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