separate release. But if ever a game needed an art book, it was Ōkami.* It crosses the line from fan-pleasing tie-in into a collection of genuine artwork that justifies itself by being worthy of gallery space. The Japanese watercolour style that made the game so stunning is returned to its origins on parchment style paper.
You get all the usual stuff, character art, concept sketches, location designs and production notes from the creators of the game (Clover Studios), but you also get some piano arrangements at the back of the book, so if you’re able to read music you can learn how to play the score. I’m aware this’ll sound like I'm fan-wanking pretty hard but the music of the game is one of the finest video game scores I've ever heard. Even separate from the imagery, if you play it to someone who likes Japanese instrumentation they’ll likely fall in love.
If you’re a fan of this kind of thing and can afford the asking price, it doesn't get any better than the Official Complete Works.
*There's a review of the game on our sister site, Nut Load.