Inside the mall there is a store. In that store video games could be purchased, sold, and pre-ordered. A modern day GameStop by today's standards, this location was once home to the once popular Electronics Boutique branding. Not that any of that matters now.
It was a shopping day, just like any other in 2001. Just as I did any other time, I stormed in through the entrance. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. Okay, so maybe I'm not much of a storyteller, but people in stories don't sound intriguing unless they do it with style. And my style is, unfortunately, walking into a store. Mild-mannered and minding my own p's and q's, I did me some browsing.
Let's call it Summer 2001 for now, when the poster, or a standee - no, make it a magazine cover. Well, it was one of these things, but it was there. Okage: Shadow King might not be the classic everyone remembers, because these days not too many people talk about this classic anymore.
The in-store advertisement at the time was enough to attract my gaze. A moon shining like a beacon set apart the cast of characters, namely the boy we've come to know as Ari and more importantly his talkative shadow, Lord Stanley Hihat Trinidad XIV. That's a mouthful already. Although I didn't end up reserving the game, at least I was aware. What strange wonders could this game behold? Was it for me? What kind of game was this?
When Fall came around and I was far too busy causing citizen riots in the brand-new Grand Theft Auto III, there was still this feeling in my gut as if I was missing something. My skin pale as a ghost, I had need of something peculiar, something out of the ordinary, something just like Okage. Having stopped by on one of my many visits to EB/GameStop in those days, I decided why not. Slip the man a fifty and he'll fill my bag with the content I'd hope to crave.
Experiencing Okage for the first time that year, simply I was ecstatic for this magnificent entry that with all the GTA and Devil May Crying going on, I thought maybe no else knew there was something else special out there in PlayStation 2 Land. The story about how this boy has been enslaved by Stanley in order to save his sister from a curse perfectly sums up the kind of wacky humor you'd love, if being the someone that I am who adores such farfetched fantasy. The graphics at the time were amazing, as if seeing A Nightmare Before Christmas all over again. The music? Sensational! The turn-based combat was also fun and a real joy to play with so many fun characters that would utilize everyday objects like umbrellas and books to fend off their attackers.
Sandwiched between 2001's star-studded lineup, there was once released a role-playing game. Okage: Shadow King was its name. Out of the many oldies, this is one of the very best in PlayStation's existence. Sure, Grand Theft Auto III was great, but sometimes you have to make time for other games. It just so happened that I gave this gem a chance to shine, and I'm so very fortunate that I let Stanley possess the television set, the protagonist, and while we're at it my own funny bone.