Many people fell in love with Shadow of The Colossus back when it was originally released on the Playstation 2 by Team Ico back in October of 2005. I was preoccupied with World of Warcraft at that time, but fortunately that isn’t the case anymore and it has since been re-released on the combo title The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection.
My initial thoughts with this title is that it helped lay the groundwork for one of my favorite titles of the Playstation 3 era: Demon’s Souls. There is no doubt that the art and music and cadence of the gameplay and power differential between Wander and the Colossus share some similarities with Demon’s Souls. Where the experience falls short however, is in the snappiness and responsiveness of the game controls. Every controller input action feels like it is more of a request, through a language interpreter, and Wander, Agro, or the Camera decides just too many moments later to take action.
Regardless, the take-down of the first Colossus, Valus the Minotaur, leaves you with the feeling of courage and determination that gives you just enough motivation to make it through the next challenge. I summarize my experience with each Colossus in a few lines below, and some fellow DeltaAttackers add additional color (charkicker, MarkhamAsylum, and myself). Be warned that there may be spoilers (if you are reading without having finished the game, tsk tsk).
By the time you’re cut loose into the ruined lands, you’ve been told and told what to do. In the opening cut scenes it is evident that you’ve stolen your giant, capable horse and that gnarly sword (the kid looks like a clown the first time he “brandishes” it), and you’ve probably stolen the dead girl, too. The gods say, look at that sword, son. Hold it up to the light! OK. You take a few steps outside, on foot or on horseback, and you’re taking in the scope and desaturated flavor of the blighted world, catching your — An on-screen help text says, press the button to hold your sword up! To the light! Screw you, on-screen help text. Wouldn’t it have been neat for the game to trust you to remember what the *gods* told you less than a minute ago, right as the music crescendoed and the game began?
Yep, that would have been neat.
You press the button. A beam of light shoots out of your sword, pointing you in the exact direction you are already facing.
Another short gallop, and a tutorial/obstacle course later, and you’re hanging on for dear life onto the grody fur of a tremendous creature, so all is forgiven, mostly.
Valus, The Minotaur
[IkeCube] Intimidating at first, but generally non-threatening, the first Colossus, Valus, helps us find our courage, and learn the general technique and strategy that will assist us through the subsequent encounters. The satisfaction of taking him down with requiring a retry was incredible.
[Markham Asylum] I love how they introduce this colossus: a violent shaking of the earth, then you see that hoof come into view. It takes up most of the damn screen, which I’m pretty sure made my eyes bug out. One of the things this game does really well is the sense of scale, and this first guy makes you feel like an insect. Team Ico effectively employed Minotaur to teach you the mechanics of slaying colossi. It’s not too challenging, but also not a complete pushover for a first-timer.
Hit The Jump for the rest of the article.
« More »