In this weekly column, we’ll be selecting inexpensive, discarded titles from still playable consoles for your perusal. They may be games you’ve heard of and remember playing, or they may be games that have flown completely off of your radar. Just know that we love them and they’re available on the cheap. That’s a bonafide win/win situation.

If you have any favorite titles that you consider hidden gems, let us know in the comments below and we might feature your pick in the weekly column.

Platform: PlayStation 2, Wii
Original Release: September, 2006

Since we started running these Hidden Gem pieces every single week for what’s gone for a bunch of months, one title is consistently requested for coverage in the comment sections below the stories: Okami.

I’ll admit, initially, I didn’t like the idea. Okami, in my book, is not necessarily a hidden gem. Gamers know about the game. Most recognize it from screenshots and art alone, and I would even go so far as to guess that a ton of you folks have played it. For those reasons, Okami didn’t necessarily meet the qualifications for this post.

But then I considered two points: the demand for the article and when the game released. Much like Okamiden, the Nintendo DS entry in the franchise that launched just 10 days before the Nintendo 3DS arrived, Okami was born at the very end of the PlayStation 2’s lifecycle. Gamers were transitioning away from their current consoles and into the next generation when Capcom pushed Okami to the States. The game launched in September of 2006, and the PlayStation 3 launched in November of 2006.

Okami did get a re-release for the Nintendo Wii in 2008. Possibly the most memorable thing about launch was Capcom’s boxart goof. Here’s my copy of the game…see if you can spot the problem.

If you look directly next to the wolf’s mouth, you’ll be able to see the IGN logo. It’s much more noticeable in person or with a proper packshot. Capcom pulled the boxart from the mass multimedia coverage site. Upon learning of their error, the company offered to send out replacement sleeves to those that wanted them.

Okami is an amazing game, if you’ve never heard of it. It still ranks as one of the best I’ve ever had the fortune of playing.

Be sure to check out our ever-growing list of Hidden Gems.

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