Despite Okami marketers constantly saying Okami is not a Zelda game, these claims turned out to be completely false. Okami certainly does not play like a Zelda game as Brush combat is nothing like a Zelda game. Still, Okami feels just like a Zelda game. Perhaps it was the epic bosses, deep dungeons, free-roaming fields, or the light-hearted feel... I don't know, but it's hard to deny the game doesn't feel like Zelda.
The gameplay probably should have taken another page from Zelda though, as combat is pretty repetitive (unless it's one of the few inventive bosses). The game is perhaps just as fun to explore, except there is too much repetition in collecting clovers or feeding animals. The feel-good story and character again are just as goofy and fun as Zelda, except Okami constantly bothers players with endless dialogue. As it turns out, Okami is a solid Zelda-clone... which still means it's a pretty darn great game.