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Christian. (That means that I know that Jesus is Lord!) Programmer. Gamer. Weak 3D artist. Geek.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Game Review: Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2 NTSC)

A friend of mine from college, Tom, *made* me play Ico. I mean, seriously, he *made* me play it. Tom ranted and raved about Ico until it was clear that it wasn't debatable - Ico was genius.

Later on, I played it. I finished it. I completely and utterly agreed with Tom.

Ico was an amazing achievement in videogame design - a whole game, set within the walls of one castle - with few enemies, no boss battles - a game where the puzzle, the challenge is in where it is set.

You play as Ico, a small-horn-headed boy who guides Yorda - a mute, ghostly-looking character around the prison-castle in which you're now trapped.

Yorda isn't as brave as Ico and you must find ways to get her through all the different problems that face you as you go.

Ico was genius. Beatiful - so gloriously lit with sun-flares and reflective surfaces that many herald it as that which defines videogames as art.


Shadow of the Colossus (SoTC) it's sequel is equally as stylish. Equally as gorgeous to look at and just as impressive in scope.

You are The Wanderer and must defeat the sixteen Colossi in order to bring your girl back to life.

The Colossi are all equally huge and vary enormously but whether you have to climb up the hair on the Colossus' leg to stab it in the head or trick it to hit a building in order to collapse the bricks onto it's back and shatter it's armor, they are now the puzzle, not the location.

All in all, SoTC is a superb game and I would heartily and openly recommend it to anyone - I'm certain that I'll play through the game again on the now unlocked 'Hard' difficulty.

But I do have two gripes.

First of all, if a game is technologically savvy enough to offer me Progressive Scan 480p graphics on a PS2 game, as well as widescreen modes - then why didn't they think to include Dolby Pro Logic II surround?

The game is beautiful in every respect but the audio not being in surround left a bitter taste in my mouth - I kept returning to the options menu in the hope that I just hadn't seen it last time I looked - but alas, it was an omission.

My second gripe is the game world in which SoTC is set.

It's *huge*. Don't get me wrong - it's size isn't my complaint - its that there just simply isn't anything to do!

The player spends a long time journeying to the location of the Colossus - journeying across barren deserts and through red-rock mountain terrain - but there really isn't anything to do..

I can't understand why the developer couldn't have included some smaller enemies to ambush you on your travels..


I admit though, these are extremely minor gripes.
SoTC is a superb game and should be played by every discerning PS2 owner.

I'll be playing it again - (as well as finishing Ico again as I've lost the save file) and I'll be looking at the rumored PS3 sequels (there are two in development I hear) with great interest..

David / RagingAvatar


kujo said...

haha this is a comment to an old post but i love the game so...

yeah i never got to play ico i passed it by when i was little to buy another game back then but i dont remember what.

shadow of the colossus is acctually a prequel to ico, when he has the you know what in the end thats acctually a father or great grandfather to ico.

i think he didnt have any bad guys in it because he wanted you to grasp the beauty in the land, plus... the combat would kinda suck if he did put enemies in there with the colossi.

my major gripe is that they didnt wait to put this game on ps3, i mean the colossi and enviroment would have been breathtaking if they had. would have been really cool to climb them and see like writings on them and little eco systems in them i think, like animals living in them, or little waterfalls moving down through them, the water could cause you to slip and fall or an animal could think your trying to hurt its young and attack you which likewise could cause you to fall. or to have an arrow shoot out of your bow with a rope and then you zip line across a colossi and it trying to eat you when your going across.just would have been amazing on ps3 i think.

RagingAvatar said...

Thanks for your comments!

I agree with you completely regarding the PS3 - I hope at some point we might get a remake of these two gorgeous games on an HD console that has a little more power..

Of course in the NTSC US PS2 version you can play in 480p if you have a component lead. It is nicer but stil.. I think your point still stands.

tyler griffith the game master said...

i think shadow of the colossus is one off the best games on play staion 2 because it has brillent graphics and it is an epic game.

Puls when you finsh you get to try be a colossus but not for long

RagingAvatar said...

I agree - I don't remember becoming a Colossus.. hmm, maybe I need to go for another play through.. I'll take any excuse!

I can't wait for the new Team ICO games on PS3, they're clearly a very talented team.