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Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Clover
Platform: PS2

Other decisions nearly gave us ulcers, but this one was easy. Okami was the best game of the year by a long shot for two reasons (don't worry, they're really big ones):

Not only did Okami's profound and striking watercolor visual style look great even on HDTVs, the developers also integrated painting as a game element in both their revolutionary magic system, and their sweet and smart doozy of a tale. That's the kind of stuff you notice in great books, not video games.

The other reason is just as pervasive and powerful, but much less abstract; Okami is ingeniously crafted to keep you from ever getting stuck or frustrated, but without feeling too easy or boring.

Good game, Clover.

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