And then some.
And then some more.
And then EVEN MORE THINGS HAPPEN.
All set to excellent - nay, beyond-excellent - music!
[Spoiler alert, for those who care about such non-plot revelatory gameplay details:]
This game is just so massive, so huge, that at one point I started to doubt that it would have an ending (this is a good thing!). But after more than a dozen boss fights, you get the Final Boss Fight, and after that your story's over, you get some nifty statistics about your journey (I only got one death! And collected 156 demon fangs! And defeated 485 monsters! All on my first play-through!), and... you can start all over again. But you get to keep (almost) all the items (yes, even the weaponry), all the fangs and all the money that you had when you finally defeated the Final Boss. AND you can change your appearance, which does nothing as far as your abilities are concerned, but I personally find the fatty one to be adorable, and so on my second play-though Amaterasu is one fatty fluffy adorable wolfie.
[/Spoiler alert over. You can start reading again now.]
So yes, this game is massive, and can most definitely be a source of several dozens of hours of enjoyment. There are plenty of sidequests you can do:
- Defeat these monsters on this hit list! And get a reward.
- Find all the Hidden Beads! And get a reward (supposedly).
- Feed all of the animals of all the species you can feed! And sometimes get a reward.
- Restore all of nature/make all the trees bloom! And sometimes get a reward.
- Find out all the extra stuff you can do with your magical Celestial Brush techniques. And gain skills! (Skills can include battle techniques such as Whirlwind or Double Cherry Bombs)
This game IS rated T for Teen though, due to its reliance on alcoholic drinks (sake! It can help you defeat monsters, it can increase your attack/defense, it can give you magical powers to make the Sacred Tree bloom, apparently). Also, your sidekick Issun can be misogynistic at times, so critical thinking and player discretion is advised. Oh, and boobs and butts are very present in the game (play it, and you'll see what I mean - especially when you'll first meet Rao (jiggles abound), and when you'll first see Sakuya's dress. It has butt cleavage).
There was one rather funny bug in the game, though: during my fight against the last Canine Warrior, Amaterasu's head decided to stick to one point that was pretty far away in the environment. The rest of my character's body moved normally, though, so it essentially became a fight between my canine enemy VS my headless wolf-self. It was pretty funny. Right after the fight I went to a save-point, saved, exited the game and went back in, and everything was back to normal.
Still, I enjoyed this game very much, I think it gives a much better cost-to-hours of entertainment than, say, Zelda did, and I most certainly recommend it. Play this game!